So I’m sick. This annoys me because my sickness broke a record I’d been holding for the last year and a half of not getting sick. And before that, I hadn’t been sick in 5 years!
Last time I was sick (a year and a half ago), I was sick for an entire month! This was extremely annoying and excruciating because I was away working in 5 different cities in a row the entire time I was ill. And I didn’t have many of my natural remedies. So I’d be presenting to some customers in San Francisco, and my throat would burn in pain every time I swallowed, but I had to continue working for a few days and then immediately jump on a plane (still sick) to Chicago while sniffling the entire way. When I landed I’d get to work, talk to customers, then immediately have to run into a supply closet and blow my nose for the entire next show! I kept thinking the cold would stop but it continued through all 5 work cities, with symptoms changing the entire time, for over 26 days!
So without further ado, I’m going to tell you the best natural ways to prevent and fight a cold EARLY ON, because I caught that other one too late and never want that length of symptoms to happen to me again! Also, one of the reasons I think my sickness went on for so long last time and my first natural preventative tool is:
1. You have to get enough sleep!
I definitely wasn’t getting enough sleep last time I was sick, and I was traveling and working like crazy, so that didn’t help at all. Sleep goes a long way towards strengthening your immune system.
But in my 31 years, I’ve collected an arsenal of other natural remedies to try, especially when a cold or illness is just getting started- these cures work best to nip illnesses in the bud. I’ve been doing these now that I’ve been sick and I just kicked a fever and body aches within a day..and the latest cold is starting to subside, hopefully. Here are some of the best natural remedies I know:
1. Raw garlic
For many people this is a miracle cure. Eat raw garlic for health – anywhere from 2+ cloves a day (not the whole bulbs, just cloves..it’s not so bad). I’ve eaten anywhere from 3 to 8 cloves a day to try to kick the cold but I’m not being social right now. Brush your teeth really well and gargle Listerine if you’re gonna go meet anyone after this cure- especially your significant other.
Oh, and here are two brilliant ways to eat raw garlic without just chewing on a clove: 1. I like to make garlic toast- just heat any bread, add butter (or vegan earth balance), and top with raw garlic. 2. Alternatively, you can try simple guacamole: a bit of mashed avocado, raw garlic, salt, maybe some lime juice, and I add a drop of stevia. Or just add it to mashed avocado and call it a day.
2. Vitamin C Supplementation
I had a roommate once who never got sick. She swore by taking 5 vitamin C pills every 6 hours. I take anywhere from 2-5 every 6 hours..it won’t hurt- you’ll just pee out extra vitamin C anyway. Your body can’t retain it.
Once I had a boyfriend who would get so sick a couple of times a year that I was sure he was on death’s door every time. A friend of his recommended making him ginger tea, and it truly worked miracles. In fact, for some people, this is the most effective cure of all. Buy fresh ginger and peel it, then chop it up into 1/2 inch size pieces or so, and boil it. Drink the boiled water. When I’m getting sick, I drink a ton of this. Sometimes I add honey, a bit of almond milk, cinnamon, and turmeric for a yummy powerhouse drink.
4. Raw honey
I’ve lost my voice many a time because of both dairy sensitivities and loud shows where I’m talking a lot. Raw honey really helps with scratchy and sore throats and it seems to have some medicinal properties for colds as well. If you don’t have raw honey, any honey will do for its soothing quality.
5. Warm lemon water
I just started with this because I’m sick, but it’s hugely trendy right now. Lemons have a lot of vitamin C and are extremely alkalizing (a very good thing for your body). A lot of people I know swear by warm lemon water. If you want to try, it’s really easy: just squeeze half a a fresh lemon (not bottled lemon juice) into some room temperature or warm water and drink it first thing in the AM. Easy peasy.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Is there anything apple cider vinegar doesn’t do? It’s known to cure everything from stomach aches to digestive issues to high cholesterol to hiccups. Totally worth giving this magical cure a try. Just add a tablespoon or two of ACV to some water and drink it. You can even add some raw honey to this for extra effect and tastiness. I know people who drink this every morning.
Since I attempt to avoid dairy, I don’t eat yogurt often. However, the main nutrients in yogurt come from probiotics. So I take a probiotic supplement every morning instead. Probiotics help gut bacteria, promote good digestion, and I have a few friends who say they don’t get sick because of all the probiotics in their diet. You can get probiotics from food and drinks such as Kombucha tea and quality sauerkraut as well.
8. Green Juice/green smoothies
If you have access to a juicer or blender to make a green juice or a green smoothie first thing in the morning, either one is a great way to start your day. Green juices are mainly juiced vegetables, sometimes with an apple and lemon thrown in for taste and good measure. A green smoothie adds a handful or two of spinach, kale, or many other green leafy veggies to a fruit smoothie- and you can’t even taste the greens. These are great ways to sneak extra healing greens into your diet besides salads.
I eat so much fruit in the morning- a lot of times, fruit is my main breakfast. Fruit is packed with healing vitamin C to help ward off illness, plus many other vitamins to support your immune system. Simple bananas work well in the morning, and I’m into oranges or mangoes lately as well. If you don’t want to make a smoothie, plain fruit is a great (and easy) substitute.
Okay, well there you have it- a plethora of natural cold remedies to help you kick any illness that starts to rear it’s ugly head. Try one or try a few..or try them all. Let me know what you think! And stay well!