• Garlic chives will perk up your immune system. Chew them fresh, mix into a salad or chop up as a garnish for soup.
• Marjoram is said to clear the sinuses with its antihistamine and decongestant properties. Sprinkle on a salad or steep in hot water, strain and drink as a tea.
• Parsley contains natural antioxidants in the form of flavonoids and loads of vitamin C. Chew regularly (this has the side effect of freshening your breath), use in salads or steep in hot water to drink.
• Infuse peppermint or spearmint leaves in hot water and inhale the vapours while brewing to encourage clear nasal breathing.
• Up your intake of rocket at the first sign of a cold, and chew a few leaves regularly to keep your immune system from crashing.
Brew your own natural cold remedy
When you infuse herbs in hot water, work on a ratio of three teaspoons of leaves to one cup of boiling water, says Geoffrey Burnie and John Fenton-Smith in A Grower’s Guide to Herbs. Add slivers of ginger and raw, unfiltered honey.
Honey has major immune-boosting and throat-soothing power, but don’t add it directly to just-boiled water – the heat will destroy the health benefits of the honey.