Every year when winter rolls around, we all seem to wake up and collectively realize we’ve got the same cold that our friends/family/significant others have. The Design*Sponge office has already seen the first round of sniffles (starting with me, then Max, then Amy), and we’re hoping to fend off a second round this year. In addition to fervent hand washing and cough covering, we’re trying all sorts of natural remedies to keep ourselves sneeze-free for the rest of the season. Rather than keep these remedies to ourselves, we thought we’d reach out to the creative community at large to see what their favorite cold cures are. The answers were not only helpful, but some were also downright hilarious — and effective. From Jonathan Adler’s fist-bump rule to a delicious recipe for a carrots and brown sugar cough syrup, this guide will offer you dozens of different ways to stay healthy and fight off the cold bug this season. Here’s hoping we can steer clear of the tissue box until spring. xo, grace
The full list of tips and remedies continues after the jump . . .
Jonathan Adler — The Fist Bump! I believe that palms are basically just petri dishes — I avoid them at all costs. I sat next to some 75-year-old dude at a luncheon a few years ago. When I went to shake his hand, he offered me an age-improbable fist bump and told me that when he had a heart transplant 10 years earlier, his doctor told him to never, ever, ever shake hands because they are germ central. Fist bump fist bump fist bump!
Heidi Swanson — Fresh ginger juice! I put it in tea, soups and broths, juices and hot drinks. Simply grate it, peeled, on a microplane and then press the solids into a strainer to extract the juice. If you do a bunch at a time, it freezes well, so you can always have it on hand.
Cheryl Day of Back in the Day Bakery — When I feel a cold coming on, I make a solution of very warm water and salt to gargle, which helps with inflammation and congestion and wards off nasty bacteria, too. You can also buy a saline nasal spray. I follow up with herbal green tea, hot chicken and vegetable soup and a very long nap on the couch with a pile of magazines.
Paul Lowe of Sweet Paul — Lets face it, getting over a cold takes a week, with or without remedies. So just get comfy under the covers, have plenty of tissues and wait it out!
Ginny Branch — I’m a big fan of “letting food be thy medicine,” and I find the more fruits and vegetables I consume, the more I flood my body with the nutrients I need to ward off nagging colds. Colloidal silver is extremely helpful when I feel a little something coming on, and I find vitamin C-enhanced zinc and copious amounts of ginger help rid my body of any sickness.
Victoria Smith of SF Girl by Bay — I’m out every morning at the chilly dog park with Lucy, so one way I’ve finally figured out to stay warm and healthy is to wear a hat with ear flaps. There’s something about keeping my head warm that seems to keep me from getting sick — even if that might be totally in my head (no pun intended) and I look like a ridiculously lost WWII pilot. If I do get a nasty cold, I drink lots of homemade ginger tea, and it makes the cold’s nasty life a whole lot shorter.
Amy Butler — The moment I feel a scratchy throat coming on or a funky headache, I start downing Sambucol and olive leaf extract. Both are excellent for building your immune system back up. Both are proven to shorten a cold by several days! You can also just soak your feet or immerse yourself in a soothing bath. The salts pull infection out of your body and relax your nervous system. I love a bath with plain salts mixed with essential oils like peppermint, spearmint and eucalyptus. These oils in particular are great for opening your sinuses, too.
Katy Elliott — I can’t even remember the last time I was sick. About a year ago when I first got pregnant, I started taking a daily multivitamin, drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, eating healthy and sleeping seven to eight hours per night. If I feel a little run down, I take it easy and rest. No coughs, colds or flus in over a year and counting! Take care of yourself, and your body will take care of you.
Ashley English — To ward off sniffles and sneezes, I put a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil in the bath, rub some herbal warming balm on my chest and sip loads of homemade ginger, honey and lemon tea.
Happy Living — Stuffed nose . . . cut an onion in half an put on your bed table. Old fashioned remedy from my grandmom. Works! Downside: your partner may not like the smell in the bedroom:)
Jacqueline Moore — Eat garlic cloves, onion sandwiches, throw out your toothbrush and get a new one STAT. Wash your hands often and never touch your face. Vitamins, water, a hot toddy at night!
K.L. Hedberg — A little something before you go to sleep . . . decaf black tea, one jigger Amaretto, one jigger Grand Marnier. Helps you sleep and calms your throat.
Oorbee Roy — 4 drops oil of oregano and a shot of apple cider vinegar. WOW does that work quickly.
Nancy Thornton — Dark beer and corn chips with salsa. The salt relieves the throat. The salsa clears the sinuses. The beer does something.
Sabrina Harris — Sleep. It’s the unsung hero of wellness.
— Igloo Letterpress (@iglooletterpres) January 9, 2013
#DSColdCures In a mug: 4 Tbsp of Lemon or Lime Juice, 3 Tbsp of Honey, fill mug with water. Microwave 2 min. Great for sore-throats/coughing
— Emily Featherston (@feathers_878) January 9, 2013
— MySuperFoods (@MySuperFoodsCo) January 10, 2013
— come·con·ella (@comeconella) January 9, 2013