Tis the Season…for Sickness! 5 Natural Remedies to Save Yourself

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Friends! Family! Fun! Sickness!

The holiday season brings all kinds of things, and not all of them are good – stress, travel, and changes in the weather can all have their effect on our health. If you find yourself starting to feel less than stellar, particularly (of course) when you have something you need to do, it helps to have some items on hand so that you’re ready. Here are some of my favorite natural items to have in the ol’ sickness artillery:

Simply Saline

If you’re a fan of the neti pot but you don’t have time for it or you find traveling with it is a hassle, Simply Saline (or any drugstore brand pressurized nasal mist) is a godsend. The saline solution is already mixed and ready to go, and the fact that it’s pressurized means the solution shoots up into the sinuses like a champ. You can also spray it back into the pharyngeal area and on the tonsils when you’re not able to do a salt gargle. There’s also nothing to clean, so it’s the ultimate in sterile saline convenience.

Most drug stores carry this, and many stores like CVS and Walgreens carry their own version. The brand doesn’t seem to matter in this case.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Remember the use of Windex in the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”? Apple Cider Vinegar is basically that, but for real. There’s a whole book dedicated its virtues and uses, and one of the best is as a cold remedy. Apple cider vinegar alkalinizes the body, and you know who hates that? Bacteria and virus. A tablespoon of this in a cup of hot water with some honey a few times a day is a major pro.

You can buy this in almost any grocery store. Bragg’s Raw-Unfiltered (yes there will be all kinds of stuff floating in it, the “Mother” as it’s called) is a high quality brand.

NeilMed NasoGel

The use of heat in the house can dry out the nasal passages and pharyngeal walls overnight, leaving with you with a sore, scratchy throat in the morning. NeilMed’s NasoGel solves that issue by coating the delicate membranes and protecting them with moisture. Squirt some of this into each nostril right before you lay down to go to bed and say bye to scratchy morning throat caused by dry air! Note that NeilMed actually makes two different formulas called NasoGel: one in a tube and one in a pump spray bottle – you want the pump (see the picture above). The solutions are not the same!

This can be difficult to find, although some drugstores have it (I’ve had good luck at the Walgreens chain) and it’s also available through Amazon.

Minty Breath Spray

You know what stops you from coughing faster than anything? Highly intense peppermint breath spray. If you are prone to coughing fits, which can be detrimental to the vocal folds and rather obnoxious/embarrassing depending on where you are, this can be a lifesaver. I keep this on me at all times even when I’m not sick, just in case I get an itch in my throat and it causes that crazy coughing.

You can get a minty breath spray at almost any grocery or drug store. I like Advocare’s Nice Ice because it is more potent, having a higher ratio of mint to sugar than most sprays (think Altoids in liquid form). AdvoCare products are only available through an AdvoCare distributor. If you don’t know someone already, you can find someone near you on their website.


The HumidiFlyer may look a little goofy while you’re wearing it, but what’s a lot worse than looking weird is breathing all of that stagnate plane air, chock full of everyone’s germs. Ew. The HumidiFlyer contains an anti-bacterial filter and as you’d guess by the name, acts as a personal humidifier. According to HumidiFlyer’s website, airlines have been cutting back on circulating the air in order to save on fuel costs, so the air you breathe while you’re on the plane is just not good.

You can buy a HumidiFlyer through their website. At $70 USD it’s costly, but worth it.

Best wishes on staying well out there! And if you are a singer and you have to take a pain reliever, remember to avoid drugs like Aspirin and Ibuprofen (and any other blood-thinning drug), which cause the blood capillaries to come closer to the surface of the vocal folds. While taking blood-thinning medications, an activity like singing can cause those little capillaries to rupture. Yikes!

I’ve put a few more of my favorites in the photo above as well, such as Entertainer’s Secret (great for a scratchy throat), Throat Coat tea (I used to hate this but now I love it…I don’t know what happened???), and Vitamin C (supports the immune system).

Do you have any favorite natural remedies? Feel free to share them on my Facebook page here!

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