A women adding honey to a mug

Five ways to fight coughs and colds

Here's 5 easy ways to help combat coughs and sniffles.

Be quick...

Vitamin C is an old favourite for tackling winter bugs, as it helps your immune system work properly. But if you’re looking to make the most of any cold-busting benefits, you need to be quick off the mark. Taking a supplement on the first day of symptoms is the most likely way to reduce the length of your cold, according to a review of studies.

Use flower power

Not just for prettying up your patio, the geranium-like plant Pelargonium is a herbal medicine traditionally used for colds, coughs, runny or blocked nose and sore throats.

Enjoy oysters

Did you know oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food? Taking zinc may help you get over a cold more quickly by helping to keep your immune system functioning – time for the seafood platter!

Sweeten up

Consider honey next time you’ve got an annoying cough. It is recommended above over-the-counter remedies for children, with the latest thinking that a honey-and-lemon drink can be just as useful as cough medicines.

Drink to it

Turns out the old advice is the best: drinking plenty of fluids is a great way to combat cough and cold symptoms. A blocked nose and catarrh can make you feel rough, but a lot of water or herbal tea will help to thin out your mucous, meaning you won’t feel so bunged up.

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References
http://www.cochrane.org/CD000980/ARI_vitamin-c-for-preventing-and-treating-the-common-cold

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cough/pages/introduction.aspx

This article has been adapted from longer features appearing in Healthy, the Holland & Barrett magazine. Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.

Cold & Flu