My advice for getting better when you’re sick is not to get sick in the first place!  It’s actually much easier to stay well than to get over a virus or a bacterial infection (or worse.)  You can read this blogpost from many years ago about how to boost your immune system.

That said, I usually succumb to some sort of cold or virus once a year and it’s usually when I’m run down and pushing myself too much, which happened this year the day after Thanksgiving.  I was super sick for 2 days after Thanksgiving, but I rebounded very quickly.  Many people I know had a similar illness but they say it lingered for weeks.  Twice I posted a few Instagram stories about what I did to get better lickety split.  And since then, I have received many direct messages every day on Instagram which ask me to repeat my list of go-to cures because ‘tis the season.  This clearly deserves a dedicated blogpost!

A few disclaimers:  I am not a doctor.  Before taking any supplement or herbal remedy, please consult your medical practitioner.  Furthermore, anything I recommend here is not sponsored in any way.  I am not getting paid, nor will I receive any compensation for making these recommendations. If you would like to share your favorite remedies, I would love to hear from you!  That’s what this blog is for – sharing ideas and helping each other live our best lives!

When I am not feeling well, here’s what I do:

  • Most important: get in bed by 9:45 pm each night so that you are sleeping by 10:00 pm.  The body works on physical healing and restoration from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am each night.  Do not cheat yourself of this time!
  • “You cannot fix a bicycle if you’re riding it,” advised an acupuncturist to me many years ago and this has stuck with me all this time. It means you need to rest up the best you can so your body can heal itself.  Don’t exercise like crazy or party all night or stress about the little things.  Chill out so you can get better fast.
  • Digestible foods – do not draw precious resources to the digestive system with hard to digest foods when your body needs to heal. Think soups, especially congee or kitchari (in my cookbook), cooked vegetables, rice, roasted or poached lean protein, sweet potatoes.  Avoid fried foods, dairy, fatty meats, raw vegetables, cold food/drinks and things that suppress the immune system like sugar.
  • Wellness Formula – I usually take one a day for general maintenance. When I don’t feel well, I take 6 in the morning and 6 at night.
  • Emergen-C – I drink this in warm water twice a day if I’m sick.
  • Turmeric capsules with black pepper extract for inflammatory or viral conditions. I take Omica Organics liquid or tablets.
  • Zinc – effective at the onset of a bug, not so much if something has been lingering for a while. I take Nature’s Way Zinc tablets or Cold-Eeze.
  • Oil of oregano extract – strong stuff, but very effective at supporting the immune system and fighting a virus. I use the drops in water.
  • Warm liquids, like warm water, homemade stock/bone broth, tea. I often make a concoction of warm water, fresh lemon, grated fresh ginger and grated garlic.  You can add raw honey to this if you like.  I also like Breath Easy and
  • For coughs – no cold foods or cold liquids, no dairy. Take elderberry syrup, such as Nature’s Way Sambucus.  Keep the chest and neck warm with a scarf or turtleneck.
  • For ear aches – grate fresh garlic (you want a paste, not chunks of garlic) and mix with a small amount of olive oil. Saturate the end of a q-tip in the mixture and with the head tilted, squeeze the q-tip over the ear canal so that a few drops of the garlic oil enters the ear.  I used to do this with my kids at the onset of ear pain, several times a day until they felt normal and it would always stave off an ear infection.  Garlic is anti-viral and anti-bacterial.
  • Neti pot for rinsing the nasal passages. See this post here.

Call your doctor if you have a fever, fever + cough, intense pain in your throat when you swallow or ear pain for a few days.  There are obviously other signs of a bacterial infection as well, but this post is merely to offer the remedies that work for me at the onset of an illness also check tinnitus 911 reviews.  Here’s to a healthy 2018!

Recommended Posts


  1. Can you clarify for me why Emergen-C is getting the mixed reviews on ingredients? I was thinking about buying some but want to learn more about why I should possibly avoid it. Thank you!

  2. I used to do oregano oil for sore throats and apple cider vinegar water to alkalize, sometimes essential oil blends on feet for an extra boost. More recently I have been using tea tree oil for scratchy throats and earaches (just rubbed on the skin rather than ingested) and powdered colostrum because the oregano was so yucky-tasting, even in capsule form and especially straight up, and it had started to be more irritating to my stomach. I love a good fruit or chocolate stevia-sweetened smoothie with lots of powdered colostrum. It tastes so great–like malt– and has seemed to work really well also. I rarely am sick for more than 24 hours and a lot of viruses seem to get nipped right in the bud. I love your blog and have been reading for years! Thanks for posting these suggestions. I need to work on getting to bed earlier, and this is a great reminder.

    • Thanks for the tips, Michelle! Someone just gave me some DoTerra essential oils to try. Is there one that you recommend? POwdered colostrum is a great idea! I’ve seen it in liquid form, but not powdered. I’ll look for it!

  3. I have found Grapefruit Seed Extract (Made by NutriBiotic) to be very effective for a cold or any kind of infection. You need to take it as soon as you notice the first signs of the infection. Sometimes the symptoms return after a couple hours, so I repeat the process: 10 to 15 drops in orange juice. I also add garlic pills with this to make it more effective.

    • Great to know about the GSE! Garlic is seriously the best. It’s an ingredient in Wellness Formula as well, but I get it any way I can when I’m not feeling well. Thanks, Claire!

  4. I remember seeing your Instagram video a while back where you also were taking manuka honey. Can you post the brand you use please?

    • Yes! It’s a brand from New Zealand that someone gave me. It’s called Three Peaks Manuka Honey.

  5. Thankfully I haven’t been sick in over a year.
    I was reading your recommendations to see
    your advise. Have you looked up what is in Emergen-C?
    Not good. My son researched it. Just thought I’d share this. We have been taking Neolife products for the past year & a half. They are whole food nutrition & the company’s has been in business for 60 years with a clean track record. If you’d like more info I’d be happy to share. There is a rally coming up the end of Jan. in Whittier, CA.
    Love your recipes!

    • As a label reader, I’ve felt the same about EmergenC. Though I have many relatives who swear by it. Can’t bring myself to try…

    • It is totally appropriate to call me out on this one. You are right about Emergen-C. But unfortunately my son (Mr. Picky) will not swallow pills or take anything other than Emergen-C when he’s starting to feel a sore throat or a sniffle and he always rallies after he takes it a few times during the day. So I had to include it!

      • Thank you for clarifying your position on this product, Pamela.

        • Of course!

          • Hi – can you clarify what’s not so great in the ingredients in Emergen-C? Thank you!

            • After the main ingredients listed which include the vitamins and electrolytes, here’s what you’ve got: Fructose, dried cane syrup, citric acid, tangerine juice solids (color and flavor) Contains <2% of beta-carotene (color), corn syrup solids, glycine, L-aspartic acid, malic acid, natural flavors, silicon dioxide, stevia leaf extract, sucrose, tartaric acid. Admittedly, it's not great. How much are you really consuming of this stuff in one packet? Not a lot. But I wouldn't be taking it regularly. Again, it's my son who takes this because he won't swallow pills or syrups.

  6. I literally was getting sick today and said to myself “I need to message Pamela to ask her to post what she suggests taking for a cold!” I cant believe you just posted this as I was remembering you did it as as Instatory!!!

    • I hope it helps! Feel better soon!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *