"Home remedies for cold and flu" text over turquois blue background with a bowl of soup icon in white "Home remedies for cold and flu" text over turquois blue background with a bowl of soup icon in white

Home Remedies for Cold and Flu

Prevention is great—get those vaccines and follow proper hygiene practices. But cold and flu season often means that we get sick with common respiratory illnesses in winter. Vaccines help us prevent illnesses or experience less serious symptoms, but they’re not a 100% guarantee. So, it’s wise to prepare with the types of home remedies that will help us feel better if a cold or the flu happens and not waste money on things that have not been proven beneficial.

"Home remedies for cold and flu" infographic


Peak cold and flu season is here. Stock up on the things that help you stay out of the doctor’s office—and avoid what could make you feel worse.

  • Water. Stay hydrated.
  • Rest. Let your body recover.
  • Steam. Steam helps to open and soothe nasal passages.
  • Chicken noodle soup. Helps to relieve congestion.
  • Hygiene. Stops the spread of bacteria.
  • Humidifiers. May help ease congestion and make coughs more productive.

What doesn’t work:

  • Antibiotics. Influenza and colds are caused by a virus, so antibiotics are harmful in this instance.
  • Decongestants. There’s little evidence these medications are effective.
  • Vitamin C. Vitamin C doesn’t treat or prevent colds or influenza.
  • Hot toddies. A hot drink is great, but adding alcohol can be dehydrating.

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*In-home care services may vary by location.

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