As winter approaches, so does the dreaded cold and flu season. But this year, arm yourself against these nasty bugs as much as possible. There are easy, affordable, and natural steps you can take to help prevent and fight against these illnesses, even before you get a sniffle.

Try these 10 methods to boost your immunity and stay healthy this winter:

Tip 1: Go for a run — this is my personal favorite. Run fast enough to break a sweat, and your elevated body temperature will work with your immune system just as a fever does.

Tip 2: Use Oscillococcinum, by Boiron, preventively. Oscillo is the best-selling flu remedy in France. It comes in a bright orange box and is available in health food stores and many drug stores. It can be used to prevent as well as treat the flu. Take it once a week during the flu season, just a few tiny pellets, not a whole tube, and that should help do the trick.

Tip 3: Take a good blend of immune support herbs such as echinacea, goldenseal, astragalus, and andrographis, available in any health food store. The best one of all and my favorite is tropical sage, unfortunately it is not widely available.

Tip 4: Use Xlear saline nasal spray with xylitol to kill microbes right in the nasal passages.

Tip 5: Probiotics, or “good bacteria”, help the immune system as well as the digestive system, so make sure you are taking those regularly.

Tip 6: Drink ginger tea with lemon and honey. The best method is to simmer ginger slices to bring out the antibiotic effect. Add lemon and honey, each add to the cold and flu-prevention effect and make it taste delicious.

Tip 7: Garlic is also a strong antimicrobial and can be minced and sautéed to enhance a variety of meals. Or mince it and add it raw to salsa for a delicious and health-boosting treat.

Tip 8: Avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners which weaken the immune system. Use stevia, xylitol, raw agave or fruit as sweeteners instead.

Tip 9: Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially the deeply colored ones, which have the most phytonutrients (plant-based nutrients). Start the day with a green smoothie, blending green leafy vegetables with fruits such as bananas and berries.

Tip 10: Keep the nasal passages hydrated, with a humidifier if necessary, as the dry air from some heating systems dry out the mucous membranes in the airway and allow microbes an entry point.

In addition to frequent hand washing and getting the flu vaccine, working these ten tips into your regular health routine will help prevent colds and flu, and keep you one step ahead this season.

Originally published at on December 6, 2016.

Originally published at