I’ll be the first to admit, I’m the world’s biggest pussy when it comes to getting sick. When I get a cold, it’s an intense bout  that makes me the most negative of Nancy’s, moping shamelessly all over the place demanding sympathy from all my friends. I refuse to take any drugs, and the result is that I absolutely hate my life for about a week. The good thing is, it’s seldom any longer than that, because I’ve gotten pretty good at developing some natural strategies to get healthy again. Here are some tips you might want to try in case November tries to mess with your health.

Stage 1: When you feel it creep in, you feel spacey and weak, and you might not be able to pinpoint exactly what’s wrong with you (Am I tired? Do I just need to eat?) Then it dawns on you: mother nature just hit you with a virus.  

What to do: Run, don’t walk, to Strictly Bulk and buy a bottle of oil of oregano. A small bottle will run you about 14 bones, but this stuff is priceless. Derived from oregano plants, this antiviral, antibacterial, antioxidant oil is super potent, so a tiny amount can slay a ton of bacteria. Take a few drops about 3X per day. Drop it under your tongue and let it hang out for a few seconds, so it can enter your bloodstream directly. It tastes like hell and your whole mouth will be numb for about an hour after a hit of this stuff – but trust me, it’s worth it.

Also to do before your cold sets in, chop up a few cloves of garlic and make some tea. Garlic has powerful antibacterial properties, especially when consumed raw. I mix up a tantalizing concoction of grated ginger, lemon zest, chopped garlic and honey. It tastes dreadful but it sure packs a respiratory punch.

Stage 2: You feel hung over, you have to sleep with 3 pillows under your head to breathe properly, and your sporting sexy racoon eyes.

What to do: Keep your liquids up. Drink lots of water and herbal tea to prevent dehydration. It will also help flush toxins from your body and helps produce mucus, which prevents additional impurities from making their way into your body.  

Get lots of zinc and Vitamin C. Zinc reduces the severity of a cold if taken within 24 hours of the first symptoms. Speed up your healing process by taking about 30- 50 mg of zinc per day. Vitamin C is your friend because it contributes to the formation of white blood cells, which fight viruses. Eat lots of fruits and veggies, especially oranges, kiwis, grapefruits and brussel sprouts, which have the highest amounts of vitamin C. The recommended daily amounts for women is 75 mg, and one little kiwi alone has 70 mg! Even though you have no sense of taste or smell right now, try to scarf some of these bad boys.  

Stage 3: You are officially quarantined from your friends and lovers, haven’t had a good night’s sleep in days, and barely recognize yourself when you look in the mirror.

What to do: Although you’re stuffed up, try to sleep like the dead. You need to give your bod ample energy for the battle it’s fighting. This means limiting caffeine and booze, which both mess up your sleep patterns (I do condone the occasional hot toddy though,  because life just isn’t worth living without whisky). Aside from that, keep on trucking with the Vitamin C, oil of oregano and plenty of water.

Stage 4: The nagging residue of your cold is just enough to make you want to stay in and mope a little more.

What to do: Sweat it out, girlfriend. If by now you can muster the idea of physical activity, check out a hot yoga class and sweat out the rest of your sickness in a way that will make you feel like a total dream. If yoga doesn’t do it for you, find a sauna to hang out in for as long as you can handle. Some people say this is an old wives tale, but I firmly believe that sweating your face off is the best way to bounce back to health.

~ Kait Fowlie