Crazy But Effective Ways to Get Rid of a Cold

by Allie Flinn

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From mainlining oregano oil to sipping a homemade vitamin-C concoction, we give our tips on how to get rid of a cold.

Getting sick is the *worst.* That’s why many of us spend cold and flu season slathering ourselves with all-natural hand sanitizer and staying far, far away from co-workers who so much as sniffle. (At Team HUM, we’re about ready to break out the hospital masks.) But even if you’re diligent about germ prevention, sometimes you still find yourself with a scratchy throat and raised temperature. (In a cruel twist of fate, that’s literally me right now as I’m writing.)

Since my coworkers and I work in health and wellness, we’re privy to some pretty cool/weird tricks. (For context, our office is covered in pink Himalayan salt lamps and bottles of essential oil blends.) I thought I’d reach out to them to see their tips on how to stop a cold. Below, see what members of Team HUM do when they feel a cold coming on.

How to Stop a Cold

If I start feeling sick, first I cancel any workout plans I have because I know I just need to rest. Then I’ll load up on oregano oil, lemon with hot water, chicken broth (loaded with cayenne, oregano, turmeric, black pepper, and more lemon), and then gargle with salt water. If I feel an itch in my throat or think it might be allergy related (which it almost always is especially during transition periods between seasons!), I’ll use a colloidal silver nose spray. Then I sleep as much as I can, don’t talk to anyone, and watch movies.

—Athena, Director of Education

Squeeze the juice from one lemon and one orange into a saucepan and simmer for five minutes with garlic and fresh chili pepper. Pour into a mug, add some honey (Manuka is the best), and enjoy. It works because it contains tons of vitamin C, plus natural antibiotics and soothing honey.

—Walter, CEO and Co-Founder

The moment I think I’m sick, I run to Whole Foods and take a wellness shot. If possible, I try to get an acupuncture appointment ASAP and some Chinese herbs. I believe both help lessen the duration of a cold. Next, I up my water intake and pop about 4,000 mg of vitamin C daily. I also use a neti pot in the morning and at night. Most importantly, I rest! No workouts, no socializing; I get in bed early and chill. My colds don’t last more than 3 days! Who has time to be sick?

—Vanessa, Director of Sales

At the first sign of illness, I go to urgent care for a throat culture/flu swab/etc. I don’t mess around. And in conjunction to that, I also do the following:

Hydrate:

– Replace coffee with Holy Grail or turmeric tea

– Replace all other non-water beverages with a mix of turmeric, one lemon, lots of ginger, and organic grapefruit juice (or Juice Crafters if I’m feeling $$$)

– Eat whole and healing foods (mostly bone broth with shredded chicken, veggies, and rice)

Take It Easy and Not Feel Guilty:

– Go to bed early and sleep in

– No exercising

– Let any chores and non-essential stuff wait (or let someone else do it)

Miscellaneous:

– Obsessively wash hands and all surfaces I touch (doors, phone, computer, mouse, switches)

– Replace toothbrush

– Wash all pillowcases, duvets, towels etc. I’ve breathed on

– Add eucalyptus oil to steaming water, put face over steam with towel draped overhead, then breathe in and out

—Amy, Senior Director of Digital Marketing

The moment I feel a cold coming on, I start taking Boiron ColdCalm. They’re little pills packed with homeopathic ingredients. Then I pop zinc lozenges throughout the day (with food, because they can upset a sensitive stomach). I also try and eat a lot of whole foods that contain vitamin C, like spinach and oranges. I drink a ton of bone broth because it’s full of so many good nutrients, including protein.

Lastly—and this is my favorite one—I have a hot toddy before I go to bed. One year when I had bronchitis, I couldn’t sleep because I was coughing so hard, so the doctor recommended whiskey and honey and it put me right to sleep. Normally alcohol before bed leads to worse sleep, but when you have a stuffed up nose, whiskey acts as a decongestant. It also makes you super sleepy, so you can actually get rest (which is notoriously hard to do when you’re sick). I mix whiskey with hot water, honey, and lemon juice, and sip it right before bed. Drinking too much will hinder your body’s ability to fight off infection, so I stick to one and wake up much more refreshed than if I had popped NyQuil.


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