Meet my friend, Neti. This little pot keeps me healthy and snot-free when everyone else around seems to have sniffles, coughs, and other mucus-related nastiness. For those of you unacquainted with the neti pot, it acts as a nasal wash, or lavage, bathing the sinus passages and rinsing them thoroughly. Neti pots have been used therapeutically for centuries.
Every other day, or everyday if I feel I might have been exposed to a cold or flu, I fill 'er up with neti pot salt, an herbal wash, and warm water and pour it in, alternating nostrils. I won't lie-it isn't always a pleasant experience. You know when you're in a swimming pool or the ocean and you accidentally get water up your nose and it feels like the top of your head is going to burn off? Yep, that's what the neti pot can bring. Not always, mind you, but the possibility for a quick burn does exist. I say it's worth it, though. I'll take a few minutes of firey brain over a lingering cold any day.
My other cold and flu-fighting secret is a warm tea, fueled with fresh ginger slices, abundant lemon juice, a healthy dose of honey (local is best), and a generous sprinkling of cayenne. Stir the whole thing up in a big mug or teapot, allow to steep for about 10 minutes, then bottoms up. If you're really concerned you might be getting something, mince a clove or two of fresh garlic and add it to the tea. For those of you opting to go the garlic route, I'd suggest straining off the liquid through a fine mesh sieve before use. I promise you, this stuff is liquid gold. I've been cold and flu-free (stomach flu notwithstanding) for years now, thanks to this protocol (and yes, I'm knocking on my wooden dining room table so that it remains that way!).