It’s that time of year again and everyone seems to be getting sick. The sniffles, sore throats… you name it. People who aren’t actually sick are worried about getting sick, especially with so much press about the swine flu.

So what to do?  Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing natural solutions to stay healthy and, if you do get sick, recover quickly.

Today, three supplements that I always keep on hand during the winter season:

Amalaki. Grown at the base of the Himalayas, this bitter citrus fruit is one of the most powerful sources of vitamin C in the world. It’s used in Ayurvedic medicine to repair the immune system, regain vitality, and improve digestion. This is a good supplement to take throughout the cold season, the same way you might take extra vitamin C.  You can purchase it online in capsule form here. You can also buy amalaki juices, such as Zrii, but the research on the effectiveness of these isn’t as conclusive as taking it in powder form.

Goldenseal and Echinacea. This immune boosting duo is the first thing I reach for when I feel a cold coming on. Echinacea helps purify the blood and stimulate the immune system. Goldenseal soothes inflammation (which occurs when there’s an infection or virus) and can work as a natural antibiotic. Together, they flush out your system and help reduce inflammation. You can buy both supplements in one capsule at many health food stores or vitamin shops. I start taking them–with lots of water–as soon as I get sick to feel better more quickly.

Slippery Elm. aka my best friend when I have a sore throat. Made from the bark of the Slippery Elm tree, this has been used for centuries by Native Americans to soothe the mouth, throat, and stomach. I use Thayer’s lozenges when I’m sick; you can also drink Yogi’s Throat Comfort tea, which contains the root.