Woman with cough symptoms.

Fighting cold and flu with home remedies

Cold and flu can’t be cured, however, home remedies and over the counter medication can help alleviate the symptoms and make you feel better.

In this article we mention some home remedies that can help you feel better when you are being affected by the symptoms of the cold or flu.


Jar and glass of water.

1. Drink, drink, drink

Drinking plenty of fluids may help break up congestion, moisten the throat, ease a dry cough and prevent dehydration.1-8

It is important to stay hydrated, so drink plenty of fluids. Water, lemon water, coconut water, soft drinks or tea can help with rehydration.

Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol as these can leave you dehydrated.4


2. Sip hot liquids

Hot liquids, such as tea with lemon, fruit juice or soup, not only helps to moisten and soothe the upper airways, but they may also have a psychological benefit by providing a feeling of comfort.3,5-8

Sleeping eye mask.

3. Get some rest

Resting will help your body to fight the infection, so rest as long as you continue to feel tired and sleep as much as you can.2,7-8

Chewable pills or sweets.

4. Soothe and ease the symptoms

Colds often cause a sore or scratchy throat, and a saltwater gargle may be soothing.7,8

Sucking on a sweet pastille or lozenge may also provide some relief from sore throat or throat irritation.3-5 Avoid giving these to small children as they can be a choking hazard.

Saline nasal spray or drops can also help break up congestion in the nose and eliminate sticky mucus.4,7

Ambient humidifier.

5. Moisten the air

Although there is no clinical evidence to support the benefit of humidifying the air, there is no harm in trying.9 It is possible that dry air may further irritate a sore throat and you might want to use a cool-air humidifier or vaporizer to eliminate dry air, or sit for several minutes in a steamy bathroom.3-5,7.8

Ashtray and cigarette.

6. Avoid irritants

Avoid smoking or breathing second-hand smoke as this can make symptoms such as cough worse.3-5

Liquid soap.

7. Try avoiding spreading the flue to others.

Even when it is not a remedy, is important to avoid spreading the cold or flu to others. Stay at home and away from work, school and other public places for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. Most people feel better within a week of becoming infected with the flu virus. So, keep this in mind before seeing others.2,10

Also, remember to practice good hygiene. Always cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue away after you use it. Wash your hands often with soap and water and use an alcohol-based hand-rub afterwards.2,10


If the home remedies are not producing the desired effects, you can complement with a free sale drug for cold & fly symptoms relieve like Panadol Cold & Flu.

According to the flu symptoms that you are experiencing you can select the best Panadol Cold & Flu product for you:

*For more detailed information, please refer to the product labelling. In case of doubt, please seek medical advice. Your pharmacist or doctor can help advise on the most appropriate treatments for you. If your symptoms persist or worsen, you should consult your doctor.

Take Panadol Cold & Flu products only as directed and always refer to label before use.

Do not take with any other products that contain the same active ingredient(s). Taking products containing any of the same active ingredients together may lead to an overdose. Immediate medical advice should be sought in the event of an overdose, even if you feel well.


Although the cold and flu may be common conditions, they both can require medical attention. Here are some, but not all the indications that you should see the doctor:11-13

Temperature icon.

1. You have a fever that does not go away, refuses to come down despite medication, or a fever with a rash.

Breathing difficulty icon.

2. You have difficulty breathing, feel short of breath, or you are experiencing pain in the chest or abdomen.

Cough icon.

3. Your symptoms (which may include fever, headache, nasal congestion or cough) persist or get worse.

Vomiting icon.

4. You have severe or persistent vomiting.

Dizziness icon.

5. You experience sudden dizziness or confusion.


1. Guppy MP, et al. Advising patients to increase fluid intake for treating acute respiratory infections. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD004419. Available at: https://www.cochrane.org/CD004419/ARI_advising-patients-to-increase-fluid-intake-for-treating-acute-respiratory-infections

2. Mayo Clinic (2019, April 17). Self-care for the flu. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/swine-flu/expert-answers/swine-flu-symptoms/faq-20058379

3. Mayo Clinic (2020, February 01). Sore throat: Diagnosis & Treatment. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sore-throat/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351640

4. Mayo Clinic (2019, February 16). Nasal congestion Basics: When to see a doctor. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/nasal-congestion/basics/when-to-see-doctor/sym-20050644

5. Mayo Clinic (2019, June 21). Cough: When to see a doctor. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/cough/basics/when-to-see-doctor/sym-20050846

6. Sanu A, Eccles R. The effects of a hot drink on nasal airflow and symptoms of common cold and flu. Rhinology. 2008;46(4):271–5. Abstract available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19145994

7. Mayo Clinic (2019, April 20). Common cold. Diagnosis and treatment. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351611

8. Mayo Clinic (2018, March 14). Cold remedies: What works, what doesn't, what can't hurt. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/in-depth/cold-remedies/art-20046403

9. Singh M, et al. Heated, humidified air for the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2017, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD001728. Available at: https://www.cochrane.org/CD001728/ARI_heated-humidified-air-common-cold

10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019, October 9). Influenza (flu): Preventative steps. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/prevention.htm

11. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020, February 6). Common Cold. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/community/for-patients/common-illnesses/colds.html

12. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019, February 11). Common Colds: Protect Yourself and Others. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/index.html

13. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019, October 8). The Flu: What to do if you get sick. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/treatment/takingcare.htm

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