Fresh Living

Fresh Living

How to Kick a Cold

IMG_1839.JPGQuick, help!  Sore throat/runny nose emergency!  I need your ideas for how to kick this cold out of Dodge, like NOW.

I wouldn’t be so alarmed about a winter sniffle, except that I am scheduled to visit my newborn nephew this weekend, and I’d hate for his first memory of his aunt to be a) the weirdo who gave me a virtual hug from across the room or b) that lady who smells like Purell. 


My “nip it in the bud” cold strategies are all of the liquid variety: it’s all about tea.  I busted out my biggest mug, and I’m self-medicating through the healing power of tea.

Round one was a lemongrass green tea with a big blob of honey stirred in (honey is not only an anti-inflammatory, but it is also supposed to boost your immune response).

Round two, which I’m currently sipping, is an orange spice white tea with a hunk of crystallized ginger submerged inside.  Ginger is best known for its properties as a digestive aid, but it is also a decongestant and lends a nice zing to the tea.


Round three will most likely be good old fashioned lemon water.  Between the immune-boosting vitamin C and the anti-viral power of this amazingly healing fruit, I should be good to go.

How do you kick a cold before it takes hold?  Please (please!) share.   

  • Your Name

    Best cold remedy ever : Airborn (2 tabs) every two hours, three times coupled with zicam (1 tab) every hour for same duration. Loads of water, at least one liter every 1- 1 1/2 hours the more the better to flush that nasty virus out. If symptoms turn flu-like track down some yin ciao capsules at your local health food store. Take two capsules every two hours, 6-8x’s daily. Works wonders, guaranteed !!!

  • Your Name

    I think if your name’s suggestion works for most people,i will
    try to do that just to take that cold out of my system because
    really it is i think my cancer,please help me flush it out!!!
    I understand how most people feel but i have to heal myself,the
    colds out before i can help others!if tequilla shot can help because
    i have proven it effective to flush out those virus,maybe it’s a safe option too.

  • Ann

    Dear comment above me, I am so sorry about your cancer- I will pray for your healing. When I feel I am getting a cold I take Corriciden. (sp?) They have many different kinds for different kinds of colds and if you get the high blood pressure ones there is no psuedoephedrine in them so you won’t feel jazzed up and you can get some rest.

  • Sherrin

    Medications like coricidin do not help get rid of a cold. They relieve symptoms and may actually cause the cold tp stay longer. I agree with the person who suggested zicam–good stuff.


    ZICAM all the way…. it’s the only product I’ve used that seems to nip my colds in the bud!

  • Katrina

    A nice “HOT” cup of tea, 2 tyelonol, plenty of water and a good night’s rest is a good remedy too…. I have to agree, the over the counter med’s just mask the symptom’s of a cold. Need to flush out germ and let your body do it’s natural battle of toxins….

  • Terri

    Hi. My 14 yr old daughter sometimes starts with a cough, when I hear her getting congested or coughing I begin a regiment of 1 (500 mg) garlic tablet and one 500 mg caplet of oil of oregano-each 3 times per day. She seems to show improvement within 24 hours. She was skeptical at first. But she cant find argument with natural results.
    For myself, a former twice a year sinus infection sufferer, I began to use a neti pot daily (more often if feeling congested ) I simply use a very small amount of kosher salt in warm water to wash out my sinuses. The salt kills bacteria and the warm water flushes out the germ filled mucus. It takes a little getting used to for some, my advice is just relax while using it and if you feel the water going down your throat, just press your tongue up against the roof of your mouth and it will stop.
    Best wishes.

  • Lisa Taylor

    – The tea with honey and lemon are great!
    – But take LOTS of vitamin C with ecinacea. (This combo is amazing)
    – Some good home made chicken noodle soup (it really does work),
    – Lots of fluids.
    – Rest.
    This combination (especially the C and echinacea – generally knocks it out!)
    Depending on how bad we feel – we take some actifed to relieve the symptoms, but like an earlier poster said – that is only for symptoms and if it is more than a cold, it can cause you to retain that problem longer.
    Worst case you could wash up really well, or wear a mask or not hold him. We had to wear a mask around my brother when he was a baby so he wouldnt get sick.
    Best of luck!

  • Captain Haddock

    1+ for Zicam.
    My wife says the Emergen-C packets help her.
    Quercetin maybe.

  • Your Name

    When ever I feel a cold comming on I take two chewables of 500mg Vitamin C in the morning and again two more before going to bed with a glass of OJ, and I am “good to go”. I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years, and it still does the trick for me. 😉

  • Donna

    I agree with everybody that mentioned vitamin C. Since this is one vitamin that you cannot take too much of (as some have toxic levels), I take it until my trips to the bathroom are bright yellow. And tea is good for LOTS of things, so that’s a definite also. If you add honey, make sure the honey is produced locally in order to be affective on your immune system. That way, the pollens it is produced from come from local flowers and is much more affective on things you are exposed to than to things that aren’t even in your system. And lots of rest, so your body can concentrate all its efforts on getting well.

