It’s that time of year again, temperatures drop and germs are multiplying. There’s always one person in the office who comes to work sniffling, says they’re fine and then BAM! Co-workers start dropping like flies. Try not to be that person by following these ten home remedies to battle sickness this season.

Written by Ashley Barth

1. GARLIC

You probably already have this kicking around your kitchen. Not only does garlic add tons of flavour to meals, it also fights heart disease, boosts your immune system, battles cold symptoms and also has effective antibacterial properties. To use it to battle cold symptoms, load it into your meals, or (if you can handle it) eat it raw. For the garlic-shy there are also tablets you can take.

2. GINGER

Sinus headache or sore throat? Try adding some fresh ginger to hot water or tea. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe both of these symptoms. Also, if you start feeling symptoms of nausea, ginger is an effective way to ward it off.

3. STEAM

For a stuffed up nose or sinus headache there is no better remedy than steam. Boil water in a saucepan (you can add peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil if it’s on hand), put a towel over your head and the saucepan and then inhale the steam. This method calms the mucous membrane and gives you relief from your sinuses.

4. WARM SALT WATER

For as long as I can remember whenever I had a sore throat my mother always told me to gargle warm salt water. Half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water can help soothe a sore throat and break down secretions while killing bacteria.

5. HONEY

One of the worst feelings is battling a cough while you’re trying to sleep. One of the best remedies for this is honey. Whether mixed into tea or taken on its own, honey is proven to tame nighttime coughs and may even speed up the healing of a sore throat.

6. THE HOT TODDY

This is an age-old home remedy for when you’re so congested that you can’t sleep at night. Make one cup of herbal tea and a teaspoon of honey and one shot of whiskey. Hot liquids relieve nasal congestion, soothe the inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat and prevent dehydration.

7. TAKE A SHOT OF VITAMIN C

The vitamin C content found in lemon helps support a strong immune system. The juice also has anti-inflammatory qualities that help soothe sore throats and irritated membranes. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to three tablespoons of water and then add a pinch of ginger, which helps to cleanse the system.

8. LOAD UP ON INFECTION FIGHTING FOODS

There are tons of foods that you probably have in your fridge that you should zone in on when you feel cold symptoms coming on. Bananas and rice will soothe an upset stomach. Vitamin C-containing foods like bell peppers can also help ward off illness. Additionally, blueberries contain natural aspirin and can help to lower fevers while relieving aches and pains. Also, Chili peppers may help break up mucus in the lungs and open sinuses.

9. CHICKEN SOUP

There’s a reason this is most recommended when you’re sick. Chicken soup stops certain white blood cells from building up and causing inflammation, which prevents large amounts of mucus from being produced. The hot soup also thins the mucus.

10. WATER

Something so simple that it is at times overlooked. Drink as much water as you can to keep mucus membranes moist and relieve other flu-related symptoms.