My Best At-Home Cold Remedies

Shortly after I got back from my recent trip to Maui, I caught a terrible cold. It was a viral infection so antibiotics weren’t an option and I had to simply wait it out. When you catch a seasonal bug, it can be so disorienting both physically and mentally.

I hate how I feel when I’m sick. In just a day you can go from feeling invincible, strong, smart and capable, to foggy, dizzy, tired, weak and achy! It’s a huge reminder to me that we have strong spirits but happen to live in a body that is equal parts complex and fragile.

Getting sick really left me feeling a bit helpless, but I’ve picked up some great tips along the way to soothe your symptoms as you let your body fight off the infection. Check out my recommendations, and let me know your top tips too!

Sore Throat or Cough

Gargling with warm, salted water – warm water works too, but the salt will dramatically soothe a very sore, red throat. In those first few days when you’re throat is swollen and sandpapery, do this a few times each day to help reduce the swelling and tenderness. And then sip on warm water, or tea throughout the day.

Ginger tea, or Lemon tea, with honey – these all work to cut through any congestion and keep soothing your throat or cough, as well as helping clear a stuffy nose. Ginger tea in particular is a great remedy. A compound in ginger called gingerol reduces inflammation in your sinuses and nose, relieving pressure and swelling.


Sinus Pressure or Congestion

Vick’s Vapor Rub – If you have pain around your forehead, face, nose or throat, my favorite trick is to slather on a good layer of Vick’s vapor rub on topically on my forehead, nose and above my lip, and even on my neck and upper chest. Breathing in the minty cool scent can help instantly clear a stuffy nose. My mom’s tried and true trick, she says to put some also on the soles of your feet! Do this at bedtime and cover up with socks, I have no idea why, but this odd application seems to work for me (and seems to be gaining traction online!)

Alka Seltzer or TheraFlu medicine tea – This is my favorite form of cold medicine! You get all the relief of medication and pain reliever but also all the wonderful soothing effects of a nice hot tea! The nighttime one really helped me sleep well and calm down a sore throat. It can be tough to swallow pills when your throat is tender! So this is a much better option.

Lots of citrus – No surprise here. The boost in vitamin C is going to help your immune system fight off your infection and the citrus really helps cut through congestion.

Soups and Broth! – I’m sure we all remember having chicken noodle soup as a child when catching a cold, but there’s so much benefit to this age old trick! I would advise making your own soups fresh, a crock pot is great for this. Just through some hearty veggies like carrots, onions and sweet potato and some meat on the bone and let it slow simmer. Some great spices to include here would be ginger, garlic, black pepper and red pepper.


If you’re battling a cold, I hope some of these tricks help! And if you’re well, keep washing your hands and stay well!

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