The Difference Between a Cold and Flu – Try Nature’s Flu Shot

There is no question that the cold virus is more stable in cold temperature, so it survives and lingers airborne much longer due to the dry, cold conditions. There is a difference between symptoms related to the cold virus and flu virus, but possibly the number one reason the human body is susceptible to the cold virus in the winter is its virulence.

Cold, low humidity air dries out the nasal passages and makes virus transmission more likely. Researchers have found that in winter, even the flu virus wears a coat, and it’s a coat that helps the virus spread through the air.

The symptoms we get during a viral illness are often the body’s attempt to get rid of the virus and to minimize damage. Sneezing ejects the virus from the nose, cough from the lungs and throat, vomiting from the stomach, and diarrhea from the intestines.

What most people don’t realize is that the flu is not very common at all. The symptoms of influenza infection can be hard to distinguish from those caused by other viruses that trigger the common cold. Chances are that if you’re 30 or over, it may be a cold. That’s the message from research showing that people aged 30 or more can expect just two bouts of flu per decade for the rest of their lives. Since the two illnesses share some similar symptoms, and both come during “cold and flu season,” the two often run together in people’s minds, but they are not the same.

With more than 200 viruses known to cause influenza-like illness (ILI), a person can get a flu shot and still become sick with what is described as “the flu”. According to CDC data, almost 90% of all influenza-type illnesses are NOT caused by the influenza virus, thus influenza viruses are ONLY active 14% of the time.

The symptoms we get during a viral illness are often the body’s attempt to get rid of the virus and to minimize damage. Sneezing ejects the virus from the nose, cough from the lungs and throat, vomiting from the stomach, and diarrhea from the intestines. Fever makes it difficult for the virus to reproduce. The topic of viral illnesses will always remain somewhat confusing, since the body has a relatively small number of symptoms with which to respond to an ever-changing, wide variety of viruses. While colds and flus may overlap, the differences between them are important.

The common cold is centered in the nose.

Over 200 different types of viruses can cause a cold. Rhinoviruses, which means “nose viruses”, are the most common cause. Respiratory syncitial viruses (RSV) and a host of others can produce colds. Of note, influenza viruses occasionally cause illnesses with symptoms of the common cold.

The three most frequent symptoms of a cold are nasal stuffiness, sneezing, and runny nose. Throat irritation is often involved (but not with a red throat). Adults and older children with colds generally have minimal or no fever. Infants and toddlers often run a fever in the 100 to 102 degree range.

Depending on which virus is the culprit, the virus might also produce a headache, cough, postnasal drip, burning eyes, muscle aches, or a decreased appetite, but in a cold, the most prominent symptoms are in the nose. (By the way, forcing a child to eat with a decreased appetite due to a cold is both unnecessary and unhelpful, but do encourage drinking plenty).

If anything, using the term “common” with cold is an understatement. Colds are the most prevalent infectious disease. Children average 3 to 8 colds per year (younger children and boys are on the higher end of the range). Colds occur mostly in the winter (even in areas with mild winters). In areas where there is no winter, colds are most common in the rainy season. Parents get about half as many colds as their children do. Moms tend to get at least one more cold per year than Dads.

When someone has a cold, the nasal secretions are teeming with cold viruses. Coughing, drooling, and talking are all unlikely ways to pass a cold. But sneezing, nose-blowing, and nose-wiping are the means by which the virus spreads. You can catch a cold by inhaling the virus if you are sitting close to a sneeze, or by touching your nose, eyes, or mouth after you have touched something contaminated by infected nasal secretions.

Once you have “caught” a cold, the symptoms begin in 1 to 5 days. Usually irritation in the nose or a scratchy feeling in the throat is the first sign, followed within hours by sneezing and a watery nasal discharge.

Within one to three days, the nasal secretions usually become thicker and perhaps yellow or green — this is a normal part of the common cold and not a reason for antibiotics. During this period, children’s eardrums are usually congested, and there may well be fluid behind the ears — whether or not the child will end up with a true bacterial infection. Yes, antibiotics are too frequently prescribed for this as well.

The entire cold is usually over all by itself in about 7 days, with perhaps a few lingering symptoms (cough) for another week. If it lasts longer, consider another problem, such as a sinus infection or allergies.While it lasts, the common cold is primarily a head cold. While you may feel tired or have aches, the illness is centered in the nose, and most of the symptoms are above the neck.

