You can kick, scream, whimper, and moan all you want, but when cold season is here, there’s nothing you can do about it.

Germs and viruses are on doorknobs, chairs, pens, even the air you breathe.

Sure, you could use bleach, hand sanitizer, and antibacterial soap, but try as you might, you can’t sterilize your whole environment (and to be honest, trying to kill all microbes isn’t the best option).

The one thing you can influence is the terrain inside your body, and how well equipped your body is to react to bacteria and viruses when they invade.

If you follow this step-by-step guide, you will know how to build your defenses against the common cold, have an arsenal of strategies to prevent a tickle in your throat from becoming a so bad that you are bed-ridden, and learn how to use home remedies to reduce the length of the common cold.


Phase I: Preparation

Eat the Rainbow

Fruits and vegetables are packed full of vitamins that keep your body in tip-top shape.

Eating fruits and vegetables with every meal will help your immune system have all the tools it needs to build up its defenses, and in fact, fruit and vegetable supplements have been shown to reduce the incidence of the common cold by 20% .

But don’t just eat potatoes.

The more colorful your fruits and vegetables, the more vitamins you’re getting, so eat the rainbow!


Stock Your Medicine Cabinet

If you do get sick, you’re not going to want to waste time running to the store for supplies.

Make sure you have everything you’ll need ahead of time so when that stuffy nose starts you’ll be prepared.


Things you should have on hand:

• Organic apple cider vinegar

• Elderberry syrup

• A small tub (for a foot bath)

• Rosemary oil

• Wool socks (if you don’t already own some)

• Fresh garlic

• Zinc lozenges

• Vitamin C (any form)

• Occilococcinum (Use as directed)


Rest and Relax

Studies have shown that stress can alter your immune function and can therefore hinder your body’s ability to fight off diseases like the common cold.

If you’re feeling stressed, make sure you schedule time to decompress, and use stress reducing techniques throughout the day.

If time is limited, at least step outside and breathe for 5 minutes, or take a hot bath instead of a shower. Little habits like this can make a huge difference in how you feel overall.

Also, if you’re feeling tired, make sleep your #1 priority.

Germs have the upper hand when you’re tired, so don’t let yourself get run-down.

If this means going to bed at 8 rather than watching your favorite TV show, do it.

Letting your body rest when it needs to is one of the best defenses you can give it.

Wear a Scarf and Warm Socks

According to Chinese medicine, the symptoms of a cold usually reflect what is called a Wind invasion.

Keep your defensive shield up and protect your neck with a scarf in chilly weather.

The bottoms of your feet are also very vulnerable to cold, so keep them cozy with warm socks and keep yourself warm from the outside in.


Phase II: Prevention

The Wet Sock Treatment

You start to feel a little achy, your nose is getting stuffy, you’re grumpy, and thirsty, and your throat hurts.

My friend, it’s time to use the wet sock treatment.

Do it as soon as you feel any symptoms, and it will work best if you do it three nights in a row.


Elderberry Syrup

Now is your chance to tap into that well-stocked medicine cabinet and whip out the elderberry syrup.

Elderberries are well known for their healing properties.

When you’re feeling under the weather, every half an hour or so, take a spoonful of elderberry syrup.

If the taste is too strong, mix it into some sparkling water or tea.

Or you can just take a dropper-full of the tincture if the syrup is inconvenient.

There’s a good chance these powerful berries will have you feeling better faster.



If you have access to a sauna, now is a good time to use it.

Don’t wait to develop a cough and severely runny nose though, make sure you go ahead of time, and use it the right way for full therapeutic effect.


Phase III: Recovery

We all get sick sometimes.

Life happens, and sometimes we don’t have the opportunity to take care of ourselves as well as we would like.

If you find yourself with a full-blown common cold, see it as an opportunity to focus on yourself and getting better.

Your health is the priority now, and your body is forcing you to pay attention for a reason.

When you get sick, don’t try to power through it.

If you take care of yourself, you’ll feel better sooner than if you ignore your symptoms.


Here are some home remedies to help you recover faster:

• Keep eating vegetables, especially boiled or steamed

• Keep drinking elderberry syrup in warm water

• Stay warm and hydrated

• Avoid cold, raw, processed, sugary (including fruits), and dairy foods

• Eat lots of fresh garlic

• Try taking a shot of apple cider vinegar once or twice a day, or splash it on some cooked veggies.

• Suck on zinc lozenges throughout the day

• Take lots of vitamin C supplements


Remember, precautionary measures are your best defense against the common cold.

If your internal landscape is balanced, it’ll be hard for external invaders like bacteria and viruses to stand a chance.

But if they do manage to invade your system, take care of yourself, and ask for help when you need it.

Ignoring the symptoms rarely works, and often leaves you sicker, longer.

Rest when you need to, eat simple nutritious foods when you’re hungry, and follow these steps when you’re feeling down. You should be better in no time!


*As always, visit your doctor when you’re sick and check with them before you try new home remedies.

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