I don’t know about you but it seems like half the people I know right now are either knocked out with a gnarly cold or just getting over one, and I’m pretty sure I just narrowly escaped one taking hold over the last few days by amping up my self care routines. I started getting a little bit of a scratchy throat and made a beeline to Erewhon for an immunity shot which I quickly downed and followed with an epsom salt bath and an early bedtime. So far I seem to be in the clear, but for anyone out there who is currently in the throes a battling a pesky bug, I’ve got a few favorite go-to natural remedies for kicking a cold and the best part is that they are all super simple!

Saltwater is the Cure

I grew up with an Emergency Room doctor and an Intensive Care Unit nurse for parents and absolutely every single time I started to get sick, the first thing my parents would tell me to do was to start gargling warm salt water. And you know what, that stuff works! In fact, it’s borderline magical. This is a particularly good remedy if you’re suffering from a sore, swollen throat or think you may be fighting of an infection in the ear/nose/throat passages because it both reduces swelling and acts as an anti-bacterial agent. Heat water to a comfortable temperature, and add enough salt to make the water taste moderately salty. The Mayo Clinic recommends 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of table salt dissolved in 8 oz water, but I use closer to a tablespoon. Gargle morning and night until your symptoms are relieved. Just be sure not swallow--ingesting saltwater can lead to an upset stomach.

Push Fluids

When your body's working hard to fight off a virus or an infection, you can support it’s ability to detox by drinking plenty of clear fluids. Fresh, filtered water is best, but can also be supplemented with clear broths and teas or infusions. I love to steep fresh ginger root, turmeric, healing spices and herbs, and an occasional touch of manuka honey in warm water to create a soothing drink to sip on throughout the day.

Take a Shot

If you’re wanting to give your immune system a little boost, one of the best things you can do is make sure you’re eating as many nutrient-dense fruits and veggies as you possibly can. Since it can sometimes be a bit challenging to muster up extra energy to create a big, colorful meal when you’re feeling under the weather, I’m a big fan of using wellness shots to get a powerful dose of vitamins, minerals, and healing antioxidants with minimal effort. You can pick up pre-made versions at almost any health food store or make your own at home by throwing your favorite immunity-boosting ingredients into a high-powered blender!

Sleep Like it’s Your Job

Your body is designed to be a self-healing mechanism. When you get a cut, your cells immediately go to work trying to stop the bleeding and begin repairing the tissues. When you’re sick, your body is working overtime trying to regain equilibrium and good quality sleep allows your body to direct more energy to the healing process. Making sure that you're getting a minimum of 6-8 hours a night, depending on what your needs are, is vital to your quick and full recovery. If you have the opportunity to log a couple of extra hours, go for it. Getting sick is never fun, but it’s our bodies' way of letting us know that it’s time to slow it down and recharge. Do yourself a favor, listen and give it some love!