With the flu, you are sick all over.

The flu can be a much more serious illness. The most deadly recent worldwide outbreak was the flu epidemic at the beginning of this century and killed more than 20 million people. Even today, more than 36,000 people in the United States die from the flu each year — primarily those who are weak from advanced age or a major illness.

A single family of viruses — the influenza viruses — causes the flu. Most people get the flu once every year or two or three, and the illness is unpleasant but not usually dangerous. Unlike the common cold, both adults and children with the flu generally have a fever.

The flu can take many forms, but here we will describe the most typical:

Classically, the flu begins abruptly, with a fever in the 102 to 106 degree range (with adults on the lower end of the spectrum), a flushed face, body aches, and marked lack of energy. Some people have other systemic symptoms such as dizziness or vomiting. The fever usually lasts for a day or two, but can last five days.

Somewhere between day 2 and day 4 of the illness, the “whole body” symptoms begin to subside, and respiratory symptoms begin to increase. The virus can settle anywhere in the respiratory tract, producing symptoms of a cold, croup, sore throat, bronchiolitis, ear infection, and/or pneumonia.

The most prominent of the respiratory symptoms is usually a dry, hacking cough. Most people also develop a sore (red) throat and a headache. Nasal discharge and sneezing are not uncommon. These symptoms (except the cough) usually disappear within 4 to 7 days. Sometimes there is a second wave of fever at this time. The cough and tiredness usually lasts for weeks after the rest of the illness is over.

Inhaling droplets from coughs or sneezes is the most common way to catch the flu. Symptoms appear 1 to 7 days later (usually 2-3 days). The flu is airborne and quite contagious, and with its short incubation period it often slams into a community all at once, creating a noticeable cluster of school and work absences. The flu usually arrives in the winter months. Within 2 or 3 weeks of its arrival, most of the classroom has had it.

The other major difference between the common cold and the flu is that the flu is preventable. In any given year, two or three different strains of influenza virus cause most of the flu around the world.

9 Ways To Keep Your Immune System Strong Against The Cold Virus

8 Fresh Lemons
2 Fresh Oranges
2 Cups Pineapple Juice
2 Tbsp. Ground Ginger
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Ground Tumeric
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
2 Tbsp. Raw Honey
1 bulb Garlic (can increase to 2 if tolerated)

Blend all ingredients and store in a glass jar. This recipe works exceptionally well if you start taking it just as you start to feel symptoms. At that point, take 1 cup 3 times per day until symptoms resolve.

Unfortunately, this is the number one and best preventive defense against the cold virus, but not much consolation to those living far from equator. Sorry Minnesota.

Vitamin D is shown to reduce the risk of flu to a third of what it would otherwise be. The correct daily dose of vitamin D3 for adults is approximately 5,000 IU/day, not the 200 to 600 IU recommended by the Institute of Medicine, the National Institutes of Medicine and the FDA. You may even be shocked to know that there are many physicians in both Canada and the United States who prescribe as much as 50,000 IU of vitamin D daily as a treatment for a long list of chronic diseases.

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. High potency Probiotic supplements such Laktokhan contain the exact ratio needed of live microorganisms that contribute to a natural healthy gut flora, which benefits health. Laktokhan helps to manage acute infectious diarrhea, and it reduces the risk of, and helps manage, antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

Its ability to impair and depress the immune system is unparalleled.

Flu vaccines still contain mercury and only work to depress the immune system. Regardless of what statistics your government has released, the actual chances of a flu vaccine preventing the flu are less than 4 percent

Some of the best immune stimulants are anti-viral herbs. Virus-fighting herbs include purple coneflower, pot marigold and black elder. Other important antiviral herbs include yarrow herb (Achillea millefolium), hyssop herb (Hyssopus officinalis), lemon balm herb (Melissa officinalis), St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum) marjoram herb (Origanum majorana), oregano herb (Origanum vulgare), heal-all herb (Prunella vulgaris), rosemary herb (Rosmarinus officinalis) and blue vervain herb (Verbena hastata). It is important to begin taking the herbs as soon as you think you are getting sick. Take your formulation four to six times per day until you are better.

