From the depletion in numbers at the office to the incessant sniffing and chorus of coughs on the bus, there is no escaping the fact that the cold and flu season has arrived.
With no sign of a cure on the horizon and the cost of over-the-counter medication eating into your daily budget, we've found the best natural remedies for tackling your symptoms - from runny noses to sore throats and headaches.
Wash your hands - the germs that cause colds are spread from your hands to your nose or eyes, and then to the nasopharynx where the nose meets the mouth at the back of the throat. Most cold viruses can survive up to three hours on nonporous surfaces (doorknobs, work tops and coffee cups) and stay alive on your hands for hours if you don't wash them.
Get more sleep - lack of sleep makes you more susceptible to develop the cold virus as it weakens your immune system, making it easier for bugs to contaminate your body.
Stock up on vitamins D and C - boosting your vitamin intake is crucial for building up the body's resistance to illness. Vitamin D, or the 'Sunshine Vitamin' is great for boosting the immune system as it Vitamin C.
Drink plenty of water - keeping the body hydrated is important when preventing a cold developing. When a cold strikes, it strips the body of its fluids causing dehydration, so top up the water levels to ensure this doesn't happen.
Beat the bug the natural way with these home remedies...