That dang rhinovirus aka the common cold is out there stalking you, waiting for the perfect moment to catch a ride up your nose.

Rhino means nose, the place the virus usually gets in the body. 

How do you protect yourself? (I’m not a fan of masks at all, but you do you)

What can you do once you start noticing the symptoms?

And once you’re feeling crappy, how do you help that crazy rhino move along more quickly?

It’s important to have your home apothecary stocked with some essentials for the winter season. 

There are lots of things to think about when it comes to what you might want to have on hand based on how the symptoms show up for you. You kind of need a little bit of everything although sometimes one herb works for many things.

In the last newsletter, I talked about prevention being the first step and gave you some ways to support your immune system so you don’t get sick. Click here for an ounce of prevention.

If the little rhino bugger gets through your defenses the next thing that happens is you start to feel those First Signs that something is amuck.  

You might get really tired, or just feel off. You might feel a little tickle in your throat or get a headache. You might start feeling cold or you can’t concentrate. 

Pay attention. Your body is talking to you and you need to listen. Really. 


If you do start feeling crummy, the first thing to do is Rest.

And, don’t start whining about how much you have to do and that you don’t have time to rest. You can drag the thing out and possibly get other people sick or you can rest.

Sweat, you want to make your body a place the rhino doesn’t want to hang out. 

Drink hot teas and eat warm foods. No cold, raw, or dairy. You’ve already got a COLD and you’re trying to kick it out not make it a place it wants to stay. And, I know you don’t want to hear this but, back off the sugar

Up your Elderberry intake. Yes, it’s part of your prevention routine but it’s also great at the first signs. Instead of taking it once a day (or however often you were taking it) switch to frequent doses. Something like 1-2 tablespoons every hour. This might even kick the cold completely. 

Drink Ginger tea. 

Fresh or dried ginger both work, you just need to prepare your tea a little differently depending on which you are using. It’s also okay to purchase ginger tea.

All suggestions are more or less. 

Fresh Ginger Tea

  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger 
  • Squirt of lemon 
  • Dash of honey  

Place all the ingredients in a mug, fill it with just boiled water, cover, and steep 15 minutes.

Dried Ginger Tea 

  • 1-2 teaspoons cut and sifted dried ginger (you could also use powdered ginger if that’s all you have, you just won’t strain it, just drink it all down)
  • About 10 ounces of water
  • Dash of honey
  • Squirt of lemon

Put the ginger in a small saucepan with the water. Cover and simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Add the honey and lemon.


Usually, when I get a cold it starts as a sore throat. 

The first thing I think is shit, then oh no you don’t, then what can I take to kill this thing. 

There are all kinds of great herbs for a sore throat. The idea is to tighten because the tissues of the throat are swollen and soothe because it freakin hurts.

Teas are great for relieving sore throat pain because the medicine and warmth from the tea feel so good on those irritated, inflamed tissues. 

Adding honey soothes, boosts your immune system, and makes the medicine go down. 

Reach for Sage for sure. (that’s Salvia officinalis, garden sage) 

Make tea with 1 tsp. dried Sage, cover, and steep for a couple of minutes. You can also combine it with Rose petals to help to cool and tighten those tissues in the throat.

If you were proactive and made yourself some Sage honey (or other herbal honey), put that in the tea, make a tea with just the honey or eat it right off the spoon. 

Use Sage Oxymel. Make sure to warm it up because it is cold and drying and you want the food and liquids you are putting in your body to be warm.

It’s never too late to make stuff for your winter wellness. Try this recipe for Sage Oxymel

Great herbs for sore throat teas include Mint, Tulsi, Turmeric, Licorice Root, Lemon Balm, Plantain, Marshmallow, Chamomile, and Clove. 

I always have some Traditional Medicinals or Yogi teas on hand that are specific for sore throats cause honestly when you are sick you need it to be easy.

If you want something tasty and easy try a Cinnamon Sore Throat Tea

What you’ll need:

1 cup water

½ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. powdered ginger

honey to taste (Rosemary herbal honey would be great)

Small pan

Put the water in a small saucepan and heat on low until hot but not boiling. Stir in the cinnamon, ginger, and honey until mixed. Sip and let that herbal goodness run down your throat. 

Use an Herbal Throat Spray and start spraying right away! I usually use 3 sprays to get the whole throat covered, right, center, and left.

There are a bunch of herbal throat sprays on the market so it’s easy to find one to buy. Herb  Pharm, Eclectic Institute, Zand, Gaia, and NuNaturals are all ones I’ve tried. Not all of the sprays taste great but for me, taste isn’t high on my list, effectiveness is. 

You can also make your own throat spray. The easiest way is to combine tinctures that are already made. 


2 tablespoons total of herbal tinctures

2 tablespoons raw local honey

1 tablespoon warm water 

A wee bit of peppermint essential oil (optional)

Mix all the ingredients together and put them into a 2 oz spray bottle. To use just spray directly into the back of your throat once every half hour or as needed.

Herbs to use: Echinacea, Elderberry, Sage, Ginger, Licorice, Hyssop, Arrowleaf Balsam Root, Lomatium, Grindelia, Rosemary, Oregano, Usnea, and any of the herbs listed above for sore throat. 

Pick a few to combine. Experiment. The worst thing that will happen is you don’t love it and you make something else. It’ll probably still work.


Try this recipe from Rosemary Gladstar to use as a gargle. 

  • 1 tbsp dried Sage
  • 1-2 tbsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Goldenseal Root
  • Pinch of Cayenne
  • ½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar

Directions: Pour ½ cup boiling water over the sage and let it steep covered for half an hour. Strain. Add the salt, goldenseal and cayenne. Stir to dissolve. Add the ACV. Mix. 

To Use: Gargle 1-2 tsp. every ½ hour to 1 hour. The longer you can gargle the better. Get it all the way back in your throat. 

I hope you can avoid the rhino but if it happens to hitch a ride up your nose, you’ll have some tools and recipes to use to navigate the symptoms.  

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