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Edgar Cayce on the Common Cold


This Psychic Reading given by Edgar Cayce at his home on Arctic Crescent, Virginia Beach, Va., this 17th day of February, 1941, in accordance with request made by the self - Mr. [1797], Associate Member of the Ass'n for Research & Enlightenment, Inc.


Edgar Cayce; Gertrude Cayce, Conductor; Gladys Davis, Steno.


Time of Reading 11:10 to 11:55 A. M. Eastern Standard Time.

1. GC: You will have before you the human ailment known as the common cold. You will give information, advice and guidance as to how people may so conduct themselves as to avoid the common cold, or - having contracted a cold - to cure it. You will then answer the questions, as I ask them:

2. EC: Yes.

3. As we find, much has been written in many places respecting such, and much has been given through these channels respecting the various stages and the cure - or helpful applications.

4. For, it is a universal consciousness to the human body. Thus it is almost as individual as all who may contract or even come in contact with such.

5. Each body, as so oft considered, is a law unto itself. Thus what would be beneficial in one for prevention might be harmful to another; just as what might have beneficial effects upon one might prove as naught to another.

6. The cold is both contagious and infectious. It is a germ that attacks the mucous membranes of nasal passages or throat. Often it is preceded by the feeling of flushiness or cold sensations, and by spasmodic reactions in the mucus membranes of the nasal passages.

7. Then, precautionary or preventative measures respecting the common cold would depend upon how this may be fully judged in the human body, or as to what precautionary measures have been taken and as to what conditions exist already in the individual body.

8. First: A body is more susceptible to cold with an excess of acidity OR alkalinity, but MORE susceptible in case of excess acidity. For, an alkalizing effect is destructive to the cold germ.

9. When there has been at any time an extra depletion of the vital energies of the body, it produces the tendency for an excess acidity - and it may be throughout any portion of the body.

10. At such periods, if a body comes in contact with one sneezing or suffering with cold, it is more easily contracted.

11. Thus precautions are to be taken at such periods especially.

12. To be sure, this leaves many questions that might be asked:

13. Does draft cause a cold? Does unusual change in dress? Does change in temperature? Does getting the clothes or the feet damp? Etc.

14. All of these, to be sure, AFFECT the CIRCULATION; by the depletion of the body-balance, the body-temperature or body-equilibrium. Then at such times if the body is tired, worn, overacid or overalkaline, it is more susceptible to cold - even by the very changes produced through the sudden unbalancing of circulation, as from a warm room overheated. Naturally when overheated there is less oxygen, which weakens the circulation in the life-giving forces that are destructive to ANY germ or contagion or such.

15. Then if there is that activity in which the body becomes more conscious of such conditions, this of itself USES energies oft that produces PSYCHOLOGICALLY a susceptibility!

16. Consequently, as we find, this is one of the most erratic conditions that may be considered as an ill to the human body.

17. Much at times may also depend upon the body becoming immune to sudden changes by the use of clothing to equalize the pressures over the body. One that is oft in the open and dresses according to the general conditions, or the temperatures, will be LESS susceptible than one who often wraps up or bundles up too much - UNLESS - UNLESS there are other physical defects, or such conditions in the system as to have reduced the vitality locally or as a general condition through the system.

18. So much, then, as to the susceptibility of an individual or body to colds.

19. Then, precautions should be taken when it is known that such tendencies exist; that is, weakness, tiredness, exhaustion, or conditions arising from accidents as of draft, dampness of clothes, wet feet or the like, or contact with those suffering with a cold.

20. As is known, all vital forces are activities of the glandular system; and these are stimulated by specific glandular activity attributed to the functioning of certain portions of the system.

21. Then, when exposed to such - under the conditions as indicated, or the many other phases of such that make up the experience of an individual, these would be the preventative measures:

22. The use of an ABUNDANT supply of vitamins is beneficial, of ALL characters; A, B, B-1, D, E, G and K.

23. Vitamins are not as easily overcrowded in the system as most other boosters for a general activity. For, these are those elements that may be STORED - as it were - in their proper relationships one to another, to be called into use when needed or necessary.

24. This does not mean that it may not be overdone as a preventative, or in cases where infection already exists. For, that which may be helpful may also be harmful - if misapplied, - whether by the conscious activity in a body or by an unconscious activity in the assimilating forces of a system. If this were not true, there would never be an unbalancing of ANY portion of the functioning system; neither would there be the lack of coordination or cooperation with the various organs in their attempt to work together.

25. It is true that the functioning system (assimilating, distributing and eliminating system) attempts to create that necessary for a balance. Yet it can only use that it has at hand. Thus, with a deficiency of any structural building, blood building or tissue building influence, it may cause weakness by drawing on that necessary to supply the needed conditions for the system's balance.

26. For instance, if there is a bone fracture the body of itself creates that element to knit this fracture or broken area. Yet it does not supply or build as much of such element during the periods when the fracture does not exist. Hence when it exists, unless there is an abundant supply of that needed - by or from that assimilated - other portions of the body will suffer.

27. Know that the body must function as a unit. For, one may get one's feet wet and yet have cold in the head! One may get the head wet and still have cold in the head! The same is true in any such relationships. For, the circulation carries the body forces in same, in the corpuscles, the elements or vitamins needed for assimilation in every organ. For, each organ has within itself that ability to take from that assimilated that necessary to build itself. One wouldn't want a kidney built in a lung; neither would one want a heart even in the head (yet it is necessary to function mentally that way often!).

