With the winter months well on their way, we can all expect a dreaded cold to make an appearance anytime now. Fun! Arguably, the cold is the most common illness in humans and definitely the most annoying! The cold is essentially a virus, and like most viral infections, once your body builds up an immunity to it, you shouldn’t get infected again. The problem with the common cold is that there are over 200 different strains that can cause cold-like symptoms! It’s almost impossible to build up an immunity to all of them, which is why we can expect to have roughly two colds each winter. Although you can’t become immune to colds, there are definitely ways to help prevent them. We’ve got eight natural remedies to boost immunity and help keep your body fighting fit this winter.

8am – The Big C – Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that helps support the body to keep us strong and healthy. The Kiwi fruit trumps the orange with almost double the amount of vitamin C, but Guava fruit beats them both with nearly four times the amount! Throw them in a warming bowl of oat or buckwheat porridge for a cold-fighting breakfast.

10 am – Go herbal – Go natural with Echinacea, a traditional herbal supplement that is used to help boost immune function. It contains a special compound called echinacein which has been found to keep germs from penetrating healthy cells. If you’re the kind of person who gets those lingering colds that seem to go on forever then this could give you a helping hand as it is known to be particularly effective in speeding up the recovery time of a cold. You can buy it in pill or liquid form and can be taken up to three times a day.

12 pm -Up your fluids –  Staying hydrated should a top priority when you’re trying to keep a cold at bay. Hot liquids like herbal teas and soups are perfect when you’re feeling a bit heady. Be careful not to have any fluids containing any artificial sugars as they can suppress the immune system. If you haven’t got a S’well Bottle yet then you need to get one pronto. They keep cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 12. They are a life-saver if you’re trying to cut down on plastic and want to get better at staying hydrated on the go.

2 pm – Go walk-about – When your feeling that little tickle in the back of your throat, or a tingle in your nose, cease any vigorous exercise. Putting your body under physical stress when its trying to fight a virus is not a good idea. Stick to gentler activities like brisk walking or yoga.

4 pm – Keep cosy – Colds flourish in dry, wet and cool conditions – a reason why they are so common in winter. Make sure to keep warm with some fluffy socks and blankets!

7 pm – Oh honey! – Honey has been known to contain anti-bacterial properties – Greeks and Romans used to cover their war wounds with honey to prevent infection! We recommend hot water with a spoonful of manuka honey and a squeeze of lemon juice after dinner, for a delicious, sinus-clearing drink.

8 pm – Do a little gargle – Just before bed, add half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and gargle for 15-20 seconds. Studies show that the rinse helps flush out bacteria and viruses, which may help if your trying to prevent a cold.

9:30 pm – Catch some Zs – Last but not least, rest. Sleep deprivation can disrupt and stress out your immune system making it harder for your body to prevent/fight a cold. Research has shown that people who get seven hours of sleep or less a night are three times more likely to get sick after being exposed to a cold virus than those who got eight or more. If you’re not a good sleeper read our top sleep habits to take up asap!

We hope these natural sickness remedies are helpful for you during the next few months. Sending lots of healthy vibes your way!

words by Molly Jennings