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Cold Effects – How do cold remedies compare?

Hot Toddy with cloves recipe from The Blond Cook


Am I right in thinking I’m not the only one who has been suffering from a cold the last couple of weeks? It’s that season after all. Pretty much all my friends have had some sort of cold or flu that has been hard to shake. What do you take when you get a cold? Are you a fan of pharmaceuticals or do you stick to all natural remedies?

Here I’ve compared the effects of cold remedies. Let’s see what shakes these colds!

  • Cold-FX – This is a product that was new to me when I moved to Canada. It claims to be clinically proven to reduce the frequency, severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms and I’ve got to say it has always worked for me. I find if I take Cold-FX the day I feel the symptoms of any cold or flu, I will recover more quickly.
  • Garlic – Garlic has a powerful antioxidant and antibacterial effect. Garlic is also said to have strong effects on lowing the cholesterol and blood pressure. As a cold remedy, garlic can reduce the frequency and duration of cold. Studies have been done with garlic supplements but not raw garlic. In my experience, garlic had no effect on my colds, however I do not take a daily garlic supplement. This study by Peter Josling was conducted on 146 volunteers, split into those who took a placebo and those who took a garlic supplement. Those taking garlic suffered less colds and the cold they did have, were shorter.
  • The Hot Toddy – My VictoriaMom colleague sent me this little recipe last week when I was struggling to get up and back to work. It was alcohol free but there are lots of variations including adding peach schnapps for a peach toddy – yum! See here for more hot toddy recipes. My hot toddy had an emphasis on cayenne pepper and garlic – Hot water, 2/3 table spoons of lemon juice. 1-2 teaspoons of honey, a clove of chopped garlic and 1/8 tsp of cayenne. It was really comforting; hydrating me, warming me and making me feel a little better. I didn’t bounce off the sofa cured but the cayenne definitely got my sinus blockage shifting. I made a teapot and drank as much as I could.
  • Fenugreek seeds – You can buy fenugreek seeds at any good health food shop that sells loose herbs. Boil the seeds like a tea and drink. If you boil for just the right amount of time, it will taste like maple syrup, any longer and it gets a little bitter. I’ve used fenugreek for years to clear sinus problems from cold and allergies. Fenugreek has many health benefits, but I find it works to make me sneeze and shift congestion.
  • Chicken soup – Not just a comfort food but a bonafide way to help shift mucus and cold. I went for a spicy chicken soup for extra oomph! I’ve read several different explanations for why chicken noodle soup helps when you are sick and from what I can see, it comes down to the body having proper nutrition in order to fight germs. That’s good enough for me. Easy to eat, easy to digest, this is my cold remedy go to.
  • Over the Counter Medicines – For this cold I didn’t bother, I figured rest, fluid and nutrition would be enough and I was right. But previously I’ve taken decongestants and painkillers and I have definitely had symptom relief this way.
  • Acupuncture – I worked with a acupuncture practitioner in Victoria, BC when pregnant and whenever I had any sort of sickness coming I was needled. I find that acupuncture has great effects on general health, in supporting the immune system and preventing illness. I don’t usually book in for acupuncture if I have a cold but I am not sick often and I put this down to regular acupuncture ‘tune ups.’ Acupuncture practitioners can also offer you a Chinese herbal remedy (which will probably include astragalus root which does wonders for the immune system).
  • Vitamin C, Zinc and more – A healthy diet is important to prevent colds. If I feel a cold coming, I up my Vitamin C intake. You can also put some Emergen-C in your hot toddy!
  • Oil of Oregano – This is another of my go to remedies when sick, yes I smell like a pizza but this stuff is potent. Used since Ancient Greece as a potent antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic oil that reduces pain and inflammation and can effectively fight off infections, oil of oregano is always in my medicine cupboard for colds and digestive problems and it definitely works to shorten the duration of my colds.

Do you have a go to cold remedy you can share with us, or perhaps a variation on the hot toddy or chicken soup recipes? Let me know, I would love to hear it and try it next time.

Marketing Manager at Lover of yoga, bees, red wine, rock n roll music, good books and mountain views.

3 Responses to “Cold Effects – How do cold remedies compare?”

Juliana Bradley

Interesting. I’ve never tried garlic before, but it sounds like it could definitely work well. I’ll have to keep that in mind next time one of the kiddos gets sick. Thanks for sharing!


Raven Vieira

I say all natural! thanks for posting. Please drop by our site someime –



Great post, very helpful even now. Cold has different meaning in TCM.
Cold and heat (warm) are a pair of concept. In contrast with heat, cold refers to diseases with cold feature. This feature includes feeling of cold and many other “cold” symptoms.
Cold can just refer to cold feeling as a symptoms.
Cold is also a name of disease, like flu or common cold.
As for treatment, a cold type of disease is treated with herbs and any other things which can create warming effects in the body.
Flu has cold and heat types. To treat cold type of flu, warming herbs like ginger, garlic, Cinnamon, hot pepper, etc should work.


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