28. These are conditions to be considered in preventing as well as in correcting colds.

29. Hence it may be said that the adding of vitamins to the system is a precautionary measure, - at all seasons when the body is the most adaptable or susceptible to the contraction of cold, either by contact or by exposure or from unsettled conditions.

30. The diet also should be considered, - in that there is not an excess of acids or sweets, or even an excess of alkalinity, that may produce such a drawing upon some portion of the system (in attempting to prepare the assimilating system for such activity in the body) as to weaken any organ or any activity or any functioning as to produce greater susceptibility.

31. Hence there should be kept a normal, well balanced diet that has proven to be right for the individual body, - if precautionary measures are to be taken through such periods.

32. Also there should be precautions as to the proper clothing, as to drafts, as to dampness of feet, as to being in too hot or too cold a room, as to getting too tired or exhausted in any way or manner.

33. Precautions in all these directions to keep a near normal balance are measures best to be taken towards preventing the contracting of cold.

34. When once the cold has attacked the body, there are certain measures that should always be taken.

35. First, as has so often been indicated, REST! Do not attempt to go on, but REST! For, there is the indication of an exhaustion somewhere, else the body would not have been susceptible. Then, too, the inflammation of the mucous membranes tends to weaken the body, so that there is the greater susceptibility to the weakened portions of the body throughout the special influence of the lymph and emunctory activity, - such as the head, throat, lungs, intestinal system. Then, if there has been an injury in any structural portions of the body, causing a weakness in those directions, there becomes the susceptibility there for the harmful effects from such.

36. Then, find or determine next where the weakness lies. Is it from lack of eliminations (which causes many ailments)?

37. Hence quantities of water, as well as an alkalizer, as well as a booster to assimilating forces, are beneficial things towards producing a balance so that the cold and its consequences may be the more readily or easily eliminated or eradicated.

38. Do not neglect to take the precautions first. Then if there is the contraction, determine the weakened factor; knowing that what will aid that portion of the body to more easily attain an equilibrium will prove to be the most beneficial.

39. Many things in many ways are beneficial to those who have contracted cold, - dependent, to be sure, upon the general constitution of the body, the amount of vitamins stored in the system, and so on. Also the response depends greatly on whether or not there is the opportunity given for rest, and the not eating too much, so that the body may be aroused to gain its equilibrium.

40. Hence it is necessary that there be given the booster for those portions of the body needing the stimulation; and those elements that produce more of vital energies are the more helpful influences.

41. Ready for questions.

42. (Q) What diet is recommended once the cold has been contracted?

(A) This depends upon what is the condition. It may be one cause or another that has weakened the system. More generally, the liquid diet is best - or that the more easily assimilated that carries the greater strengthening ability to all portions of the body. Not heavy or solid foods, then. Little of meats, unless given at the period of recuperation when those the more easily assimilated would be the better - such as fish, fowl or lamb, - never fried, however.

43. (Q) Is the absence of meat in the diet an important factor in avoiding colds?

(A) Not necessarily. It depends upon the combinations, rather than any one element that may be singled out as producing destructive forces. If rare meats are taken, or those that have the life in same, in such measures as to set up a weakening of some portion of the digestive forces, in the attempt of the body to assimilate, it may produce a condition of susceptibility. In that case meats should be avoided by that particular body, or in such quantities at least.

44. (Q) Do ultra-violet ray lamps help to prevent colds?

(A) There are periods when the ultra-violet ray may be a factor in preventing such. The body is less susceptible to colds in the summer periods, when there is more of the violet ray obtained from the activity of the sun and its radiations or radionic activity upon the body. Hence in the winter periods when there is the lack of sunshine, or when there is little of it absorbed by the body, the use of such rays at times would naturally be beneficial; though it may be OVERDONE.

45. (Q) Are osteopathic treatments of particular value in the case of a cold?

(A) It depends upon what they are for, and at what stage given. If there is tautness by draft upon portions of the body, either from exposure at time of sleeping or at time of general activity, the relaxing of the body through osteopathic treatments is MOST beneficial as a preventative measure. Let this be considered in relationship to osteopathy:

As a SYSTEM of treating human ills, osteopathy - WE would give - is more beneficial than most measures that may be given. Why? In any preventative or curative measure, that condition to be produced is to assist the system to gain its normal equilibrium. It is known that each organ receives impulses from other portions of the system by the suggestive forces (sympathetic nervous system) and by circulatory forces (the cerebrospinal system and the blood supply itself). These course through the system in very close parallel activity in EVERY single portion of the body.

Hence stimulating ganglia from which impulses arise, - either sympathetically or functionally, - must then be helpful in the body gaining an equilibrium.

46. (Q) At what stage in the development of a cold should an individual be isolated from others so as to prevent spread of a cold?

(A) At the time the temperature produces an unbalancing, or when there is sneezing or coughing. For, these are as precautionary measures of the system in attempting to throw off the germ itself. It is much the same as a horse wagging its tail to eradicate a fly that bites it! If there is pressure upon the mucous membranes, there is the convulsion or spasmodic reaction to eradicate or to throw off the germ that is biting in, see? This then is thrown off by cough or sneeze and is contagious and infectious by mere contact, see?

47. (Q) In a general way, any medicines or remedies recommended?

(A) As has been indicated.

48. We are through for the present.

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