  • Your Name

    My daughter also starts off with a cough mainly at night when she goes to bed. i was told by an amish friend to put vicks rub on the bottom of her feet pretty thick then put socks on. all i can say is it works… it actually stopped the cough within 30 minutes and lasted all night . If it is a cronic cough then it only helps but does not take the cough away. I have spread the word around to others and they have told me it was succesful for them as well..

  • Penny

    First sign of a sore throat, I mix equal parts of vinegar and honey and take 3 table spoons several times a day. the vinegar kills bacteria.

  • Jill

    This one I KNOW!!!
    Typically when you first get an infection your white blood cells come out fighting and kill the virus or bacteria in your nose and throat. For some reason, you must be short on white blood cells up in there. No problem your body will make more. Unless… don’t have enough vitamin C (IN YOUR NOSE, SINUS AND THROAT). This is really important. The mitochondria use vitamin C in the creation of white blood cells. But it is required at the location where the white blood cells are needed. If you have a cold, chances are you have “scurvy” in your face!!!
    Here’s what I do to get that vitamin C just “where” it is needed. I crack open a capsule and pour it into my mouth. It is very sour but I swish it around and let it slide slowly down my throat. I do this all day. Also, I always have a jar of DMSO around the house. This is an amazing product – google it! Mix the vitamin C with the DMSO to make a paste. Then gargle with it and spit it out. Put some on a Q-tip and swab it up into your nose. Wash your face really well and then massage the paste into your forehead and cheeks so that it absorbs into your sinus.
    If you do this at the first sign of a cold, it will not progress any farther.
    Also, gargle with hydrogen peroxide. This is another miracle cure. And finally take lots of apple cider vinegar.
    Virus and bacteria are anaerobic organisms that thrive in a low oxygen, acidic environment. Things that make you alkaline and full of oxygen will generally prevent a cold or flu.
    For more information google: hydrogen peroxide natural cure
    google DMSO, google apple cider vinegar. Google alkaline body pH.
    Lots of great information out there.
    Good luck!!

  • Morry

    I learned this from a Harvard research biochemist — it’s based on modern knowledge that confirms the old adage “starve a fever and FEED a cold.” Bottom line the therapy for the cold is: eat a big steak and rest. Your immune system sets up “production lines” to make the antibodies that will fight the invader making you ill. These antibodies are made primarily from amino acids, the elements of protein. So… you want your body flooded with an ample supply of as many of these “building blocks” of antibodies as possible, which you can supply your body with by ingesting ample supplies of protein that is as “complete” as possible, and red meat is the most complete source of essential proteins available. The first time I tried it I was shocked. I’d had several onsets of cold/flu system that winter, each of which had persisted for 3-8 days. I ate an ample portion of a good steak on the evening when I next got those symptoms, and awoke cured in the morning. I think this principle is part of the reason why “chicken soup” has a good record as a cold cure — because it too has at least traces of protein that is almost complete protein, and it is in easily digestible/absorbable form. But red meat has the most balanced proportions of complete protein, so that WHATEVER the formula your immune system comes up with for the antibody needed to kill off the invader, it will NOT lack for supplies to build that antibody if you have made sure that ample supplies of complete protein are made available to it. A shortage of just one of the necessary ingredients will restrict “production” of the needed antibody by your immune system, which is why it is so important to make sure you have ample supplies of the COMPLETE variety of basic amino acids, such as are all available in significant quantity in red meat.

  • Clarence

    For colds, I have found that GRAPEFRUIT is one of the best remedies. At the first signs of a cold, I eat one or two grapefruits cut in quarters so the juice gets all over your face and I am swinging from the chandleers in no time feeling like a million dollars !!!

  • Nicole

    I have read a few books written by Louise L. Hay. Her approach to disease (or dis-EASE) is that there certain thought patterns that create it. If we change those patterns we can change any outcome.
    From my actually trying her method of healing, I can say there’s a lot of validity.
    For Colds (Upper Respiratory Illness/ Respiratory Ailments):
    Too much going on at once. Mental confusion, disorder. Small hurts. “I get three colds every winter,” type of belief.
    Healing Thoughts=
    I allow my mind to relax and be at peace. Clarity and harmony are within me and around me. ALL IS WELL.

