Dr. Jodi Vingelen, ND

It happens to us all. Are you the one who is frequently sick or do you ‘catch’ it two or three times a year? So, what is it that you ‘catch’? The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. There are over 200 different viral types associated with colds!1

I would like to explain my thoughts on the root cause of colds. That is, why do we have colds? If we understand this, we are better able to know how to approach this condition. It was thought at one time that colds were caused by exposure to cold. As you will see not everyone exposed to cold temperatures develop colds.2The cold is a remedial process. Meaning that the cold is a series of actions or steps the body takes in order to achieve a cure. Moreover, the innate wisdom of the body will overcome the cold.

How do we fall susceptible to viruses? We are exposed to viruses all the time. They can wreak havoc on us when the ideal conditions arise. I agree with many of the old time Doctors who believed that the cause of the cold is a result of toxemia. I am not referring to the condition in pregnancy, also known as preeclampsia. Let me explain.

In the process of tissue building, referred to as metabolism, there is cell building called anabolism and cell destruction called catabolism. The broken down tissue is toxic and in health when nerve energy is normal it is eliminated from the blood as fast as evolved. When nerve energy is dissipated from any cause—physical or mental excitement or bad habits—the body becomes enervated, when enervated, elimination is checked, causing a retention of toxin in the blood or Toxemia. This accumulation of toxin when once established will continue until nerve energy is restored by removing the causes. So-called disease is nature’s effort at eliminating the toxin from the blood. All so-called diseases are crises of Toxemia.3

Have you been not eating well and/or getting insufficient sleep recently and then spend time indoors with someone who was sick this weekend or do you work in a school or daycare? Well, then you may be at risk for developing the cold.

prevent colds

Again, there is no cure to the cold. Stop eating, go to bed, keep warm and take only as much water as thirst demands.4Antibiotics are not effective in treating the cold because it is a viral infection. So, don’t take them. Antibiotics are effective in treating bacterial infections. “Most of the time, antibiotics work best when they are prescribed judiciously and with attention to the particular susceptibility of the organism being attacked.”5 Colds run their course in about nine days; some last longer than this, for up to two weeks.

How may you prevent the cold? By building up your resistance or becoming healthy. What constitutes being healthy? Why do we get a cold in the first place? To summarize, one does not need to build resistance to colds, for colds are a form of resistance — resistance to toxins. Again, if you want to avoid colds, stop building toxemia. Colds are not outside forces or entities that “attack” an individual.6 The cold is a process of cure — processes of elimination. Colds must either “run their course” or be suppressed. If suppressed, this means that the compensatory eliminative process is forcibly stopped and the toxins that should be eliminated are allowed to remain in the body. Things one can do include: cease the use of stimulants; cease overworking; cease worrying; and cease overeating. Relax and rest.

If you have not had your cold this season and are enervated and toxemic, don’t rail against fate when you do develop a cold. Welcome it as a process of cure and take a philosophical attitude toward it. Keep in mind that if you have a cold, it is because you need it, and have built the need for it yourself.

VingelenDr. Jodi Vingelen is Austin city’s naturopathic doctor rooted in natural solutions.

Passionately, I utilize nature cure methods personally and professionally. One of my favorite “treatments” is the cold plunge. After a nice long walk or run, there is nothing more rewarding than to come up to a beautiful alpine lake or a flowing river to take a quick dip in the refreshing cold water. It is a stimulating experience. I hope that by reading my short essays on nature cure that you will be enticed into this lifestyle that my patients and I find to be re-vitalizing.

Graduated from Bastyr University (Kenmore, WA). Dr. Jodi Vingelen is a WA state licensed ND


  1. Eccles, R., and Olaf F. Weber. Common Cold. Basel: Birkhäuser, 2009. 3. Print.
  2. Shelton, Herbert. There Is No Cure For That Cold. Dr. Shelton’s Hygienic Review. 1975. Vol. 37 No. 2: 30-33.
  3. Tilden, J. H. Toxemia Explained: An Antidote to Fear, Frenzy, and the Popular Mad Chasing after So-called Cures: The True Interpretation of the Cause of Disease, How to Cure Is an Obvious Sequence. New Canaan, CT: Keats Pub., 1976. 13. Print.
  4. Shelton, Herbert. Curing Colds. Dr. Shelton’s Hygienic Review. 1943. Vol. XXIV No. 6: 121-123.
  5. Lappé, Marc. When Antibiotics Fail: Restoring the Ecology of the Body. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic, 1995. 71. Print.
  6. Shelton, Herbert. Have You Had Your Cold? Dr. Shelton’s Hygienic Review. 1942. Vol. IV No. 2: 25-26 and 47.
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