I’m not sure if getting six colds this flu season makes me more or less capable of writing this post. Yes, I get sick a lot, but that means I’m always testing home remedies to get better on the cheap. Either way, I know first hand that getting sick eats up valuable time off and costs a lot of money. Here are a few remedies to recover your health.
Note, I am not a medical professional and this is not intended as medical advice!
1. Avoid sick people. Seems simple but it is hard to pull off because sick people hide their illnesses like the plague.
2. Drink orange juice or take Vitamin C. I like the powder Emergen-C packets but they are expensive.
3. Get extra sleep. Even if it’s only 30 minutes, extra rest always helps.
4. Wash your hands. My doctor told me last month that it is the vigorous rubbing that washes off bad bacteria, not that I’m giving up water and soap just yet.
5. Drink tea. You can make pots of super cheap tea with fresh slices of ginger, lemon, and honey. Tasty!
6. Avoid extra sugar. Not sure how true this one is because organge juice has a lot of sugar in it, as does honey (obviously).
7. Gargle with salt water. Years ago my doctor told me to use hot water (though nothing close to what would burn your mouth) because the heat takes away tonsil soreness temporarily.
8. Rinse out your nasal passages with a Neti pot, which is becoming more popular thanks to Oprah. Running salt water through your nose to loosen mucus is not fun, but it’s better than getting a bacterial infection due to a clogged nose!
9. Make a heating pad for sore backs. Get a small towel very damp then microwave it for 30 seconds. It should be pipping hot. VERY carefully apply it to a sore or aching back, making sure that it does not burn the skin. Add more water and re-heat as needed.
What do you do to stay healthy? Do you make your own throat lozenges? Do you eat fresh garlic? Do you use a cloth hanky instead of disposable tissues? I’d really like to try your suggestions!
UPDATE: Readers shared a lot of great suggestions, some of which I’m pasting below.
Jenni Porter has an unusual suggestion:
When anyone in my house (four kids and 2 adults) has the sniffles, we swear by sticking cotton swabs in the hot/warm salt water and swabbing out the snot in our noses. Salt shrinks nasal passages and kills bacteria: excellent for snotty noses that might lead to something more sinister. NO ONE in our family has been on antibiotics since I started doing this last spring at the onset of the Swine flu.
Carol Lee said:
I’m not a medical professional either, but I highly recommend Echinacea w/Goldenseal capsules at the first sign of a sore throat or cold. Three times this flu season, I’ve felt as if a cold was coming on, so I popped just one of these capsules and Voila! no cold! It’s not recommended to take them continuously, just take one if you think you might be catching a cold. I hope it works for you as well as it has for me. The brand I take is NatureMade – 305 mg Active. PS I always wait for a BOGO sale to buy my supplements, especially since you don’t have to buy two of the same thing.
Marie has a simple technique for office workers:
In the office I started using a headset on my office phone. It has cut down on colds to only 1 a year ! People think nothing of picking up a handset to talk but I have never had anyone put on my headset to use my phone. Also wipe down my keyboard and desk area with disinfecting wipes during the day.
Living Doll knows of something better than the Neti pot:
Nice tips! I want to add that the Netipot is kind of old school. A better design is the Nasal Rinse : http://www.neilmed.com/usa/sinusrinse.php. A friend of mine recommended this to me as I occasionally getting pounding sinus headaches. This will give you relief within 1-2 uses and doesn’t require taking any medication (which I try to avoid). They are pretty cheap and you can easily clean it after using, tuck it away and re-use.