Comforts for the Common Cold

I never get sick.

So when a nasal cold hit me like a ton of bricks after a bachelorette weekend in Miami I went down hard for the count. I guess a diet of cocktails and fried food is not what my Californicated body really wants. I was also really stressed out from Christmas, New Year’s, family stuff, flying on an airplane and just being away. It’s no surprise my body broke down and was calling for down time.

I crowdsourced a few suggestions on my Facebook on how-to deal with a cold and I got lots of amazing suggestions. Here’s what worked for me and made me feel a bit better:


1) Cutting an Onion in Half – Believe it or not, this worked. Sure, there’s no scientific theory to really back this up, but cutting an onion in half and putting it in a bowl in my bedroom and living room actually made me feel better. The chemical in onion that makes your eyes water actually helped clear and soothe my sinuses and made me feel better. I would definitely do this again.



2) Soothing Tissues – My nose was raw from blowing it so much, so I recommend you get two boxes of those special soothing tissues with lotion, Vick’s or a cooling layer built in to make your nose feel better. It’s an extra dollar a box – but totally worth it.


Photo + Recipe from She Lives Clean

Photo + Recipe from She Lives Clean

3) DIY Hot Lemon + Ginger Drink – I made this as an acetaminophen-free version of Neo Citron, which I love – but I had A LOT of cold medication during the day and didn’t want to overdo it. I followed this recipe from She Lives Clean and it works wonders to soothe your throat before bed. I also like the nutty taste of the coconut oil too and turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory.



4) Chicken Noodle Soup – When you’re sick, you don’t have time to make chicken noodle soup from scratch. So I go through the soup take-out rotation which usually starts with chicken noodle soup from the grocery store, matzo ball soup from my local deli, then wonton soup from my favorite Chinese restaurant, then I move on to pho, ramen and circle back to chicken noodle soup again. I try to buy fresh, made-from-scratch soup from the refrigerated section of my grocery store when I’m sick – it’s lower in sodium and tastes like homemade. Try my recipe for Chicken Soup with Dumplings.



5) Lots of Rest – I laid around in bed, read magazines and let myself be lazy and take lots of naps. Your body wants rest and it wants it now. I usually need to take a cold medication pill with something that makes you drowsy so I can sleep through the night. I also avoid coffee when I’m sick and limit myself to one cup of green tea if I really need a boost. Otherwise, I avoid sugar and caffeine if I can so I can sleep and rest as much as possible. If you need cheering up, see my 5 movies to rent.


7) Advil + Cold Meds – When my throat got sore, I found taking an Advil helped with getting rid of some of the pain. I took DayQuil and Contac-C and I found both helped with decongesting me, but didn’t make the cold go away any faster. It just made me a bit more comfortable, but I don’t like overdoing it. Read instructions before you mix!



8) Wellness Formula – It was too late for me, but Paul swears by these Wellness Pills that he buys at Whole Foods. He was popping them the whole time I was sick and he avoided catching my cold. It’s like Cold-FX and it works. I popped a couple near the end of my cold and I don’t think it did anything, it’s more of a pre-emptive thing.



9) Drink Lemon Water – Your body needs to stay hydrated so it can stay strong to fight off this cold. I filled up a large water bottle with water and squeeze in half a lemon for a natural boost of vitamin C. See my post on infusing your water with fruit for more ideas. I also rotated in chamomile tea with honey and lemon to soothe my throat, ginger ale and orange juice.



10) Bath Time – I took a bath every single day I was sick. It made me relax and just feel better. I recommend picking up some lavender scented bath salts to help with any aches and pains. The aromatherapy from the lavender will calm you.


What do you do to make yourself feel better when you’re sick with a cold or flu? Share your tips in the comments!