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Treating cold and flu symptoms without meds

(KOMO file photo)

You just got hit with the flu or a nasty cold. You feel miserable and you want some relief.

For many, the first choice is an over-the-counter medication, but the medical experts at Consumer Reports suggest a few home remedies that may make you feel better – and that tend to be safer and have few side effects.

Cough: A teaspoon or two of honey might help. Eat it right off the spoon or add it to a cup of tea. Caution: Infants younger than a year old cannot have honey.

Congestion: How about a nice bowl of chicken soup? The hot liquid and steam can really help ease congestion. Research shows the soup itself can help reduce the aches and pains. (See mom was right!)

Sore Throat: Try gargling with a little salt water. Dissolve a ½ to one teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water. Gargle with that salty water in the back of your throat and then spit. I do it a few times a day when I have a cold and it really helps.

Remember: Someone can be contagious a day or so before they get symptoms. So it's important to practice good hygiene and wash your hands a lot during cold and flu season.

More Info: How to Soothe Miserable Cold and Flu Symptoms

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