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Fact or fiction: Do you still believe these old wives’ tales about cold and flu?

Join us in busting some myths around cold and flu treatments.

COLD AND FLU season is firmly upon us now.

If you’ve had the misfortune of being struck down by a never-ending sniffle, you’ll know that the only thing worse than feeling sick is the endless unsolicited advice you receive for treating a cold or flu.  

“No Karen, I don’t know where I caught it and I’m pretty sure that starving a flu is not a real treatment, but thanks for your input.”

They mean well, but it can be grating to hear their unqualified – and often unwanted – suggestions. Always get guidance for treating colds and flu from a competent source, such as your local pharmacist.

youngsickbusinesswomansneezinginatissuewhileworkingin Running nose, headache, sore throat, muscle ache and cough are all common cold and flu symptoms. Shutterstock / Drazen Zigic Shutterstock / Drazen Zigic / Drazen Zigic

With that in mind, we want to see if you can tell fact from fiction when it comes to treating cold and flu. We’ve compiled some old wives’ tales about cold and flu to put your knowledge to the test. 

True or False

Going out in cold weather without a coat or with wet hair will lead to a cold.
True
False
Feed a fever, starve a cold.
True
False
Eating soup can cure a cold.
True
False
Taking Vitamin C helps to get rid of a cold.
True
False
Eating dairy products can make the flu worse.
True
False
Answer all the questions to see your result!
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Well done for getting some right. You may need to brush up on certain tall tales.
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Perhaps you have been fed these mistruths about cold and flu for too long. Keep reading to see where you went wrong.
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Not happy with these myths being busted? Read on as we explain each one.

Going out in cold weather without a coat or with wet hair will lead to a cold

Colder months are associated with illness, but it has more to do with increased time indoors rather than the bad weather. You’re not going to catch a cold if you go outside without multiple layers, but you may weaken your immune system. This can then make you more susceptible to catching something.

Feed a fever, starve a cold

Starving yourself when sick is not a good solution. Neither is stuffing yourself with as much food as you can. When sick from cold and flu, hydration is key. Drink plenty of fluids and eat when you feel hungry.

Eating soup can cure a cold

Soup has long been heralded as the magic cure for cold and flu. Unfortunately, a warm bowl of steaming goodness is only a temporary fix. Soup can definitely be included in your attempts at regaining wellness as part of a healthy balanced diet. It’s easily digestible and will warm you up, but it does not have otherworldly restorative benefits. 

Taking Vitamin C helps to get rid of a cold

Vitamin C does have benefits for colds and flu. Again, as part of a balanced diet you can prevent an illness by boosting your immune system with your recommended daily dose of Vitamin C from fruit, vegetables or supplements. However, don’t run to the shop for endless cartons of orange juice when you feel under the weather as it’s no magic fix. 

Eating dairy products can make the flu worse

There is no evidence to suggest dairy makes the flu worse. Contrary to popular belief, dairy doesn’t increase mucus production, meaning you’re in the clear to eat as much as you want. In fact, eating ice cream can help ease the pain of a sore throat (not that you need an excuse to tuck into your favourite treats when you’re under the weather).

Coming down with a cold or flu? Always ask your pharmacist for advice. 

New Solpa Cold & Flu Multi-Relief Max Powder for Oral Solution to relieve all the symptoms of colds and flu and the pain and congestion of sinusitis, including aches and pains, headache, blocked nose and sore throat, chills and feverishness (high temperature). The only max strength, triple active formulation available, suitable for adults, the elderly and children aged 16 years and over. Always read the leaflet.

For more information about cold and flu, visit Boots.