  • Judi

    Re comment by Jill “Viruses and bacteria are anaerobic organisms that thrive in a low oxygen, acidic atmosphere” If this were indeed true, using VINEGAR (Chemical name -GLACIAL ACETIC ACID) and Vitamin C (chemical name – Ascorbic ACID) would be counterproductive, as both are ACIDS, hence, the bacteria would THRIVE. How is it possible to consume ACIDIC substances and create an ALKALINE environment? It seems to fly in the face of everything I learned in SEVERAL chemistry courses in my college career! I learned that is you add acidic substances to something, IT WILL BECOME ACIDIC< NOT ALKALINE!!!
    Perhaps you need to doa bit more research into the basics of pH, before you attempt to “teach” the subject. I’m sure these thing work for you, and they may work for countless others – my deceased husband used to swear by the power of Vitamin C, megadosing with it at the first hint of a cold, and effectively “curing” himself. However, PLEASE get your basci info straight before you pass it on to others!

  • Camille

    I think an old fashioned HOT TODDY works great. My chiropractor from Missouri once told
    me you drink the first one slowly, then drink the second one fast and go to bed, cover up
    and sweat it out!!
    Recipe–1 jigger of whiskey, 2 – 3 tablespoons honey, 1 – 2 tablespoons lemon juice and
    Heat the water, then add honey, whiskey and lemon juice and microwave until it is hot once again, but
    not too hot, you do not want to lose the alcohol!!

  • Merriel

    To prevent or cut colds short, I take a garlic/parsley tablet and a Vitamin C tablet every morning, from Oct. 1 through April 1. This has worked for me for 25 yrs. This year an extremely tough strain of cold finally got me, but usually I get a sniffle and it is gone the next day. Try my treatment! It really works!
    God Bless You,

  • Your Name

    My magic trio is vitamin C, echinacea, and zinc lozenges at the first little sore throat or sniffle. Of course, maintaining a strong immune system with good sleep, diet, exercise, and healthy attitude wards off those “bugs” before they can take hold.

  • Your Name

    I take 3,000 mg. Vit. C. all at once to blast it out of my system. Vit. C. is not toxic; any excess will just be released in your urine. Normally, you only have to take it for less than a week. When you want to go off of it though, go off gradually, eg. 2500 mg. the next week, 2,000 the week after. For some reason, you’ll feel excessively tired if you go off of it all at once. Normally, I take it at the first sign of a cold and it doesn’t even turn into one. The trick is to take it all at once (3,000 mg) – don’t try and break it up into small bits during the day because it won’t have the same effect. And it doesn’t work with the time release type either. A holistic health doctor told me about this, many years ago, and I’ve used it ever since – works like a charm! I’ve told my friends about it too and they’ve found that it works as well.

  • Faith

    Ancient Chinese remedy taught to me by Chinese grad student years ago:
    Boil water; add 1/2 tsp fresh (grated or cut) ginger, 1 clove fresh minced or pressed garlic, and 1 Tbsp honey. The honey helps it go down and coats the throat; the ginger and garlic both clear congestion and build immunity.
    Worth keeping a small piece of ginger in your fridge (and a bulb of garlic in kitchen), as it is very inexpensive and also great in stir-fry!
    Drink, rest, and repeat.

  • Lisa

    Zicam nasal gel works wonders in cutting down the time you suffer with a cold.

  • Your Name

    Good suggestions but with some minor modifications. Don’t add the honey to the tea. Bacteria, viruses and cancer all live on sugar – don’t feed them! Stay away from sugar and carbohydrates, that turn into sugar, while you are trying to beat a cold. Sugar decreases the ability of the immune system to functin, not to mention, sugar causes inflammation.
    Also, get adjusted by a chiropractor. Your immune system is controlled by your nervous system. If your nervous system has interference or pressure on it, then everything it controls (which is every single cell, tissue and organ in your body) can’t work at optimal capacity either. REST! Most of us think the world will go into a holding pattern if we are not there, but believe me the best thing for your body to fight anything is REST.
    If your throat is particulary painful, cut up raw ginger root, boil it and make a tea. It will be very strong, you will have to dilute it, but it’s great at relieving throat pain, not to mention the digestive benefits touted earlier.
    Lots and lots of water with fresh lemon. Besides the benefits stated above, the lemon helps cut through and break-up mucous and phlegm.
    Celestial Seasonings also has a fantastic herb tea called Wellness Tea with Echinachea. Echinachea helps support the immune system function. The tea is very tasty and it also has some menthol that is very soothing for a cold.
    Eat a light diet… vegetables, chicken soup, etc. The more energy your body has to use in digestion, the less it has for the immune system. But nutrition is necessary (even if you don’t feel like eating) to help your body function normally and prevent fatigue.
    Avoid a cold altogether by keeping a healthy immune system – eat right, exercise, reduce stress, keep a positive mental attitude, keep your nervous system functioning properly, stay away from medications and you’ll be GREAT!

  • Your Name

    I use a nasal irrigator and rinse religiously every night before I go to bed to prevent getting anything. COLDFx taken at the 1st sign of feeling under the weather helps me. And if I succumb then it’s lots of hot water with lemon and honey.

