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Beat The Flu and Cold With These 10 Tasty Recipes

Updated on March 4, 2016

Flu Or Cold?

You are sneezing, coughing, your head is pounding, your throat is scratchy and your nose is stuffy. Is it the seasonal flu or a common cold? The symptoms of flu and cold can overlap, so unless you see a doctor to run a rapid test, as soon as you start experiencing these symptoms, it is hard to know for sure.

Here are some guidelines on how to differentiate between a common cold and the flu.

The Common Cold

There is a reason why common cold is called “common.” It is a seasonal respiratory infection that is considered a leading cause of frequent doctors’ office visits and missed school or work days every year. While you can easily resolve a common cold, the symptoms can last up to fourteen days. However, according to health experts, the symptoms are often mild and, in most cases, don’t cause any serious health issues.

According to health experts, common cold can be caused by over 1000 viruses. However, rhinovirus is most often the virus that causes cold and it’s highly contagious. Other common viruses that cause cold include the respiratory syncytial and coronaviruses viruses. Most of the viruses that cause common cold thrive in low humidity environments, which explains why common colds are more common during winter and fall months.

When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they send droplets filled with cold-causing virus flying through the air. You can get infected when you come in contact with these droplets.

Common Cold Symptoms

If your symptoms are

  • Coughing,
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Mild tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Body or muscle aches

The Flu

Influenza –or the flu, as it is commonly referred to –is an upper respiratory condition that can develop into more serious illnesses such as pneumonia. This is particularly true for pregnant women, older adults, young children, and people with immune-compromising health issues such as diabetes, heart disease or asthma.

Unlike common cold, which hits at any time of the year, the influenza is seasonal. The flu seasons tend to run from fall to spring, and are at peak during winter months. During this season, you can easily contract the flu in the same way you would catch a common cold: through droplets spread by an infected person.

Symptoms of The Seasonal Flu

While the flu symptoms are usually similar to those of a common cold, they tend to be more severe. They include:

  • Shaking chills
  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Sore throat
  • Mild to high fever
  • Stuffy and runny nose
  • Headache
  • Severe body or muscle aches
  • Profound fatigue that may last for up to two weeks
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea (this is more common in children)


Flu and Cold Fighting Foods

Here are some great foods to eat when battling a common cold or flu:

Peppers: Peppers are packed with vitamin C, which plays a big role in fighting cold and flu.

Blueberries: Blueberries are rich in natural aspirin, which helps lower fevers and help relieve pains and aches caused by the flue.

Carrots: Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene.

Chilli peppers: Chilli peppers are great at opening sinuses and help break up the mucus.

Horseradish and Mustard: These play a big role in battling cold and flu by breaking up mucus in the air passages.

Onion: Onion is rich in phytochemicals that are believed to help your body clear bronchitis and other respiratory infections.

Black and green tea: They contain a phytochemical called catechin, which is believed to have natural anti-diarrhea and antibiotic effects. Loaded with antioxidants, green or black tea, when drunk can also soothe your sore throat. You may also want to breathe in the steam to help clear stuffy nose.

Ice Pops

Ice pops can soothe your sore, dry or swollen throat. They will also keep you hydrated, which is very important when you are battling the flu. Staying hydrated eases congestion by keeping your mucus thin. Choose ice pops that are made from 100% fruit juice to make sure you get essential nutrients, but not the sugar water. It’s recommended that you make your own fruit ice pops to be sure with what you get.

Vegetable Juice: A glass of low-sodium veggie juice will load you up with antioxidants that improve your body’s defense against disease-causing germs.

Garlic: Garlic has some powers to boost your immune system and give you a relief from congestion.

Ginger: Ginger is known for relieving nausea and stomachache. It also fights inflammation. Add it to other dishes, either as a powder or freshly grated. Or you may as well drink flat ginger ale.

