I’ve been sneezing for a week. Depressing to think about, but another cold and flu season is fast approaching. And a lot of times, the medications are almost as bad as the symptoms you’re trying to alleviate. When ever I take cold pills I feel drowsy and out of sorts. I’d rather have a sore throat and runny nose than walk around in a daze for three days. That’s why I like home remedies. I never feel “not myself” when I drink a tea or eat something that’s good for me. I’m sure nearly everyone remembers having chicken noodle soup when they were sick as a kid. But aside from the comfort factor, there are some actual benefits to be had. Chicken noodle soup as a remedy should have a lot of onions and garlic, which both have antiviral properties. To combat a runny nose and/or cough, adding minced watercress while help alleviate those symptoms. And if you can tolerate spicy foods, adding half of a serano or jalapeno pepper won’t hurt—hot, spicy foods can help open up your airways. Teas are another easy home remedy. Honey ginger tea is simple to make and tasty, and both honey and ginger have antiviral properties. Just steep a tablespoon of fresh, grated ginger in a cup of hot water (if you don’t like swallowing little bits of ginger as you drink your tea, put it into a metal tea ball), and add a teaspoon or two of honey. It will help soothe a sore throat. If you happen to have a lot of phlegm while sick, anise tea might be a better bet as anise can help reduce phlegm in addition to having antiviral components. It’s also simple to prepare—just steep a teaspoon of crushed anise in a cup of hot water (again, you can put it into a metal tea ball). Anise has a flavor similar to licorice. If you like you can also sweeten this tea with honey. Remember to wash or sanitize your hands frequently and don’t share cups or utensils with others. And though it’s impossible to stop completely when you’re under the weather, try to slow down and not work to hard. Getting an hour of extra sleep when you’re not feeling well will help. And if you’re really down with a bad case of the flu take some time to curl up in bed with a good book and a box of Kleenex and let it run its course (most cases of the flu don’t last longer than a week). Walking around with the flu will just prolong it because your body won’t have the energy to fight of the infection. So when you feel a bug coming on, sit down with a good cup of tea and you might just start to feel better.