• Wellness

    Three ways to attack the common cold

    Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

    My husband travels often for his job. On his recent trip to France, instead of bringing home a box of chocolates, he brought home the common cold. This was a very powerful virus. My husband came home on Thursday and I was immediately sick by Saturday.

    Since I knew I was traveling soon to see family, I started my self-care cold routine that morning.

    Drink water – lot’s of it

    My routine starts with drinking 70 oz of water, approximately half my body weigh in ounces. I normally try to drink this much water daily, but often fall short. When I have a cold – I definitely hit this number. Now, I don’t drink just any water, I make herbal infused water. Take a 40 oz container (check out this stylish pitcher) and add one-half lemon, six slices of cucumber, a couple of crushed mint leaves and one rosemary sprig.

    Lemons contain vitamin C, cucumbers are hydrating and help cleanse toxins from the body, mint helps with digestion and adds a nice flavor to the water and rosemary has anti-inflammatory, and free radical zapping antioxidant properties. Directions: Drink throughout the day.

    Herbal Spa Water

    Take Echinacea

    Echinacea is a flowering plant and the roots and leaves are ground up and used in supplements and tea. I’ve used both, but prefer the tea especially if I have a sore throat caused by dripping sinuses.

    If hot tea isn’t your beverage, I’ve also discovered the Immunity Aid beverage by FitAid. This cold, slightly fizzy orange ‘soda’ has echinacea, zinc, vitamin C and D3, turmeric, astragalus and valerian root, and chamomile. I’ve purchased a four-pack at my local Vitamin Shoppe, but when I was sick it was easier to buy Immunity Aid in a 12 pack from Amazon. I have Amazon Prime, so received my package the following day.

    ImmunityAid by FitAid
    Cute dog glass(1 of 4) from https://www.uncommongoods.com/

    Try an Elderberry Supplement

    Elderberries contain antioxidants and bioflavonoids that can reduce the length of the common cold. The dark purple color of the berries is due to a flavonoid called anthocyanins which helps boost the immune system.

    In the journal, Nutrients, there was a study to determine if elderberry supplementation reduced the duration of a head cold for air travelers. At the end of the study, the researchers concluded that there was a “significant reduction of cold duration and severity in air travelers” (Tiralongo, et al), who used the prescribed capsules that contained 300 mg of elderberry extract.

    It is interesting to note that in the study, the travelers who successfully reduced their cold symptoms, began their supplementation 10 days before travel (2 caps per day), and increased the dose to 3 caps per day while overseas.

    Perhaps it’s bold of me to suggest that the Elderberry Gummies shorten my cold as I only took 100 mg at the start of my cold, but you never know.


    A head cold is never fun and we’re always searching for ways to reduce the length of sickness. These are the three items that I added to my diet once I realized I was sick. I’ll admit that I had a couple of rough days and difficulty sleeping due to congested sinuses, but I feel that I got over this cold quicker (within 4 days) with this regiment than just taking over the counter cold medicine.

    I understand that everyone reacts differently to viral infections and maybe good old vitamin C and chicken soup works for you. However, if you’re struggling to get well – fast – do give these three remedies a try.

    In the comments below, let me know your tried and true cold remedies.

    Tiralongo, Evelin et al. “Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.” Nutrients vol. 8,4 182. 24 Mar. 2016, doi:10.3390/nu8040182