It’s October, which probably means you’re starting to give anyone who coughs or sneezes in your general vicinity some serious side-eye. But while you can’t do anything about the fact that cold and flu season is upon us once again, you can do your part to curb your own symptoms—and step one (after a flu shot!) is making sure your immune system is humming along nicely.
In addition to maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen, there are certain supplements and vitamins that can help you keep your defences up. Keep scrolling to see which tonics, superfoods, and beauty products we’ll rely on this season to keep illness at bay.
YS Eco Bee Farms Bee Pollen Whole Granules ($8)
Bee pollen is revered as one of nature’s true superfoods, thanks to a high concentration of nutrients, antioxidants, amino acids, and even protein—which is why everyone from supermodels to nutritionists swear by a daily teaspoon to keep themselves up and running. Sprinkle it on a smoothie, acai bowl, oatmeal—or directly into your mouth, whatever.
David Kirsch Wellness Co Vitamin Mineral Powder ($40)
We’re loving these raspberry-flavored, vitamin-fortified packets from wellness guru David Kirsch (aka the guy behind the bodies of Heidi Klum, Liv Tyler, and more). Just shake them into your water bottle, et voilà: immunity punch.
De Mamiel Altitude Oil ($44)
Fun fact: One of the reasons for the surge of illness during the winter months is that the cold temps drive us to stay indoors with everyone else—increasing our potential exposure. This handy blend of immunity-boosting essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, and lemon myrtle was concocted with close-quartered environments in mind, like an airplane or your climate-controlled office.
Quinton Hypertonic ($50)
We first noticed these vials hanging by the register at NYC hot spot Dimes—and a couple of years later, we're still hooked. Made of 100% marine plasma (which contains three times the mineral concentration of blood), this formula offers an energy boost in the short term—and an immunity boost in the long run.
Gaia Herbs Echinacea Goldenseal Supreme ($13)
This tincture has taken up residence in our purse next to our go-to lip color and blotting papers—it's that helpful at keeping colds away. Here's why: In addition to countless studies that tout echinacea for its immunity-boosting properties, some research even suggests that this natural herb can combat existing symptoms. Just a couple of drops under the tongue or in a glass of water will do the trick.
Moon Juice Elderberry Immunity Cup ($5)
Moon Juice's Amanda Chantal Bacon has made a career out of her vast knowledge of superfoods—which is why when she says to rely on this formula to keep illness away, we listen. That, and the fact that there's plenty of science to back up elderberry as a flu-buster: If you're already sidelined with congestion or a sinus infection, this natural remedy can make things right in a flash.
Phylia Fulphyl ($220)
When we spoke with natural beauty guru Jessica Richards of Shen Beauty, she made the bold declaration that this tonic has kept her family cold-free for years. The secret is in the main ingredient, fulvic acid, which does everything from neutralizing toxins to making cells more receptive to nutrients.
Four Sigma Foods Instant Reishi Herbal Mushroom Tea ($30)
Though medicinal mushrooms are trending, their benefits have been revered in Eastern medicine for years. Reishi in particular has a purported ability to enhance the immune system, so brew up a bedtime mug of this tea and wake up feeling just dandy.
Juice Press Ginger Fireball ($8)
There's nothing like spicy ginger laced with cayenne to help punch through an existing sinus problem—or to nip one in the bud. Mara Hoffman swears by this drink (and the tablet version) during the illness-inducing chaos of fashion week.
Living Libations Immune Illume Hotberry ($36)
This tiny vial is filled to the brim with anti-fungal and anti-bacterial extracts, like seabuckthorn berry, ginger, turmeric, and schizandra.
Pursoma Hot Tub Bath ($36)
A warm bath is already essential this time of year, so why not soup it up? We're obsessed with Pursoma's detoxifying bath formulas, made with French sea salt and montmorillonite clay—and this one is specially formulated for cold and flu symptoms.
Wakaya Perfection Turmeric Powder ($19)
Ayurvedic medicine has touted turmeric as a cure-all for centuries, and Western research is finally starting to get on board. And take it from us: During the dead cold of January, a steaming pot of curry really hits the spot.
What's your favorite method of staving off colds and the flu during this time of year? Tell us in the comments below!