Empowering the Freelance Economy

Home remedies loved by Freelancers – share yours!

Freelancers cannot afford to get ill. Literally. That is why The Freelance Informer has turned to its Recipe Book of home remedies for a healthy start to the cold season.

User discretion is advised on the following hacks and home remedies. No freelancers have been harmed during the testing of these remedies, however, there have been some cases of excessive giggles, pungent-smelling feet, and curtain-inhaling snores.

However, it is advised to always check with your General Practitioner before trying home remedies in case of potential interactions with any medications you may be taking or conditions you have.

Gargle with Listerine twice a day at the first sign of a cold or when in proximity to a snot-nosed kid (or even adult versions for that matter). Yes, antiseptic mouth wash is not only for those all-important face to face client meetings (remember them) when fresh breath is a clinger to business protocol, but also germ-killing power. Until Zoom meetings have smell-o-vision, you’re safe.

Cold germs often attack through nasal and mouth passageways and if you can kill the germs before they spread to other parts of the body, especially the throat, then you are armoured with not only clean breath, but a defence against cold germs and some viruses. The LISTERINE® mouthwash brand name was inspired by a scientist named Lister, an English doctor and surgeon, who became the first surgeon to perform an operation in a chamber sterilized with pulverized antiseptic. The result? More patients survived than ever before. The Listerine formulation was then developed and decades later is still a must-have product.

“I always have Listerine stocked in the house. It has been my weapon against colds and sore throats, even when the kids are full of cold and home from school. To keep the mothership afloat in this Freelancer family, I swear by it. I even get the kids to have a watered-down version to gargle when they have the earliest signs of a cold or flu. THere’s a children’s version of Listerine as well. The first sound of a sniffle in the house and I am shouting, “Gargle!”

Freelance Journalist and Mum of Two

A Peppermint or Eucalyptus steam inhalation can help relieve a sinus headache, open nasal passageways, and act as an antiviral, antibacterial and decongestant. By adding a few drops of some the essential oil into a bowl of boiling water, place a towel over your head and lean over the bowl and inhale deeply in intervals. Ensure that the steam is not too hot, if it is, wait for it to cool to a comfortable, yet steaming temperature.

The Hot Toddy (Warning! contains alcohol) is famed in Irish and Scottish culture as a cold remedy that warms the cockles with some antiseptic and throat soothing properties. It’s also a cheeky mid-week whiskey tipple, but with medicinal purposes. The end results can include a night of very sound sleep, night sweats (depends how generous the night nurse is with your whiskey), and late effect giggles. Here’s not only a recipe but the history of the Toddy (with cooky commentary), as an extra.

You can make a non-alcoholic hot toddy for the kids or for those who do not drink alcohol by just adding honey and lemon to boiling water. Let cool until it is still warm and at a child-friendly temperature. This helps relieve sore throats and staving off the onset of a cold.

Supplements including Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Lactoferrin (a milk-derived protein), the latter of which has been studied to prevent COVID-19 from attacking cells as well as acting as an anti-cancer agent. Sites, such as iHerb have a wide variety of supplements to choose from.

“Right now, I am just making sure I take plenty of Vitamin D, there have been lots of studies into the benefits of Vitamin D and Covid so I am keeping myself stocked up!”, according to one reader.

Lactoferrin (milk-derived protein), has been trialed in studies with positive results to prevent COVID-19 from attacking cells as well as acting as an anti-cancer agent. Sites, such as iHerb sell the ‘Moovalous’ supplement.
When you have a cold, Vicks VapoRub ointment has been known to relieve your blocked nose, sore throat and cough due to colds.

Vicks VapoRub, garlic-infused oil or a halved onion – take your pick – all can be individually (not all at once) rubbed on your feet and in between your toes. Then put on a pair of old socks, with the ointment, oil or onion still in place. The theory of reflexology comes into play here. If the area of the toes, the padding under the toes, including the webs, come in contact with the menthol or onion or garlic juices, for the duration of the night as you sleep, your sinuses and chest should show signs of clearing come morning.

Julie Amos, a UK-based recruitment technology sales executive, tells Freelance Informer, “My mum has long been a fan of Vicks vapour rub. She would use it at a drop of a hat, my brother or I always smelt of it.  One Christmas, I couldn’t get to sleep for excitement so Mum put so much Vicks on me because she knew the smell would mean I couldn’t keep my eyes open and Dad could sneak in with my Christmas presents! “

User warning! According to Learning Herbs, when someone wakes up with garlic oil on their feet the whole night, they may wake up with garlic breath, given that garlic enters your system and heads straight for the lungs. This is also where the Listerine could come in handy.

Chicken and/or bone broth soup, AKA Jewish Penicillin

According to Israeli news site, Haaretz, Greeks, Chinese and Jews all agreed that chicken soup has mysterious therapeutic qualities. “It has been renowned for relieving colds and nourishing pregnant women and has even been said to cure asthma and leprosy.”

The 12th-century Jewish philosopher and physician Maimonides claimed these qualities in his book “On the Cause of Symptoms.” Hence the well-earned nickname of “Jewish penicillin.”

British chef, Jamie Oliver has his take on the cure-all soup, which he calls ‘Heaven in a bowl’. Check out his recipe here.

Chinese traditional medicine

In Chinese Medicine “cold” symptoms include sneezing, runny nose with clear or white phlegm, itchy throat, coughing up clear or white mucus, and an achy body, according to non-profit Allina Health. If you have these symptoms, Chinese Medicine says the pathogen is “wind-cold.”

“Hot” symptoms include sore throat, more fever than chills, thirst, nasal congestion with yellow phlegm, and coughing up yellow mucus. These symptoms mean the pathogen is “wind-heat.”

“Eat and drink to expel the pathogens,” according to Allina. “Eat plenty of broth-based soups and rice. Drink warm liquids. If your symptoms are more “wind-cold,” add ginger, cinnamon, green onion and garlic to your foods. If your symptoms are more “wind-heat,” drink lots of peppermint tea and eat cooling fruits, like oranges and other citrus fruits.”


But not all remedies include lotions, potions or cooking, as Nick Woodward, Serial fintech entrepreneur, tells us, “A brisk walk for an hour each morning is my way to keep healthy and it’s a great positive start to the day. It’s also a great way to come up with great business ideas.”


What’s your home remedy for colds and good health? Share it on our social media channels or in in the comments section.

Stay healthy ( and take it easy on the Toddies)

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