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Unfortunately, there are no magic cures for cold and flu, but the next best thing is comforting advice from those who have been there (lots of times). That's why we asked our grandparents for their tried-and-tested home remedies for the common cold and flu.
These home remedies for cold and flu might not be backed up by scientific research, but if grandma thinks they work, that's good enough for us.
Keep a packet of Cushelle tissues in your pocket when you feel a cold coming on. They're soft and strong, yet gentle next to sore noses.
1. Keep tissues in every room
Ever noticed how there's always a box of tissues in almost every room of your grandma's house? That's because she knows that the best home remedy for cold and flu is to relieve that annoying runny nose without having to move far from the sofa. Catching sneezes and coughs in a tissue and throwing it in the bin is also key to preventing the spread of the virus in the first place.
2. Garlic: the best remedy for a cold?
We all know garlic can scare vampires away, but grandpa says the antioxidants in it can fight colds, too. Garlic has long been thought of as the best home remedy for cold symptoms, so if you can face the taste and smell it's well worth a go. Try eating a raw clove, boiling it in water to make a garlic tea, or adding some minced garlic to your meals to scare away the sneezes.
3. Prop up your pillows
Your grandparents don't prop up your pillows for no reason. Some believe that sleeping on extra pillows is one of the most effective home remedies for cold symptoms, especially when you're very congested. The combination of getting plenty of rest and your head being slightly elevated gives your body the chance to recover and promotes drainage from your blocked sinuses.
4. Good home remedies for a cold: feed it
Often when we're struck down, the last thing we feel like doing is eating, but our grandparents might just be right: a hearty meal can do just the trick. By not eating you're running the risk of getting weaker, so tuck into some nutritious food to help give you strength. Grandma's chicken soup is, of course, right up there as one of the most comforting of all the home remedies for cold relief.
5. Sweat it out
Not all grandma's home remedies for common cold should be taken too literally. She loves telling you to 'sweat it out' because she's hardy and proactive, but go easy on yourself and avoid heavy exercise, especially if you suspect you have flu. Taking a bath or an easy walk in the fresh air might help you feel back to normal - just make sure you stay well hydrated. Once you're better, however, it's time to hit the treadmill; evidence suggests that regular exercise could strengthen the immune system, decreasing the risk of catching a cold next time.
Help stop the spread of cold viruses when you're on the go by using sanitizer or washing hands regularly.
When colds and flu grab hold it's easy to just retreat and let it play out, but with some classic family remedies you can at least feel comforted. If you are looking for good home remedies for a cold, trust grandma and grandpa, and give these a try.