Probably nothing else you do will make a greater difference in your overall health than a detox. The liver is so important to our well-being that many healers maintain that most diseases cannot develop in the body with a clean liver, so a liver detox is essential at times. Supplementing for liver health is vital but there are plenty of foods that can also detox the entire body.

Another group of herbs that help to improve and optimize immune function are the immune tonics. These herbs are deeper acting than immune stimulants, but take longer to work. They include North American ginseng root (Panax quinquefolius), lacquered polypore or reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), artist’s conk (Ganoderma applanatum), Chinese milkvetch root (Astragalus membranaceus) and Siberian ginseng root (Eleutherococcus senticosus). Combine two or three immune tonics and take them three to four times per day for two to three months. Immune tonics are not suitable for treating infections in progress. They are used for preventive purposes or to optimize immune function and work best after first doing several cycles of immune stimulants.

There are also many other important antioxidant nutrients that support immune functioning. These include the carotenes, flavonoids and other polyphenols such as those found in green tea, grape seed, pine bark and various berry extracts. The best food sources of immune-enhancing nutrients are fresh fruits, vegetables, and mushrooms.


5 Different Types of Soul Mates Everyone Encounters In Their Lives

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.”  – Elizabeth Gilber

The best part about the uncertainty of modern life is that it is full of surprises. You might never know when you get to meet that one person in your life, who walks in and your life is never the same again. Soulmates as we often call them come when we least expect them to. We meet them in the unlikeliest of places, under the most testing of circumstances and change our lives like we had never imagined. Almost all of us have met many different types of soulmates in our life. Some of them come in solely for the purpose of teaching us something, some to break apart our life and redirect us to somewhere different and some who pass us for the briefest of moments, yet tug on our hearts as if we’ve known them a lifetime. Each type will help you reveal the layers of your spirit, and guide you towards finding the ultimate soulmate…

1. Love Soulmate

In it only in the rarest of cases that these are the people we choose as our life partner. Most of the time these are the people who come in as our lovers and have a beautiful relationship during their stay. They might be our first crush, an affair, a week long fling or simply a no-strings-attached relationship. People like these stay in our lives for a short while only. Teaching us about ourselves and other important lessons that will be poignant and meaningful down the road. These relationships do not start with love at first sight feeling that we think we should feel with a potential partner, but over time it builds and the relationship turns into something serious and meaningful. This “soul connection” lasts a lifetime even though the romantic love portion of the dynamic fades.

2. Friend Soulmate

This is one of those types of soulmates you should cherish your whole life because these people are essentially here to stay. Sometimes you meet a person with whom hours of conversation seem like minutes. You could never grow bored with this person’s company and you would never judge them and vice versa. These are the people who know you more than you know yourself. They get you when no one else does and stand by you like no one ever would.

3. Wrecking Ball Soulmate

If you thought soulmates were only here to love you abd care for you, think again. This soulmate is not somebody that comes into our life peacefully. They enter in to shake things up. They challenge us and make us question everything we thought we knew about life. This type of soulmate can come in many forms but it’s normally a romantic relationship that leaves us feeling as if we’ve been swept up like a tornado, taken for the ride of our life, and then dumped from the sky with no warning in an exhausted, tailspun heap. And most people rebuild something completely different and way more beautiful than what existed before.

4. Divine Love Soulmate

This is the soulmate that every one of us desires to have. And if we’re lucky enough, we will meet them and live out the rest of our days on this earth together.

“You felt familiar the moment I met you. A lovely sort of déjà vu. When we spoke or laughed or danced I became overwhelmed by the powerful sensation that I had been here before. And when we kissed I felt the energies of a thousand lives on our lips, like our souls had known each other all along.” Beau Taplin

5. Complete Stranger Soulmate

This is always a very brief encounter with somebody you don’t know. It might be the person you sat next to on a flight for a few hours, someone you meet and spend time with one evening at a party, or as brief as a stranger whose eyes yours meet on the street. The exchange is brief but intimate. They normally say something that you need to hear in that moment, validate something that you’ve been feeling or push you in a direction you need to go but are afraid. You know in the depths of your soul the encounter meant something even though you never see them again.


Pre-Life Plans, Tasks, and Agreements

“Why is this happening to me?”— This is a question we tend to ask ourselves when things seem to be going badly wrong, and we are suffering. It’s also one of the most commonly asked questions given to psychics, mediums and spiritual channels.

