Saturday night the reality of being sick struck hard. Sneezing, followed by a desire to sleep constantly, but not being able to because of the knife-like headache my sinuses were causing from a slow drip in the back of my throat that would cause me to wake up at night uncontrollably coughing.
But the following Wednesday morning I was supposed to be on live (yes, live) TV.
I was on a deadline to get healthy
As I blew my nose into a soft mountain of tissues, I kept having nightmares that in the middle of demonstrating a product on air, I would sneeze all over the host or end up in a coughing fit that rendered me incapable of speaking.
No, this could not happen. I had to kick the crap out of this cold in under 5 days, and I did it!! (Proof is in the video clip.)
Here are my 9 tips on how to get over a cold FAST, and naturally
As you read, you’ll notice this ain’t no quick-tip article. I backed everything with detail, research and reasons why.
It is a serious commitment to do all of this.
Just a warning, when you see the recipe at the very bottom for my Immune Boosting Smoothie that I affectionately call “Witch’s Brew”, you may think I’m a bit insane.
But the commitment is worth it! I’m healthy again and this is how I did it.
Oh and I’m not a doctor (disclaimer) and remember, you’ve got to do what’s best for you. This is just what worked for me.
#1 Epsom salt + Eucalyptus Oil Bath
Sinking into a hot bath will help raise body temperature acting like a fever to help kill off unfriendly bacteria. Adding in epsom salt flushes out nasty toxins as well as calming head and body aches. Eucalyptus Oil has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, that in a steaming bath eased my breathing, while it worked its magic on my lungs.
While we all wish we could lay in the bath for hours when we’re sick, it’s usually best to set a limit (I cap it around 30 minutes). So when the water starts to cool off, I bundle up and turn on my trusty humidifier.
In 7 winter skin care rules one of our skin gurus shared that using a humidifier is essential for hydrating skin all winter long, and it does the same for lungs and sinuses! Mucho importante if you want to get better quicker.
#3 A few extra Vitamins
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to significantly reduce the length of most illnesses. I take two 500mg capsules daily and for me this does the trick.
It’s important to bump up Vit-C intake, but not to over do it! Too much can toxify your body, instead of helping it.
How much vitamin C is too much? Find out here.
Zinc is a system booster and may keep cold viruses from replicating and taking up residence in the nose and throat. I take two 30mg capsule supplements a day to pump up my defenses.
Just like with Vitamin C, taking too much zinc isn’t necessarily better.
#4 Sinus Massage
Massaging sinuses a few times a day can really help relieve pressure and get everything flowing again.
Gently press your fingers onto the points listed 1-4. I like to make light, circular motions and work each spot for about 30 seconds.
We made you a handy little chart, because frankly all the other ones on the internet for sinus acupressure were kinda scary looking.
#5 Thieves Oil
This is a favorite old fashioned remedy. Massaging Thieves oil into the soles of my feet felt SO good! Especially when I was able to get somebody else to do it for me…
It is a really powerful way to support the immune system and also acts as a natural antibacterial. Thieves is a blend of clove, cinnamon bark, rosemary, lemon and eucalyptus essential oils, so it smells lovely too!
Ethica makes Thieves Guard with certified organic ingredients (big fan of the pesticide-free oils!) that you can buy from Amazon here.
If you know someone who sells Young Living Oils you can get Thieves through them too.
(YLO reps – do not post your personal sales sites in the comments. They will be deleted.)
#6 Lip Balm your Nose
We covered this weird, yet effective idea in a recent article and as strange as it sounds, top skin experts promise that applying a layer of natural lip balm on the inside on your nostrils protects the skin.
Keeping this area from drying out will help with irritation from constant nose blowing and prevent aggravating the sinuses even further which actually makes colds stick around longer.
#7 Rest Rest Rest!
It is SO important to get lots of extra sleep when you are feeling sick. It gives your body the chance to recharge and focus on ridding itself of all nasty bacteria before it can reproduce. Being too active while you are sick distracts your body lengthens the healing process. So get cozy and let yourself relax.
I’ll admit the night I was having a hard time sleeping (waking up myself and my cat with my hacking), I took half a dose of an over-the-counter medicine to help dry up my nose. I’m not a big pill popper. But my mom’s voice rang in my ear alway reminding me, it’s better to sleep than to suffer if you want to speed up healing. I felt a ton better the next morning.
#8 Energy Healing
Like many of you out there, I am into the woo-woo and I got some energy healing done. I have always had great experiences with this modality of healing, so I stick with it.
The next day I felt a lot better. Was it just that alone? Maybe not. I’m sure it was a combination of all I had already been doing. Because if I’d been out drinking every night till 2am, I don’t think energy healing would’ve made much of a dent in that bad behavior.
#9 Drink Your Way To Health
Not the “bad behavior” kind of drinking I was just talking about!
First, make sure you are drinking plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.
Next, take your medicine in the form of powerful plants and herbs.
I went to a local place called Kiva here in Portland that’s a cafe, eatery, tea shop AND spa (my favorite things ever!) for the “Flu Fighter” tea (pictured above) made with fresh ginger, lemon, honey, turmeric, an immune boosting tonic, and cayenne. It was seriously delish and you could totally make this at home!
Immune Boosting Smoothie Recipe AKA Witch’s Brew
For those who are truly dedicated to the process, I strongly recommend my Witch’s Brew Green Smoothie that’s filled to the brim with antioxidants, antimicrobial, antiviral, antibiotic AND probiotic ingredients. This concoction jumpstarts the system – read all the benefits if each ingredient further below.
I drank it, making sure to chew a little bit before swallowing, to start digestive enzymes flowing and help my body assimilate all the beneficial nutrients. Then I burrowed down, cast a wellness spell over myself and let my body handle the rest!
Warning: This smoothie isn’t sweet and it’s not for the faint of heart, but it works! See my goofy video below. (Special effects courtesy of my humidifier. Haha!)
Witch’s Brew Green Smoothie Ingredients
- 1 clove of raw garlic
- ½ inch of fresh ginger
- 1 handful of spinach
- 1 handful of kale and chard
- ¾ avocado
- 1 ½ scoop of my favorite Vibrant Health greens powder [buy]
- 2 tsp Mushroom Matrix – Lion’s Mane Organic Mushroom Powder [buy]
- 1-2 tsp chia seeds
- 2 tbs hemp seeds [buy the Non-GMO brand I like]
- ¾ – ½ banana
- ½ bag of mix frozen berries
- add water and/or almond milk as needed to liquify the blend
* I choose to use all organic ingredients when possible and highly suggest you do too.
How does all this work to help get over a cold naturally you may ask?
Here are the smoothie’s benefits:
- Garlic is an ancient remedy that releases a powerful antibacterial called allicin when consumed raw.
- Ginger has been proven as an anti inflammatory and helps relieve a cough.
- Avocado contains 20 essential nutrients including vitamin K, dietary fiber, potassium, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C and copper. [Read why we call this the Green Gold of Beauty]
- Berries are inherently full of nutrient-rich building blocks such as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
- Bananas are a great source of potassium which helps keep your body hydrated, read more about the benefits of bananas here.
- Chia Seeds are complete protein rich in fiber, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and manganese.
- Mushroom powder is a serious kick in the butt to your immune system. Not is it full of protein, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antibiotics and antioxidants (basically all the things we love when trying to get over a cold), but it’s also relatively tasteless and easy to add into my favorite smoothie recipes.
Phew that was a lot!! I hope these ideas help you kick your cold to the curb in record time.
Do you have any tips for getting over a cold fast? I’d love to hear some of your favorites in the comments below!
Research assistant and graphic design by Emily Criswell