Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Shameless Product Endorsement

‘Homeopathic’ medicine…I’ve come to believe in the stuff.

I’ve been fighting a cold here, a cold there, since late summer, pissing me off with every sneeze and cough and choking hack that brings up another bit of lung material.

About a month ago, my work friend Celia recommended I try Zicam, the swabs you swirl around in your nose.


It sounded easy, albeit a bit gross (and it brought to mind lyrics from a Barry Louis Polisar song: “Don’t put your finger up your nose/‘cause your nose knows it’s not the place it goes/you can sniffle/you can sneeze/but I’m asking you please/don’t put your finger up your nose.”).

What the hell.

I slunk to the store and bought some of the stuff.

Okay. They’re individually-wrapped swabs, bathed in a clear jel. You open the packet and stick a swab in one nostril, just a quarter of an inch in, and swirl it around. Then pull it out, push your nostril closed for 15 seconds, and throw the swab away. Repeat with another swab in another nostril.

It was dumb.

But then…

…it worked.

Jeebus Monty Christo in an unobstructed airway!

Within a few days, my cold symptoms were gone. Totally. I could breath, no coughing, no runny eyes, no sinus headache. CURED!


Since I volunteer in the kids’ school library, handling all the returned books, loaded with germy germs from coughs and neglected bathroom washings and god-knows-what from the bottom of their lockers, I got another cold this weekend.


This time I bought Zicam ‘Oral Mist’. It says it’s Mint, but it tastes like shit. I started it Sunday. And last night, Monday night, I actually slept straight through, didn’t wake to run to the bathroom in an emergency-nose-blow, or launch into a coughing fit, or wake up with a Mohave Desert mouth from sleeping with it open.

My colds never stop this quickly on their own. I can only figure it’s the Zicam.

Now, my question is…is this a placebo? Or do their active ingredients, Zincum Aceticum and Zincum Gluconicum, really do something magical? Does anyone know? Help?


At 1:58 PM, Blogger Rose said...

Zinc in its various forms has been proven to shorten the life of the common cold, for some reason.

Also good are Cold-Eeze, which are Zinc losenges that taste like cough drops (with a slight metallic aftertaste). They are cheaper than Zycam. :)

At 8:37 AM, Blogger pinky pinkerson said...

I loved Zicam when I first tried it - it really does work!

But then I read a few articles like this which made me a little nervous to keep using it.

(your mileage may vary, of course)

At 5:04 PM, Blogger Pisser said...

It's the zinc, baby. Don't ask me why.

I'd been hacking up bronchitis-y spooge for about a month (since the company Xmas party, where I inhaled several lungfuls of secondhand smoke. Ack!) Only stopped when I went home and got myself some of my mom's damn chimney-like refuse and some Vick's nasal spray. Go figure...maybe it was like hair of the dog...?

Happy nasal swabbing!

At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is the zinc salts that reduce the symtpoms of your cold. Yes, it really does work. Please be advised that you should use it with caution. Several law suits have been filed. Zinc salts have been around for centuries, but they CAN cause the loss of smell. Which can reduce your sense of taste too. I tell you that but then tell you this, I am a zicam user. Zinc salts attack the actual virus. In fact they were once considered as a treatment for polio. The efficacy is hit or miss and it was too big a risk.

At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Heath said...

Their have been some successful (?) lawsuits against zinc nasal spray companies for loss of sense of smell (sometimes permanent). My father was not a part of a suit, but he did lose his sense of smell for about six months after using one of these nasal sprays. The danger seems to be related to spraying it up too far. So if you are using a nasal spray, try to apply it into the lower part of the nostril like the directions say, and don’t sniff it up higher. The mouth spray, swabs, and lozenges should not have this side effect, again unless you are sniffing it far up into your nose. I have am trying the Zicam citrus Rapidmelts on my current cold and I swear it is working. I caught it from my wife and kids. Their colds seem to be lingering, but even though I've had mine for less time my symptoms seem to be greatly reduced and dropping off rapidly, while theirs seem to be hanging on. I tried to share the Zicam with them, but after one taste they didn't want anything to do with it. With my larger nasal passages I seem to get less blocked up than my wife and kids, so that might be the actual reason, but I do seem to be feeling better faster than normal.


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