Risky Business

Break ended, I had my own kids ready to go back to school and I was ready to go back to work….and I succumbed to a miserable cold.  I used to “power through.”  Now that I have my own kids, I’m more likely to cancel appointments, especially if I think I’m contagious since it drives me crazy to have sick teacher/instructors germ-ing up their own classroom.  (Thankfully, I don’t tend to get sick often.)

This flu season is predicted to be a doozy and colds are always going around.  When you work with little people, it seems you are exposed to more frequent bouts of everything.  If I share my favorite remedies, will you please share yours?

  1.  An ounce of prevention:  I always get a flu shot.  I’m diligent with hand washing and/or hand sanitizer.  I try to eat right and get enough sleep.
  2. Cool Touch Kleenex:  I’ve mentioned these before, but I’ve gone through so many boxes this week I had to mention them again.  Maybe it’s my Scandinavian background, but my nose gets red when I use other tissues making me look twice as sick as I feel.  And it’s not just vanity.  After yet another person asking, “Do you feel all right?” I’m ready to climb back under the covers.
  3. Vicks:  I love Vicks.  There’s something so comforting about even the little pot it comes in.  The mini inhalers?  They remind me that I will breathe freely again one day.
  4. Red Rooibos tea:  I drink mug after mug with a little bit of honey.  Comes in K cups too.
  5. Cold-Eeze:  I like the idea of these, but I can’t tell if they help at all.  The only thing I’m sure of is that they change my ability to taste well.  Anyone else have an opinion?  I’ve tried Airborne as well.  I remain unconvinced.
  6. Aura Cacia Shower Tablets:  These are one of my all-time favorite things.  You put the tablet in the bottom of your shower and the steam and eucalyptus scent envelop you.  They come in lavender and peppermint too, but I buy these when I’m feeling under the weather.  (I used to buy these at our high end market, but now they’re at my Harris Teeter.)

Can we discuss the Neti-Pot?  I know a lot of people swear by them, but I need the pain in my teeth to be at considering extraction with pliers before I resort to it.  It’s so gross.  It’s so involved.  Anyone care to sway me otherwise?

Please share your favorite home remedy below!

(I was in no way compensated for any of this post–products were purchased by me and reviews are strictly my own opinion.  Please use common sense when self-treating and seek medical advice if you need it.)


This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Carrie Ormsby

    I first started drinking Rooibos tea after my parents found it in Africa. I also do a lot of fresh lemon tea with lots of honey. Vicks vapor in a humidifier does wonders as does a Vick’s patch (I don’t like the ointment feel so I was excited when the patches came out). Nothing beats homemade chicken soup when I’m sick. Musinex and particularly Musinex D when I am congested. I do not like Neti pots as they don’t seem to work at all. Nor do I think Airborne or Cold Eeze work either. Flu shot every year.

    1. Chris Gerber

      Steven Osborne, M.D., a medical officer in FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), emphasized that these devices are safe and useful overall, as long as they are properly used and cleaned.

      Users have to make sure the liquid is a dedicated saline nasal rinse. Do not use tap water or any form of unsterilized liquid. Tap water generally has small amount of bacteria, protozoa and other microorganisms, including amoebas, which is OK if we swallow them, but should not go into our nasal passages. If they do, they can remain there, alive, and eventually cause serious infections.

      Last year, two neti pot users in Louisiana lost their lives after using water tainted with Naegleria fowleri, a type of amoeba.
      from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/249460.php

      1. Chris Gerber

        Forgot to mention that I wipe everything down in my therapy room with clorox wipes-inc. the phone and door handles. I always laminate or use clear contact paper on materials so they can be wiped also.

        1. admin

          Great reminders, especially to wipe down materials whether or not you can see icky-ness on it. Thanks! Kim

    2. admin

      My husband thinks Mucinex is the best product out there! Actually I just picked some up for him….looks like my cold might have spread….Kim

    3. Jeannette

      I thankfully, (knock on wood) do not get many colds. Allergies, however, are another matter. Both seasons, spring and fall, it doesn’t matter. I am very prone to sinus infections. A good friend, another SLP, has clued me in to taking an Allertec (not sure if that is the generic name or not) everyday during these seasons to ward off symptoms. If I do feel at all like I am getting sinus symptoms, I use the netti pot at least twice a day. I was like you initially. The whole idea was just gross. I could hardly get over the idea of it. One day, (won’t go into the whole story), I felt I had no choice. From then on, I was hooked because I am positive it prevented me from getting a sinus infection.

      1. admin

        I’ve had two colds this year and I’m beginning to think they are actually sinus/allergy issues rather than colds. I’m looking into the Allertec thing. I’m trying to work up to the sinus rinse thing. Kim

  2. Toni Bailey

    To help with phlegm, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to hot water. Gargle with it
    every half hour. For colds, add 1-inch piece of peeled ginger root and honey,
    (to taste), to hot lemon-water- -use real lemons. For cold inclement weather, make quickie chicken soup- -Boil chicken(or buy baked chicken).
    Bone it. Add sliced onions to boiling water. Add packages of Top Ramen- -chicken, cream of chicken, and picante are my faves. You may not need to
    add any other seasoning. Add chicken. Bigelow makes a great mint tea–sometimes found in the 99cents store. Although many folks don’t like to do this–I fought frigid Cleveland wind/snow by covering my head, mouth, nose, and neck. I kept my feet warm by wearing socks, even when I wore boots.

    1. admin

      Thanks for the recipes! Do you ever add organic apple cider vinegar to the “tea” mixture? I know some people get a lot of relief from that though I haven’t tried it myself. Kim

  3. Tara

    Its funny you mentioned Cold-eeze and Airborne in one paragraph & don’t find them useful. This is what I swear by! When I feel a cold coming on, I take Airborne 2-3 times a day, along with several Cold-eeze tablets. 99% of the time the cold never develops. If I don’t start the remedy immediately, the cold develps, but is way less severe and only lasts a couple of days. However, as we speak, I have a horrible cold that was not prevented by this remedy…I am at a loss. First time this has happened! I will try some of your remedies! Thanks for sharing!

    1. admin

      Like all things, what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another! Hope you feel better soon. I might give the Cold Eeze/Airborne combo another try. Could be I don’t start them soon enough. Kim

  4. Jeannette

    regarding netti pot use: the directions specify to use distilled water. I heat my distilled water in the microwave and then let it cool to a comfortable temperature.

  5. Heather H

    I love a good nasal rinse! I prefer the squeeze bottle over the neti pot, but I use it nearly every day in cold/flu season. I am very prone to sinus infections, and it helps keep them at bay. It is not at all complicated! I keep a bottle of distilled water in the bathroom, and empty a saline packet into the bottle, fill with the water, shake, and squirt up my nose. One nostril with the first half of the bottle, blow nose, then other nostril with the other half, then blow again.

    Done regularly, I only occasionally have “gross” episodes–it keeps things pretty clear.

    1. admin

      Oh, man, another fan? Ok, ok, I’ll try it again 🙂 Kim

Comments are closed.


The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.