all-natural cold and flu remedies 101.

woke up this morning with a sore throat and a runny nose ~ so i thought this would be a good time to share some cold-busting tips i’ve learned over these years of being a singer.  i’ve also picked up some great additional tips listening to this awesome podcast, FOOD HEALS, out of southern california, and these two women really have some incredible ideas for healthy living.  they’re just two valley girls who are obsessed with juicing and healing your body with whole foods.  their valley girl accents crack me up, but they really speak the truth!

you all probably know most of these, but sometimes when we’re sick, we can’t think straight.  my hub literally gets this bewildered look in his eyes when he’s sick, like he suddenly doesn’t know what to do, and how could his body betray him.  he stops drinking anything at all and becomes paralyzed with confusion.  i think we all feel that way because our brains are feeling the sickness too.

so here’s a list of remedies you can refer to, that i think work SO much better than drying, drowsy-ing medicine!

1. illness comes from a stressed body.

this is brilliant.  duh!  it never really occurred to me that you don’t get sick from other people, unless your body is stressed in any way.  a stressed out body is immediately susceptible to anything floating around out there.  and stress comes in the form of lack of sleep, a stressful job, your body not being fit, anxiety, depression, and a body filled with toxins.

you can’t quit your job, but you can get more sleep, meditate, slow down, and eat more healthy foods.

2. hydration is key!

you might feel like guzzling a carbonated beverage to cut the phlegm or get that “taste” out of your mouth, but STOP!  don’t do it!  colds feed on sugar.  in fact, everything bad is made even worse by ingesting sugar.  the only sugary product that is good for you is a sugar scrub for your skin.  so fill up a huge container with fresh water and some lemon slices, and drown that cold!

3. vitamin c.

but here’s what i learned from the FOOD HEALS podcast:  take a lot. take, like, triple the amount you normally would.  i have vitamin c drops and i just pop them all day for the duration of the cold.  i probably take 3-5 drops a day.  i don’t think you can OD on the stuff during a cold ~ just don’t do that all the time.  vitamin B is also a miracle worker too.

4. cut the sugar, wheat and dairy.

at the first signs of a cold or flu, stop eating anything the virus can feed on and grow from.  i learned this from the podcast as well, and i think it’s a great idea.  it’s just for a few days, and if you really want to bust that illness in half the time, it’ll be worth it to you.  as a singer, i would do ANYTHING to ensure that i don’t have to cancel a concert or sing while under the weather.

5. sambucol.

the podcast mentioned elderberry, vitamin c and zinc, so i found sambucol tablets that had all of those ingredients.  they drop into water and fizz, so they feel good on your throat.  the podcast also mentioned magnesium, but i haven’t added that yet.  there’s a product out there called “calm” and i guess it really helps you sleep, if you’re having trouble.  all i want to do is sleep, so i’m not sure i need that just yet!

6. drink tea all day.

this one i actually learned from my friend, rachel, who drank copious amounts of green tea on the first day she felt signs of a nasty cold, and by the end of the day, she had kicked it!  i’m on my 2nd cup of decaf green tea ~ i’ve made a huge pot of it and plan to drink a couple pots.  if you’re a singer, HERBATUSSIN is a tea you really want to buy.  it’s like THROAT COAT, but better.  and better tasting too.  my student kristen orders it in bulk online, and my pantry is stocked up with boxes and boxes of the stuff as well.  it’s a real healer.

7. juicing.

i don’t know if you’re into juicing, but i’m off and on.  lately, listening to this podcast, i’ve learned more about it and now i see the real benefits to it.  that doesn’t mean i’m going to become a disciple, but on days like this, i’ll try anything.

this morning, i made a juice with fennel, celery, ginger, parsley, a lemon (peel and all), an apple, and a pear.

the juice made two, so i’ll have the other one for lunch.  i have to say:  that juice has already made me feel wonderful.  i can’t describe it.  while i feel the cold symptoms, my body feels really energetic and strong.  i may just become a believer…

8. take time to rest.

this is my absolute favorite thing i learned from the podcast.  if you think it’s heroic or super-human to just work work work right through a sickness, think again.  you are most likely prolonging the sickness, therefore, reducing your productivity and quality of work for more days than you need.  if you feel like you are really getting something nasty, like the flu or even a really terrible cold, spare others in your office, and stay home!  and if you stay home from work, don’t work from home.  answering phone calls and laying on the couch with your laptop chained to your body is NOT RESTING.  you’re just going to feel bad the next day.  turn off your devices and take this opportunity to get some real rest.  since illness comes from a stressed out body, sometimes getting a cold is your body’s way of saying SLOW DOWN!  ever think about that?

9. chicken soup!

this is the tough one, because when i feel like i do right now, there’s no way i’m going to venture out to the grocery store and get these ingredients for a healing soup.  i wish i had some in the freezer for these days, but alas, i don’t.

but here is the best, most healing chicken soup i’ve ever made.  it’s such a winner.  no noodles.  don’t feed that cold!!!

all-time best and most healing chicken soup EVER

  • Difficulty: ”easy”
  • Print


  • 1 ½ quarts chicken stock (or water with “better than bouillon”)
  • 1 onion
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 parsnips
  • 1 potato
  • 4 stalks celery, with the leaves
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1-inch piece of ginger
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic (or just as much as you can handle)
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • lots of fresh dill
  • lots of fresh parsley


  1. chop up all the vegetables, grate the ginger and garlic, and combine with the broth in a large stock pot.  bring to a boil with the salt and pepper.  
  2. add the chicken and simmer at medium heat for about 10-15 minutes.
  3. remove the chicken and bring the soup back to a boil.  cook the vegetables for another 5-10 minutes.
  4. when the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into dices and add back into the pot, along with the chopped dill and parsley.
  5. season with more salt and pepper to taste.  and it’s done!

the garlic, ginger and fennel are all so healing for your body, so don’t leave those out.  if you’re a vegetarian, you know what to do.  make all those gorgeous veggies with a great veggie stock.  you might want to double the veggies for that, especially the potato.

this soup freezes very well, so leave a few bowls out for the next few days, and freeze the rest in individual containers, so that the next time you’re feeling under the weather, you’ve got some healing soup in minutes!

i hope this has helped you.  just sharing these tips with you has made me feel better! i’m on my third cup of green tea this morning and hoping a hot bath with epsom salt will bring the aches down a bit.

here’s to your health this fall and winter season!!!


2 thoughts on “all-natural cold and flu remedies 101.

  1. This is a keeper! Nice to have all these tips in one place! Love Sambucol (washed down with Sambuco!)

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