A recent study found that physicians overprescribe antibiotics 30% of the time, with approximately 50% of them being the wrong regimen, which directly contributes to the problem of superbugs. When dealing with congestion, many people use decongestants but then have to deal with rebound—worsened congestion after the medicine has worn off. Additionally, professionals say that one out of seven patients with sinus and nasal obstruction have abused medicated nasal sprays.

There are better ways to take care of your cold or flu without using medications. Here are six tips to getting over your cold naturally:

1. Use Herbs and Supplements

a. Echinacea – A study found that echinacea reduces the length of a cold by up to 30% because it has phenotic compounds that increase immune activity.

b. Elderberry – One study showed that elderberry can shorten the duration of flu symptoms by 56%.

c. Honey – Honey loosens congestion and prevents dehydration. It can be used to soothe an irritated throat and also as a cough suppressant.

2. Exercise

Going for a run or getting some other good exercise helps raise the body temperature, which mimics what fevers do to help rid the body of viruses.

3. Take a Hot Shower

The steam can help reduce congestion and hydrate mucus so it can get out of your system faster.

4. The Three G’s – Garlic, Ginseng, Ginger

a. Garlic: Garlic contains a compound called alliin. When the garlic is crushed alliin turns into allicin, which has properties that boost the immune system.

b. Ginseng: It’s no wonder ginseng is important in traditional Eastern medicine. Ginseng boosts the immune system; one kind of ginseng even showed it enhances the flu vaccine.

c. Ginger: Ginger activates T-Cells (white blood cells), which support the immune system. One of the best ways to add ginger to your diet is by drinking ginger tea and adding some lemon and honey.

5. Nasal and Sinus Cleansing

The nose is a gateway to the body. It is designed to be a filter and prevent germs from getting in. Just like other filters, it needs to be regularly cleaned. The best way to do this is by using a natural saline nasal spray or sinus rinse enhanced with xylitol. A xylitol saline, like Xlear’s, inhibits bacteria from sticking to tissue while also reducing swelling—all of which saline alone can’t do. A study which was recently published in the American Journal of Otolaryngology concluded that "Xylitol nasal irrigation results in greater improvement of symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis...as compared to saline nasal irrigation."

6. Eat Some Chicken Soup

Studies show that chicken soup reduces congestion and has a mild anti-inflammatory effect.