Many of us keep working through them because, well, we may not have a choice but that doesn’t mean that we grin it and bear it. But there is plenty we can do to not get us stuck in that situation and make sure our immune systems are in top form all winter long. And there a lot of options that go beyond a nice hot steaming bowl of soup, whether it be some Jewish penicillin (chicken soup) or whatever happens to be your favorite.


A lot of us will start taking Vitamin C tablets and/or eating more foods enriched in Vitamin C because it’s especially known for being able to boost your immune system. But did you know that there are other things you can do besides rigorously wiping down surfaces that are prone to hosting germs and taking in more Vitamin C? And that they’re much more basic than you’d expect? Yes, by staying hydrated and making sure you get enough rest you’re already helping your cause out of staying cold-free this winter.


But now let’s get to the fun part where we tell you how you can fight off colds using olive oil. There’s a reason why Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, claimed that olive oil was the “greatest therapeutic.” Olive oil really does have applications that go beyond making our food taste great and helping moisturize our bodies. Just how can we do that? TV chef Cat Cora has mentioned how her family uses olive oil as a big player in taking care of themselves.


Cora told told Reader’s Digest that her “…family in Greece drinks half a cup of extra virgin olive oil [EVOO] and warm lemon water in the morning for weight loss and health. They absolutely swear by it for keeping hunger pangs in check, helping with body maintenance, health and longevity.” That sounds pretty amazing, right? But if you don’t want to have to mix warm lemon water and extra virgin olive oil but still want to make sure you can stay healthy, there’s plenty you can do.


Now before we move on, we know that not everybody has to deal with low temperatures and snowfall but that doesn’t mean that you’re completely protected. In August of 2004, a study that was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology talked about how “people working in office buildings with central air conditioning had more symptoms of illness than those who did not work in buildings with central air.” While it’s recommended that you go outside and take in fresh air to make sure that your body temperature can equilibrate and slightly increase the temperature, the increase in the AC temperature could be a little bit easier said than done. Increasing the temperature on your AC at home is a perfectly doable solution, but if you can’t do that at the office, any of the following tips apply to everybody in the cold and flu season, no matter whether you’re in Miami or in Maine.


If you’re in a pinch to fight off a cold, olive oil can help treat your symptoms in a myriad of ways:


  • If your colds happen to come with a cough, sipping on olive oil will help treat the irritation in your throat that causes your symptoms.

  • It’s also possible to make a natural cough syrup using olive oil, honey, and warm lemon juice. This is great news for people who prefer a remedy without a horrible aftertaste that come with a lot of the options you’ll find at the pharmacy.

  • As for the pains you may experience during a cold, like in your body and earaches, the oleocanthal phenolic compound shares some common characteristics with ibuprofen, which we all know to be an effective painkiller.

  • And, of the more well-known attributes in olive oil, its richness in Vitamin E, known to help minimize your chances for getting respiratory infections.