Banana: Whether you have it whole, mashed, or sliced, a banana is easy on your stomach and it is a go-to food if you have been it with diarrhea, vomiting or nausea, which are symptoms of the flu.


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Effective Flu and Cold Fighting Recipes

Here are a few recipes that are very effective when it comes to fighting flu and cold.

Flu- and Cold-Soothing Tea

This spicy ginger tea will ease your throat and help you stay hydrated during the flu season.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 pinch cayenne, you can add more to taste
  • ½ tbsp. turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. cloves
  • 3 slices (1/4 inch thick) of fresh ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 ½ tbsp. raw honey, adjust to achieve your desired sweetness


Combine all the ingredients, except honey, in a pot over medium heat; bring to gentle boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes.

Stir in honey, adding more if you desire.

Strain the tea mixture into a glass and drink warm.


Flu RX Sorbet


  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp. powdered ginger
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • one 3-ounce packet liquid pectin, you can find this on the baking aisle at any grocery store
  • Optional: 2-4 tbsp. bourbon


Mix together lemon and orange juices, honey, sugar, and ginger in a medium saucepan set over medium heat; bring to a gentle boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from heat and stir in cayenne, bourbon and pectin.

Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate, covered, until cold.

With an ice cream make, freeze the sorbet until firm, for about 4 hours. Enjoy!

Chloe’s 5 Flu Fighting Honey Citrus Syrups

These natural honey citrus syrups soothe a cold or flu. You may also use them to add yummy flavor to hot tea or water. This is a thoughtful gift for an ailing friend or family member.

Option 1: Lemon and Ginger Honey


  • 1-2 lemons
  • ½ cup honey, plus extra to fill the jar, if desired
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger or 1 tsp. ground ginger

OPTION 2: Orange and Clove Honey


  • 1/2 fresh orange
  • ½ cup honey, plus extra to fill the jar, if desired
  • 16 whole cloves
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

OPTION 3: Clementine and Cardamom Honey


  • 1-2 Clementines
  • ½ cup honey, plus extra to fill the jar, if desired
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom

OPTION 4: Lime and Mint Honey


  • 1-2 limes
  • ½ cup honey, plus extra to fill the jar, if desired
  • 6-8 fresh mint leaves, you’ll remove the mint leaves from jar after one week to prevent spoilage

OPTION 5: Lemon and Rosemary Honey


  • 1-2 lemons
  • ½ cup honey, plus extra to fill the jar, if desired
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary

General Instructions for Filling the Jar:

Slice the citrus fruit into small rounds and cut each round into quarters to make them fit easily into the jar.

In 1-cup jar, add half of the sliced citrus, honey and spices/herbs; stir gently until well mixed.

Stir in the remaining half of the ingredients and top with honey to fill the jar, if desired.

Refrigerate, covered, for about 4 hours. Stir to combine citrus juices with honey and you are good to go! You may store it in the fridge for up to 2 months.

NOTE: You may want to use all buckwheat honey, all regular honey or a combination of half of each.

Chloe’s Cold Cure-All

If you are looking for a warming drink with Echinacea and a kick of cayenne and ginger to clear sinuses, then this recipe is all you need.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. super echinacea extract
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp. raw honey


Mix together all the ingredients in a mug with one cup of boiling water; stir well until honey is completely dissolved. Let stand for at least 1 minute before serving.

Homemade Cough Remedy

This cider-honey syrup is spicy and potent enough to soothe a sore throat and calm a cough.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp. pure honey
  • 2 tbsp. water


Combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake until well combined. Store in the fridge for up to one month.


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    • Cynthia Hoover profile image

      Cynthia Hoover 16 months ago from Newton, West Virginia

      Wonderful hub filled with useful information! I love home remedies and treatments and your hub has a few that I never thought of! Thank you for sharing these useful tips!

    • eldawatulo profile image

      Chloe Ben 16 months ago from Canada

      Thank you Cynthia, I also love home remedies and I never go to see the doctor whenever I have cold or flu.

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