As a pediatrician, much of my life is spent recommending against medications. I have a whole "alternative therapies" spiel, but there are a few that I keep in my own personal bag of tricks for when I get sick. Most of these get shared with parents, but some are MINE ALL MINE! And now YOURS ALL YOURS!
  1. Honey
    For real, cough and cold medicine does close to nothing to your upper respiratory infection's severity or length of illness. Honey is a) delicious b) safe for pretty much everyone over age 1 c) shown to be more effective than placebo (AND over the counter meds in some cases!). Plus it just feels nice to swallow. I usually swallow a spoonful plain, then mix it into my tea in the AM. Ps I only drink tea when I'm sick but I don't think it makes any difference.
  2. Hot water bottle
    A tale: my mom had an old school thick dark red rubber one that she reliably filled any time my brother or I had a belly ache. I resisted her advice stupidly (as I often do) for years, until I developed an ulcer and all I wanted was some gentle, persistent warmth on my belly. So I bought the exact same type of hot water bottle and I sleep with it pretty much...all the time. The end.
  3. Chicken soup
    It works. Dunno how. Dunno why. Just does.
  4. Sleep
    Duh. But there's no substitute for real rest and sleep. Sometimes, all I actually need is two good nights of sleep to beat a cold.
  5. Melatonin
    I actually have THIS APP to thank for this one. I am a notoriously crummy sleeper, and this is unhelpful given my above recommendation. Melatonin gummies (on the advice of like, everyone on here) have rocked my world. They make me sleepy but not loopy, tired but not groggy. And they taste like caaaaandy.
  6. Yoga
    Uuuuugh I hate that I'm that person, but I can fully acknowledge that not only did doing yoga regularly give me a rockin bod, I was significantly calmer and I slept better. Namaste.
  7. Zofran
    Jk this is totally prescription medication. It treats nausea and for most people, works rapidly and effectively. It's my favorite non-controlled medication (there's a reason they're controlled) and my prescription is always active.
  8. Ginger
    Ginger candy, ginger tea, ginger chews, ginger ale. No matter. Magic nausea elixir that works alllllmost as well as Zofran.
  9. Shower steaming + budget chest PT
    Steamy showers almost always make me feel better anyway, even when I'm not sick, so that's a given. Chest physical therapy is special maneuvers used to help move gunk around your lungs and effectively remove it. I am no PT, but I have picked up on how and where to clap on my chest to get shit out. Standing in a steamy shower pounding on my back and chest to spit out phlegm: how sexy plot stories are born.
  10. Bourbon
    Cough suppressant, pain numbing, sleep aid, anti-depressant, cure-all. Note: do not recommend this one to my patients 🍼👶🏽🔞🔞🔞🔞🔞⛔🍸🍹🍷️