Cold and flu symptoms tend to be seasonal and often appear in the winter months. They have similar symptoms, including sore throat, headaches, and coughs, and people usually begin to feel in a week or two.
But the time required to ward off symptoms can be difficult for many, especially since there is no cure. But there are several ways in which symptoms can be helped, Dr. Hilary advised. ITVIS Lorraine.
Distinguishing between fact and fiction when it comes to cold and flu remedies, the doctor has revealed the best drink to help lessen symptoms like whiskey.
According to Dr. Hilary, whiskey is particularly good for a sore throat when mixed with lemon, honey and hot water to make a hot toddy.
He said: "It's soothing, whiskey acts as anesthetic and soothes sore throat and helps you sleep.
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"It also has a calming effect on mucus."
A hot toddy was not the only recommended food and drink medicine.
Chicken soup can help "mitigate some of the symptoms," said Hilary.
He said, "Chicken soup actually has some research behind it, which is one of the best things to have."
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He added: "It has chicken bones and vegetables with many antioxidants, nourishing proteins, moisturizing water and is good for decongesting steam rising through the nose."
Eating oily fish can also prevent flu symptoms because they are rich in vitamin D.
Hilary explained: "Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin and is really important for our immunity.
“It may be one of the reasons why we have colds.
"Vitamin D is really important and you can get a lot of vitamin D in oily fish,
"Try to incorporate salmon, mackerel and tune into your diet and you're less likely to have a cold."
Hilary also debunked some of the myths surrounding cold and flu medicines.
While some studies have suggested that sex may help boost the immune system, there are some cons – if one gets cold, the other will probably have the problem.
Going to bed with wet hair may not cause a cold, Hilary said, but having a cold nose for a period of time may increase the likelihood that you will catch a cold.
This is because there are immune cells that line the nose and fight infection, and if cold, they may not be effective.
Hilary advises wrapping a handkerchief around her face when it's cold.
Hugging trees to help the cold is also a myth, but Hilary added, "If you spend more time in parks and forests, lovely spiritual surroundings around you all the time, your immunity is increased."
Dr. Hilary's final recommendation was to get the flu shot and follow a healthy diet and lifestyle.