And the answer given is quite often the same: that before we were born as human beings, we — as souls — planned the life we are now living, including the challenges we are now facing.

We did not do so in order to suffer, however, but as an opportunity to choose not to suffer.

And yet, no matter how much or how little we suffer, the end result will be the same — a degree of growth for our soul. This may come in the form of greater self-understanding, for instance, or greater compassion for others.

The growth we hope to gain is like a “learning objective”, while the challenges we face in order to meet the objective are the “lessons” which we have set for ourselves.

Life Plans

A life plan is a rough outline of what we intend to happen at different stages in the life to come.

Like a military plan of action, it will have a general route-map of the entire mission, with an entry point (birth), an end point (death), a main objective (the life lesson), a bunch of key landmarks and waypoints along the way to help keep us on track (education, relationships, employment, etc), and a few contingency plans in case the main plan doesn’t work out. There can even be a few strategically-placed early exit points (such as potentially fatal illnesses and accidents) so that we can return home to safety if we feel it’s all become a bit too much.

Life Plan example

This is quite a good analogy because, rather like military operations, our soul plans are not set in stone, programmed to unfold automatically. If that were the case, we would be nothing but puppets, mindlessly acting out the scripts that have already been written. There wouldn’t be much point or value in that.

In fact, our life plans are quite loosely defined, leaving plenty of room for exploration and improvisation. And the outcomes are always unpredictable.

Why is this? It’s because free will is built into the game plan.

Even though we have these plans that cover our entire lives, the whole point is to experience life situations “in the raw” and respond to them in whatever way we choose. Yes, certain events will happen at certain times, just as planned. That traumatic childhood experience, that “chance encounter” with an old friend on a trip to New Zealand, that humiliating experience of failure … Certain things we have arranged will simply happen anyway. The Universe will see to it. But what we choose to do about such things is wide open. We are free to react with pleasure or displeasure. We are free to dive in or opt out. We are free to do what feels right — or not.

As they say in the military, no plan survives contact with the enemy. In other words, our soul plans for this life are not scripts to be acted out; they are just plans. The key events and milestones are mapped out in advance but our actions down here on the ground are completely a matter of free choice. No outcome is predetermined. You and I and everyone else we meet are choosing our own way.  That’s the whole point of the game of life.


While we individually plan each of our own lives to serve our own needs and interests, no single life plan or life experience exists in a vacuum, isolated from the rest. We are all in this together. Everything you planned to do in this lifetime meshes seamlessly with the life plans of all others involved.

Your own life plan, no doubt, features a number of key experiences involving others, but their life plans will likewise feature those same experiences with you. We’ve all agreed to participate in each other’s life experiences.

Some refer to these mutual agreements as “soul contracts”, but the term contract is a bit too formal. A contract is a legally binding commitment. If we fail to fulfil a legal contract, we can be in serious trouble. But soul plan agreements are not like formal contracts. They are literally just agreements — informal intentions to get together for a particular reason, if we feel still like it at the time.

For example, my wife and I presumably agreed to be married partners in this life. I am also sure that we planned to meet for the first time on a particular spiritual retreat in 1992. And that her physical disability — strikingly similar to my own brother’s — was a “cue” to me that this is her, this is the one. Indeed, I soon felt a sense of inevitability that we were “meant to be together.”

But that’s not to imply there was some sort of cosmic kismet in action, that our love was forever “written in the stars”, or that she is the only true love for me in the whole of existence. It simply means that, in our pre-life planning, we had agreed to get together as loving partners for our mutual support and benefit. At any point, either of us could have backed out of the agreement.

Some agreements are not so pretty. In fact, many agreements are designed to bring us into conflict with others. We might agree to complete a karmic sequence, for example. Or, just for the sake of our own growth, we might plan to have an angry parent or an abusive husband — and we will enter into an agreement with another soul to enact that relationship with us.

We may experience a great deal of conflict in our lives on Earth, but ultimately there is no conflict. Yet at a much level higher than we can normally perceive, everything is completely integrated and harmonious.

According to the Michael teachings among others, almost every lifetime we live is designed for a purpose — to fulfil a certain learning objective or life task. (I say almost because we do occasionally live lives that are intended for nothing but a bit of R&R leisure time; see the goal of relaxation.)

