Congratulations, you have made it to the cold and flu season! It’s time to kiss those annoying warm days of summer goodbye and welcome the glorious long hours of watching your favorite Netflix shows at home, with stuffed nose and feeling exhausted. You can kickback in peace, enjoy your sore throat and sip on delicious tea, hoping it would take care of your sinuses sometime soon.

In case you are wondering, no you can’t really cure cold, you will have to wait for it to run its course. All the remedies available to us today are designed to treat the symptoms, not the illness itself. The best way to deal with cold is not to get sick in the first place, it sounds like a cliche, but how many people are actually thinking about preventing this lovely malady?

I decided to pick top 3 things you can do to avoid getting sick. The 3 remedies below are much more powerful if taken when you are JUST getting sick. Even if you are not feeling ill yet, but everyone around you is sneezing and coughing, try these steps to boost your immune system to deflect the attack.

  1. Take Vitamin C: vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals and boosts your immune system. When you are starting to feel extra tired and under the weather, load up on this nutrient to fight off the disease. According to Harvard Health Publications, Vitamin C works better in concert with other macro nutrients that increase its absorption (source). This means that vitamin C in pill form may be a little less useful than that from whole foods. Some fruits, like oranges and papayas, have some vitamin C, but also contain sugar in them (fructose) and may cause insulin spikes that we are trying to avoid in our nutritional plans. However, lemons, broccoli, bell peppers and cauliflower are all great sources of this nutrient and actually contain more vitamin C than oranges.
  2. Swoosh Oregano Oil in Your Mouth: Oregano was hailed by the ancient Romans for its therapeutic properties. It was believed that it could cure many diseases and was used in medicine. Turns out the Romans were right about the medical properties of oregano, as its oil (which is, as the name implies, the plant’s concentrated form) is a very powerful immune system booster. It acts as a natural antibiotic and works great at the onset of cold or flu. To reap the most benefits of using oregano oil, put 4-6 drops under your tongue for 20 seconds, then swoosh it in your mouth for another 2 minutes. When you are done just swallow it. It sounds gross, but wait until you taste it – you are up for a very unpleasant surprise. Nonetheless, it tastes worse than Buckley’s but works a lot better.
  3. Sleep tons: you may have heard this one before, but have you ever taken followed this advice? If your body craves sleep – you better go to bed early. When you are fighting off a disease your body needs that extra energy to recover the immune system and sleep is by far is the best way to knock all those viruses out.

Follow these simple steps above and stay healthy year round!