I don’t know about your area, but around here the cold and flu season has been AWFUL this year!
We don’t do flu shots, so we try to be vigilant about hand washing and taking whatever immune boosting and virus preventing measures we can: plenty of fermented foods and foods high in vitamins C, D, and zinc, essential oils, etc. Still, we’ve endured a couple of bugs in our family already this year. Thankfully, they’ve only lasted a couple of days and haven’t been too severe.
The hardest hit was Karate Kid (12), who spent several days down for the count with aches, chills, fever, and a cough. During the time he was sick, a good friend mentioned to me a tip another friend had given her. She told me that the rest of us ought to use hydrogen peroxide in our ears as a preventative so we didn’t catch what he had.
I knew hydrogen peroxide had many uses, but this wasn’t one I was familiar with, so I did a little bit of research. Apparently German doctors in the 1930s had great success using hydrogen peroxide to treat colds and the flu, based on an earlier hypothesis that these viruses actually enter our body through our ear canal rather than our nose or throat. But, with the advent of World War II, their research and the results were ignored and have been ever since. (source)
The process is fairly simple.
All that’s needed is a bottle of ordinary, 3% hydrogen peroxide – the kind that can be found at any drugstore – and a dropper. Put 3 or 4 drops in the ear canal and leave it for 5 to 10 minutes, until the bubbling subsides. Drain it on a tissue, and repeat with the other ear. This can be repeated every few hours until symptoms subside, or for a day or two after you know you’ve been exposed. That’s all there is to it!
The theory is that the peroxide kills any germs and infection that have entered through the ear canal. If caught soon after exposure but before symptoms develop, it can be nipped in the bud, and even after symptoms have developed, it will reportedly shorten the duration at least 80% of the time. Some of the testimonies I read claim it’s very effective for ear infections also.
I thought it was a very interesting and plausible theory, and definitely worth trying! I administered it to Karate Kid and the rest of the family. A couple of other family members had slight sniffles and coughs, but no one else got as sick as he had been, and he began to feel better by the next day. Since then, whenever there’s been a chance of exposure, or known exposure, I’ve tried to make sure each family member gets the treatment at least once. So far we’ve all stayed healthy.
When you do it, you’ll want to explain to children ahead of time: it will feel cold, and even tickly and bubbly. They say it can sting slightly – it never did for me, but a couple of my other family members said it did. My younger kids think it’s funny, giggling while it fizzes and asking to be next when they see it being done to their siblings. What I find interesting is that sometimes it fizzes and foams like crazy and other times, there’s virtually no fizzing!
My family’s experience is definitely anecdotal, but this treatment is cheap, easy, and certainly can’t hurt! It’s become a permanent part of our cold and flu prevention regimen. If there’s a possibility that we can prevent or shorten the duration of any kind of upper respiratory virus we encounter for pennies and in minutes a day, we’re going to give it a shot!
You can read more about this method here:
Do you have a favorite go-to remedy and/or preventative for the cold and flu season?
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