Firstly, I adhered to my no-sugar, GAPS/Paleo-like diet, which I have described in this website. This diet is also very high in antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables, which help fight viruses and boost the immune system. Secondly, I ate a lot of garlic. At least 2 cloves a day, in my food or chopped up raw and swallowed with water. In addition, I sinus rinsed with garlic-water. This is the secret to killing any viral sinus infection. I swear, this is what got rid of my last cold in three days. Three days! That's a first for me. They usually last a week or two, and then turn into some kind of viral bronchitis. Anyway, if you use a neti pot or a sinus rinse sqeezey bottle (NielMed brand) this is what you do to prepare the garlic water, which you will add to the regular warm saline solution that you rinse with. First, crush a small clove of garlic with the flat of a knife and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then chop it up very small and put it in a little glass, shot glasses work best. Next, add about 1 ounce or less of water to the glass and crush the garlic with your finger. You should be able to see the oils from the garlic mix into the water. Crush the garlic until the water is relatively murky with the oils. I usually let the mixture sit for 15-30 minutes. Then pour the garlicky water into the neti pot or squeezy bottle, careful to avoid pouring the chunks of garlic in (you don't want chunks of garlic lodged up your nose, or maybe you're in for a little excitement?). Add warm water and the salt packet, then rinse. It's gonna burn for a few seconds, but that means it's working! If you also have a sore throat, gargle with garlicky saline water, too. Garlic is one of the most powerful anti-viral substances in the world. There are no pharmaceuticals as powerful. If you've got an active cold, I suggest garlic rinsing at least twice a day. If you're working on prevention, rinsing once a day should be good. Oh, and after you're done rinsing, eat that garlic left over at the bottom of your shot glass!
Thirdly, I discovered a new herbal medicine that I am convinced was the main reason I dodged the flu and my second housemate did not: andrographis. Andrographis is a bitter herb well known for its powerful antiviral properties, and has been a go-to medicine to treat colds and flus for centuries. I happened to be taking andrographis at least a week before housemate #1 caught the flu because two different herbalists had recommended I take it to fight my chronic lung infections (it's also a powerful antibacterial). It is sold at my food coop's supplement section under the name "Kold Kare" and conveniently comes in little green tablets, which are easy to take with the rest of my morning and evening pills. For prevention I take 1-2 tablets twice a day with meals. It is very bitter, so it can cause digestive upset on an empty stomach. If you already have a virus, I would take 2 tablets twice a day until all symptoms are completely gone. I am still taking 1 tablet twice a day because my housemates are not yet symptom-free, plus I've still got my own bacterial infections to deal with. After housemate #2 caught the virus, a few days into it she went to the coop and got Kold Kare, and the next day her symptoms were already improved. In 3-4 days she was over the hump and almost completely back to normal. I am convinced andrographis had a lot to do with her quickened recovery, and she is also convinced (plus she garlic rinsed). Housemate #1 has not fully recovered yet.
So anyway, I hope my two discoveries (garlic rinsing and andrographis) will help you avoid catching anything during cold and flu season. Be diligent and use these herbs at the first sign of exposure, even before you feel any symptoms. If you wait until you start feeling a tickle in your nose or throat, it may be too late to avoid catching it. However, even if you do catch a virus, these herbs can help you recover more quickly and possible help avoid having the virus move into the lungs. Good luck!