Pina Colada-like drink made by SoBe a/k/a Interferon in a Bottle. There's a belief out there that chugging a whole bottle of this will give you a 50/50 chance of curing (or at least keep you from getting) most viruses after being exposed, due to its echinacea/Vitamin C/zinc content. (The theory is that the stuff somehow disguises or makes your cells somehow distasteful to invaders, so they give up and go somewhere else instead.) The stuff has to be ice-cold, drunk at least as fast as you can stomach it, just as the first symptoms present themselves. Food doesn't dilute the effect, but you can't do this too often, else the rogue RNA will get wise and the stuff will lose its efficacity.

After having written a review of a movie where antiviral medicine played a large role, and having been exposed to a sore throat and feeling somewhat feverish thereby, I decided to toast the brave fallen (and modern medicine) at Tuesday supper discussion group at Christ Church, and determine the veracity of this rumor. Mindful of the dangers of fooling around with Strong Medicine, I figured that a minor cold would be a harmless enough virus to try banishing with this method. (Whether the active ingredient will produce, in much diminished form, the permanent scars on the immune system characteristic of other antivirals is not yet known -- I consider my experience a cellular tattoo.)

Support for my experiment came from all around: at least one member had had positive echinacea experiences before, one had worked in a clinic where antivirals were used, and most people wanted me well, in any case. Curiosity ran high as to how fast I'd be feeling better.

For the sake of decorum, I poured it out into two Styrofoam cups, and drank.

It was then that I discovered why it should be cold: warm Liz/Bliz is nasty, something like pulpified coconut with an undertow of garbage. Echinacea users agreed that that the garbage flavor was probably due to the echinacea, although some were strong partisans of the zinc. The antiviral person was not sure whether I'd feel anything immediately or not. Apparently because I'm not, personally, a virus, I managed to drink it without choking too much, and was able to eat my chicken salad without nausea (the fact that it had a bland, yet oily dressing helped a bit, too). I had several pieces of watermelon, as well, and felt a little less feverish. So far so good, though I left the group before Bible study to rest.

The next day I was back where I started from, hauled off to an actual doctor, told the tale, got an antibiotic, and my throat started to heal, thus proving that it was probably a bacterial problem, and therefore not to be fooled by funny-tasting fellow cells.

So all I can say about this rumor is that it definitely doesn't cure strep throat. Further work should be done, but preferably, by someone else.

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