  • Your Name

    I get out my copy of Never Have Another Cold. It works every time. The key to my cold is based on my emotions. One of 11 keys in that little book applies to everyone. Save money spent on teas & potions. Just read that little book.

  • bonnie

    Cold and flu germs incubate and breed in your throat cuz it’s nice and warm and moist in there so at the first sign of sickness gargle with salt water to kill the little buggers. works every time!

  • Your Name

    There’s an ancient yogic cleansing technique, called Jala neti,that involves nasal irrigation using a neti pot, a ceramic container resembling a tea pot.
    You can do it yourself easily, without the neti pot. All you really need is water, salt, and baking soda (some folks just go with the water and salt)and the ability to tolerate pouring, or inhaling, water into your sinuses.’s Alternative Medicine section has easy to follow directions.
    People have continued to use this technique for centuries because it works.

  • Your Name

    I was fighting a cold with honey, lemon and cinnomon for a while and finally I had to go to the Doctor and get antibiotics. My head hurt so bad it felt like it was going to explode. In my case I lost the natural cure battle.

  • Dione

    I think the 1st key is determine what type of cold you have and where it is embedded in your body. After MANY bouts with flus, sinus infections, allergies, etc.)…YES your attitude does determine your recovery. However, LOTS of rest, garlic in your foods, lemon water (hot), hot fluids (soups & teas), apple-cider vinegar & water (for inflamed and painful throat), PLENTY of anti-oxidant possessive fruits and teas (with honey, fresh lemon, lime and/or orange slices) AND at night if don’t mind consuming alcohol, a nice “hot toddy” containing heated orange juice with brandy, whiskey or rum will help you sleep and sweat the illness out! P.S. – Adding Hall’s to your hot beverages helps greatly!

  • oatmealdragon

    Thank you!.
    Oatmeal Dragon

  • usa basketball shoes

    Not going up high, but sufficient practical, Never pursuing fashion, but in every day.Thisbasketball shoes outlet
    is so simple, fashion, classic,helping your home more pretty indeed! I know there’s a shop selling many in this style, you can also see again if there have more beautiful
    you like

  • Hyssop Health

    Hi Holly- have you considered using oil of oregano to help combat your cold. There are several scientific properties behind oil of oregano that can help you and it can be added to your tea.

  • girls brunette

    Rather interesting place you’ve got here. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read a bit more on that blog soon.
    Hilary Hakkinen

  • Kate Kuree

    Pretty nice place you’ve got here. Thanx for it. I like such topics and anything that is connected to them. I definitely want to read more on that blog soon.
    Kate Kuree
    exotic escorts

  • http://Http:// Christine

    Currently I’m using the following strategies to beat a cold: Bikram yoga, traditional medicinals tea, sleep (extra), positive thinking (sound cheesy? Try it. It helps!), and, de-stressing. Come to think of it, we could all use these strategies every day.

  • best cold remedy

    Enough rest boiled ginger works best for me.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment KD

    Does this rly work? I have a bad of allergies turning into sinusitus then into pneumonia but I can’t afford to go to the doctor. And I’m allergic to most allergy/cold medicines.

Previous Posts

Fare Well, Live Fresh...and Thanks
This is the post in which we say goodbye.  We're both leaving our respective jobs at Beliefnet, and so it's time to step away from the blog.So, this is the post in which we say saying thank you.  Thank you to you, the ...

posted 12:00:45pm Jul. 02, 2010 | read full post »

Waking Up to Your Dreams (by Wendy Schuman)
Are you a frustrated dreamer? I know I am. I often wake up with fragments of scenes echoing in my mind that seem really meaningful--but then I leap out of bed, start my morning routine, and in seconds they're gone. I want to linger in that realm ...

posted 2:21:32pm Jun. 24, 2010 | read full post »

Prayer for the Gulf from the 13 Grandmothers
Because I lack an engineering degree and don't understand why we can't just stop this thing NOW with a 10-ton wad of gum or giant boulder or massive Q-tip, I'll share more spiritual wisdom from elders. This is from the beautiful, amazing ...

posted 10:52:38am Jun. 21, 2010 | read full post »

Fresh Morning: Worry Away the Worry
"Worry is a prayer for something you don't want." - Sharon Gannon I love that. The other day someone expressed concern about my excessive worrying habit, and I've been contemplating on it ever since. Doing my best to actually ...

posted 9:14:40am Jun. 21, 2010 | read full post »

How Did You (or a Loved One) Heal from Cancer?
In addition to co-writing this blog and working at Beliefnet full-time, I'm writing a book. It's about how I got through cancer five years ago with a combination of heavy-duty Western meds and all I knew from my personal and journalistic ...

posted 3:08:46pm Jun. 18, 2010 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.