How to be sick with minimal misery

I’m just getting over a really bad cold.

But I’ve been using a bunch of simple tricks to make myself feel less icky and get better as fast as possible. Most of these won’t be new to you, but I thought I’d share my little regime.

1. Drink clear fluids – duh. I drink so much tea. Make sure it’s herbal and uncaffeinated. I’m currently on a chamomile kick, but I also love Throat Coat. If your stomach is upset, ginger is a good way to go.
2. Eat soup or stew – chicken soup has actually been proven to reduce cold symptoms. Soup is generally smooth and won’t hurt your throat going down.
3. Orange ginger “tea” – my girlfriend made this for me last week and it was AMAZING. I felt so much better while drinking it. Chop up an orange into cubes about an inch thick, peel and all. Remove the skin of a piece of ginger root about the size of your thumb and chop it roughly. Place this all in a pot of water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer, uncovered, until tasty and slightly thickened, about 45 minutes. Pour into a mug, and sweeten with honey to taste.
4. Eucalyptus steam – this is great for when you’re dripping snot like a faucet and your sinuses feel all blocked, and also for two days later when all your mucous membranes seem to have dried up and you’re coughing so much you’re afraid you’ll lose a lung. You’ll need a small saucepan with about an inch of water in it, a small towel, and a bottle of eucalyptus essential oil. Bring the water to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer. Place the towel over your head like a hood and lean over the saucepan so that the towel helps channel the steam towards your face. Close your eyes, add a couple drops of essential oil to the saucepan, and breathe in deeply. Stay there, breathing through your nose and your mouth, until you feel nice and clear. I usually splash cold water on my face afterwards, and moisturize my face.
5. Make sure you have good heavy-duty moisturizer – you’ll be washing your hands a lot and your nose will get all dry from blowing it so much, so make sure you have good moisturizer. I use The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector, which is gentle and unscented enough that I feel comfortable putting it on my nose. NIVEA is also good.
6. Oil of oregano – This stuff is the second-most disgusting thing I’ve ever had to consume (after aloe vera juice). HOWEVER it really is very good for preventing and getting rid of colds, and luckily for you, I have recently learned the best way to consume it: with honey. Scoop about half a teaspoon of honey onto a spoon. Drop 4 drops of oil of oregano onto the honey. Place the spoon honey-down onto your tongue, lick the honey/oregano mixture off, and swallow. I use Manuka honey, which is extra tasty and potentially antibacterial.
7. Gargle with salt water – this is actually how I usually prevent myself from getting sick. If I wake up with even a tinge of a sore throat, I mix up a little portion of saltwater and gargle at the back of my throat for at least 30 seconds. The saltwater should be a little saltier than tears.
Stay healthy, folks!

– Arlie



  1. Good advice Arlie, and timely, since it’s coughing, sneezing and nose blowing time in
    elevators and subways. THANK YOU.
    Just one more hint: IF you can get a hold of eucalyptus lozenges, uggh, they are most
    effective, I’ve found. Character building, but they help.

    1. I agree! eucalyptus lozenges are fantastic. And hot lemon and honey is my #1 go-to beverage when I’m sick. It’s silly that I didn’t include it.

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