What Helps Cold & Flu

Common Cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. Flu, known as Influenza, is also a viral infection affecting the respiratory system, however presents with three key differences — rapid onset, fever and seasonal timing.


Can natural remedies & supplements help?

What Helps is entirely built by you. Your experiences help others decide how to treat their condition. Our users have tried 20 natural remedies for the treatment of Cold & Flu.
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Natural Remedies That May Help Cold & Flu

Ranked by our online community.
1
1

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential, water-soluble vitamin best-sourced in fruits (orange, grapefruit, kiwi, strawberries, cantaloupe) and vegetables (red pepper, green pepper, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower).  A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C plays a key role in immune function, protein metabolism, and collagen production.


How Might It Help

Vitamin C may help Cold & Flu by it's antiviral and immune-boosting properties.


Effectiveness
32%


2
2

Elderberry

Elderberries are dark purple fruits of the European Elder or Sambucas tree. The tree’s flowers and berries are edible, but the antioxidant-rich fruits are toxic unless cooked. Native to Europe, Elderberry has been used for antiviral and immune-boosting effects in folk medicine for centuries.


How Might It Help

Elderberry may help the duration of Cold & Flu symptoms by its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.


Effectiveness
60%


3
3

Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral obtained through diet. It is naturally present in foods including meat (beef, lamb, pork), shellfish (oysters, crab, lobster), legumes (chickpeas, lentils), seeds (hemp, pumpkin, sesame), nuts (pinenuts, peanuts, cashews), and vegetables (potatoes, green beans, kale). Zinc plays a key role in cellular metabolism, immune function, growth & development support and proper sensory function, including taste and smell.


Effectiveness
51%


4
4

Honey

Honey is a sweet, thick liquid made from regurgitated flowering plant nectar that has ripened & evaporated within the beehive’s honeycomb. Honey has had a long association with humans. 4000 years ago, Egyptian hieroglyphics depict the story of a bee’s life, though it was the ancient Greeks who first used honey medicinally. 


How Might It Help

Honey may help Cold & Flu by bringing symptomatic relief.


Effectiveness
31%


5
5

Ginger

Ginger is a tropical, green-purple, flowering plant from the Zingiberaceae family closely related to cardamom and turmeric. The oily resin from its rhizome contains many biochemic compounds including gingerol regarded for its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been widely used throughout ancient Sanskrit, Chinese, Greek, Roman, and Arabic history for its medical properties treating ailments like colds and nausea.


Effectiveness
50%


6
6

Echinacea

Echinacea, also known as Purple Coneflower or Echinacea purpurea, is a flowering plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. Native to North America and an integral component of Native American medicine, it is known for its anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing properties. 


How Might It Help

Echinacea may help Cold & Flu symptoms, but results are inconclusive.


Effectiveness
22%


7
7

Garlic

Garlic also known as Allium Sativum is a species of the onion genius, Allium. Native to Asia and Iran, garlic is a perennial flowering plant sprouting from a multi-segmented bulb, closely related to the onion, leek, shallot and chive. Upon trauma, the bulb creates sulfur compounds used for medicinal qualities.


How Might It Help

Garlic may help Cold & Flu by it's antimicrobial and antiviral properties, however results are inconclusive.


Effectiveness
42%


8
8

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin found in foods including fish (salmon, trout, sardines) and mushrooms (morel, chanterelle, oyster, shiitake), but more substantially from sun exposure, as the sun’s ultraviolet rays trigger synthesis. 


Effectiveness
28%


9
9

Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms that naturally live in the human body. They typically include strains from the common bacteria groups, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, as well as the yeast, Saccharomyces boulardii. Found naturally in fermented foods (kombucha, tempeh, kimchi, miso and sauerkraut) and dairy (yogurt, buttermilk, cottage cheese), probiotics are part of the microbiome or the healthy community of organisms that keep the body healthy.


Effectiveness
26%


10
10

American Ginseng

American Ginseng or Panax quinquefolius is a herbaceous perennial and member of the ivy, Araliaceae, family. A traditional and widely-used Native American medicine, Ginseng is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Found primarily in the Appalachian and Ozark regions, as well as eastern Canada, the herb was discovered by a Jesuit priest in the 1700s and imported to China.


How Might It Help

Ginseng may help Cold & Flu by its antiviral properties.


Effectiveness
16%


11
11

Umcka

Pelargonium sidoides, also known as Umckaloabo or Umcka, is a flowering geranium native to South Africa. The plant’s fleshy roots are harvested and distilled into extract for the treatment of upper respiratory infections, sexually transmitted diseases, dysentery and diarrhea. A component of Zulu medicine, Umckaloabo was promoted in Britain in the late 1800s as a treatment for tuberculosis.


How Might It Help

Pelargonium Sidoides may help Cold & Flu by reducing the severity and duration of symptoms.


Effectiveness
59%


12
12

Menthol

Menthol is obtained from the oil of various Mentha species including peppermint. It is primarily used as a flavoring or olfactory agent, due to its strong minty, cooling odor and taste. Acknowledged in Japan for over 2000 years, Menthol is used medicinally in the treatment of asthma, rhinitis, and topically as a counterirritant.


How Might It Help

Menthol in the form of a vapour rub may help Cold & Flu by lessening symptoms.


Effectiveness
46%


13
13

Multivitamin

Multivitamins essentially provide vitamins and minerals at levels close to Daily Values or Recommended Dietary Allowances. No standard definition or regulatory guidelines are available.


Effectiveness
80%


14
14

Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain’s pineal gland. It works with your body’s circadian rhythm, as well as, regulates body temperature, blood pressure and hormone levels. Production naturally decreases with age. Melatonin is commonly used as a treatment for sleep disorders including jet lag and insomnia.


Effectiveness
20%


15
15

Neti Pot

A neti pot is a container designed to rinse & clean the nasal cavity with a saline solution. Often resembling a teapot, the device is primarily used in the treatment of allergies, sinus issues or the common cold.


Effectiveness
80%


16
16

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is fermented apple juice, containing health-benefiting acetic acid. Used by the Ancient Greeks as an antiseptic and historically as a disinfectant and food preservative, Apple Cider Vinegar contains antioxidant-rich polyphenols, which help neutralize free radicals, while reducing inflammation.


Effectiveness
20%


17
17

Cayenne Pepper (Capsaicin)

Cayenne Pepper also known as Capsicum annuum is a hot chili pepper in the Solanaceae or nightshade family of flowering plants. Native to South America, Cayenne was introduced to Europe in the 15th century by Christopher Columbus. The active component responsible for the pepper’s spicy heat, Capsaicin, is an antioxidant used medicinally as a digestive aid and topical analgesic.


Effectiveness
20%


18
18

Salt Water Gargles

Salt water gargles are a simple treatment primarily for the relief and prevention of allergies, sinus and respiratory infections, and dental health. Generally an at-home remedy, the solution can be quickly prepared by dissolving ½ teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of warm water.


Effectiveness
80%


19
19

Chicken Soup


Effectiveness
20%


20
20

Drink Water


Effectiveness
20%


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Symptoms

Symptoms are how you perceive your condition. According to our users, the following are possible symptoms of Cold & Flu. Select one to see what may help.

What Helps

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