Life Tasks

A life task is something we set out to experience or achieve within a given lifetime — our primary intention for a single incarnation. It’s a means to an end, a way to fulfil our learning objective.

“The life task is the focus which your essence has chosen in a particular incarnation as one with the most pertinent impact in terms of soul evolution.” — Michael

This task won’t be a specific one-off achievement such as “climbing Mount Everest”. Rather, it will be a positive theme that is both personally challenging and inspiring, and also of value to others in some way. Examples would include:

“Demonstrating integrity through leadership”

“Inspiring others to believe in themselves”

“Exploring the meaning of love through the medium of art”

So your current life task is that which You (as essence, soul, or spirit) intend to experience or achieve as a learning objective while living this lifetime as you, the human personality you see in the mirror.

Generally speaking, your life task will be naturally consistent with your soul type and level. (My own example, explained below, illustrates this very well.)

Typically, it takes about three lifetimes to fulfil a life task successfully and thereby take the step up in growth. So your specific task in this life might be the same as the one in your last life, and possibly in your next life too.

While experiencing a human life, we are not normally conscious of our life’s plan or purpose. Nor are we able to change them. We do, however, have complete free choice over what we do or don’t do as we live our own life.

The Mid-Life Turning Point

The life task is usually designed to unfold as our “true work” in the second half of life. Before that, the first half of life is mostly preparation: acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and experiences that will come in useful for fulfilling the life task. Our choice of body, overleaves, life events and childhood circumstances will mostly be geared towards fulfilling the intended life task.

This is one reason why bad things often happen to children and young adults — they are undergoing a preplanned experience, one that has been designed to shape their emerging personality and steer them in a particular direction. For example, someone whose life task is to be “to serve children in need” might plan to undergo an early experience of losing their own parents and then having a difficult childhood when adopted. These unpleasant experiences would imbue them with the personal understanding and compassion needed to best fulfil their later life task.

The same is also true of positive experiences, such as having a happy childhood, a wonderful grandparent, or an inspiring school teacher. Such experiences will also help shape the emerging personality for the life task to come later.

Typically, our life task will not begin to come into focus until we are past 35 or so. Once we reach our mid-30s or 40s, we tend to feel the “prod” to get on with fulfilling our life task. Younger souls are not so conscious of this, but Mature souls are often acutely aware of it — a sense of longing to find a purpose. For some, the mid-life turning point can be excruciating as it throws into question everything that has been set up in life so far. “Perhaps I’m in the wrong career. Perhaps I’m in the wrong relationship. Perhaps I should move to a different country…” The future feels like a void of uncertainty.

Finding Fulfilment

When many people first learn of all this (myself included), they begin to fret that they will never fulfil their life task because they don’t know what it is. Yet there is a very simple solution, even if we do not explicitly know our life tasks…

  • Life will engineer things to give us the opportunity, no matter what.
  • If we stall, life will give us a gentle prod.
  • If we resist, life will give us a not-so-gentle push. 

And we can tell if we are on track by checking our own feelings.

  • As we make choices that are aligned with our life plan, we experience excitement, harmony, happiness and fulfilment.
  • If we make choices that go against our life plan, we experience frustration, boredom, discontent and a lack of fulfilment.  
  • If we follow our best feelings, our life plan unfolds effortlessly in a way the brings us joy.

“The life task is what can be most easily accomplished by the focused and
realized action of Essence. In other words, when you are acting in Essence, any work accomplished under its influence, even if it is only transplanting petunias, leads to the development of work on the Life Task. In a very real sense, attaining that state IS the Life Task.” — Michael

The way to be on track, then, is to simply relax and go with what feels good to us.

But why this life task? What is the lesson to be learned?

Remember that a life task will usually reflect and resonate with the role and age of the soul. In my case, as a Scholar soul, my natural talent is to accumulate knowledge. And as a 5th-cast or Sage-cast Scholar, I am also drawn to broadcast what I know with a bit of wit and fun. As a Mature Scholar, my awareness is focused on grasping the true meaning of things in life, especially the relationships between all things. And as a 5th-level Mature Scholar, my evolutionary challenge is to share my understanding with many others. Putting all that together, my current life task couldn’t really be anything else.