Monday, 15 October 2012

Top Tips & Products for Surviving Cold & Flu Season

Seeing as I'm rather ill at the moment & know of at least 5 people who are feeling equally as awful I thought it might be worth dedicating a post to the subject! Yup it seems the world & its dog have come down with a cold/flu at the moment. At this point I should probably mention that this post comes with no official medical knowledge on my part & is simply just what works for me! Just in case anyone plans on suing me because they've become addicted to Olbas Oil tissues. In addition to that disclaimer, I'm also not suggesting you use all of these products at the same time, in fact DON'T. Its just the best ones I've found over the years. So here are my top tips & products to help you survive Cold & Flu season (typically Oct through to Feb). Warning: you can get colds outside of these bracket months, sadly.
Vitamin C - if you have any hopes of getting through the winter without contracting a cold then make Vitamin C your ally. I tend to take Vitamin C every other day during the winter months. It helps to keep your immune system strong which in turn will help you fight off any nasties. Tablets aren't the only way to go though, as I'm sure you all know Vitamin C can be consumed through fruit & veg too such as Broccoli, Oranges & Kiwis!
Echinacea - I know this is a bit of a love/hate remedy! Some people think it's a load of mumbo jumbo & a bit of a placebo. Whatever the case it seems to do the trick for me! You need to take this at the very beginning of your cold (or even as a preventative) for it to be effective & the aim of the game is that you'll wake up the next morning feeling A LOT better. For those of you who aren't familiar with Echinacea it's a herbal remedy which supports your immune system & provides relief from Colds & Flu. FYI it tastes like you're knocking back a shot of the worlds cheapest vodka.
Anti-bacterial Hand Gel - a necessity pretty much all year round (I always have a bottle in my bag) but particularly around this time of year! If you're constantly using public transport or stuck in an office with other people who might be ill, anti-bac hand gel is key in stopping germs spreading! I find most of them a bit overbearing & that the alcohol really dries out my skin (especially in winter) so am over the moon to have found this amazing one by Green & Spring which is alcohol free but still kills all germs & smells incredible!
Vicks Vapo Rub - if a cold/flu does take hold then Vicks is your saviour for a chesty cough, blocked nose or foggy head. Rub it on your chest, under your nose or side of your temples depending on what is giving you the most grief!
Olbas Oil Tissues - these are great for when you're feeling rotten at work/on the go etc. They have the same effects as Vicks Vapo Rub for a stuffy head but without the mess! I always keep these with me when I'm ill as they're great for relieving a blocked nose without smearing Vicks all over your face! Not a great look in public.
Ultra Chloraseptic Anaesthetic Throat Spray - there is nothing worse than an awful sore throat. You know the kind when it feels like you swallowed a bunch of razor blades & it hurts to breathe? This stuff is a godsent. 1 spray numbs the back of your throat & instantly takes away the pain (albeit temporarily). Think throat lozenges but faster acting. Ideal for tickley coughs & sore throats.
Tyrosine Lozenges - speaking of lozenges, these are by far my fav. Absolutely everything nothing to do with the fact that they taste like sambucca (if you're not a fan then avoid). These are smaller than most lozenges & seem get to work quicker. They also contain contain antibiotics which will help fight your throat infection & for that reason are only available over the counter. You should probably only take these if your sore throat is severe & warrants the use of a product containing antibiotics! 
Benylin Cough Syrup - sleep is obviously important when you're ill so there is nothing more annoying than when your cough won't let you. There are a variety of different cough syrups available from Benylin depending on if your cough is dry or chesty etc. I find the dry one really effective & the added side effect of drowsiness is welcomed when I'm trying to get some shut eye. It goes without saying - don't take this during the day! On a side note - if you're suffering from a dry or tickly cough a hot bath always works wonders as the steam soothes it. Further to that, a vaporiser in your room is also really helpful at night.
Manuka Honey - my last fix for a sore throat or cough is an age old saviour. Hot honey & lemon. It's a great natural way to soothe your throat and the bitterness of the lemon can help towards cleaning your airways. For this fix to be really effective though you'll need to switch your regular honey for Manuka! Manuka honey is said to have antibacterial qualities which fight off infection. My fellow gal pal (Andrea) also swears by the addition of freshly grated ginger to the mix! Making the concoction even more effective as ginger is also renowned for its medical properties.
Sudafed Blocked Nose & Headache Capsules - on to the good old painkillers. The idea is basically that these bad boys are slightly more effective than plain old paracetamol as in addition they contain caffeine to boost energy levels (tbh I'd rather a hot cup of coffee) and phenylephrine which is one of the most common over the counter decongestants. Sudafed have a range of tablets for various symptoms but personally I think only ones containing the decongestant are the only ones worth the money.
Night Nurse Capsules - as I mentioned previously when you're trying to nod off you'll pretty much try anything to ease your symptoms for just half an hour while you fall asleep. These capsules claims to relieve pretty much everything from a tickly cough to aches & a runny nose. Again in addition to paracetamol they contain promethazine which claims to be a mild sedative & migraine treatment while the last ingredient, dextromethophan, is a popular cough suppressant. Not sure how that'll fix a runny nose but the Night Nurse Capsules seem to provide relief from everything else so they're my friend!
Phew! Sorry this has been such a long post but hopefully it's been worth the 10 minutes of your life that you've spared & might help you find something new that works for you! I've tried to ensure there's something in there for everyone regardless of if you prefer natural remedies or something a little more hardcore! Finally, always read ALL product instructions before using & only ever take the recommended daily allowance! Please leave any helpful tips below! I'm sure we'd all love to hear them! I'll leave you with this image. It appears there's something rather comforting in knowing one of your best friends is just as ill as you are, holed up in bed & bored out of their brain too so we exchanged snaps of our day to pass the time! To her & all the rest of you who are ill - GET WELL SOON!


  1. i use that throat spray like its going out of fashion when i have a sore throat. i've gone the opposite way this thme though, i'm all snuffly and sneezey.
    hope you get better soon,
    laura xx

    1. I know! It's literally one of the few things that really helps! Stick with Vicks if your cold is all heady :) thanks lovely, hope you well better soon too! xCx

  2. Night Nurse always come to my rescue! They help me so much as I have a really low immune system. Really good blog post xx

    1. Night nurse is such a saviour! Thanks Hun :) xCx


Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love hearing what you guys have to say & I'll always leave a reply! Please feel free to share any tips or recommendations too. xCx