The ultimate cold and flu survival kit

The last thing you want to do if you’re sick is run to the drugstore. Brace yourselves with this cold and flu emergency kit — and three soothing homemade tonics.

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Cold and flu survival case with everything you'll need this winter
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

There’s a reason it’s called the “common cold” — adults contract it two to three times a year, and research has shown that at any given time, 33 percent of Canadians are dealing with a sore throat, cold or flu. When you have to admit defeat, it helps to have a well-stocked survival kit. Here’s what to put in it:

1. Nude Wild Honey, $15, Loblaws.

2. AromaOm Ultrasonic Nebulizer, $90, Saje.

3. Cold Survival Sachet Kit, $20, David’s Tea.

4. Hot Water Bottle, $28, Roots.

5. Diffuser Blends, from $15 each, Saje.

Drink to your health

An adult female should consume 2.7 litres of fluids a day — especially when sick. Calgary-based dietitian Andrea Holwegner analyzes the go-to elixirs of three Chatelaine staffers.

 

Cold juices and drinks and teas
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

1. Ginger-tea medley

“At first cough, I drink my ginger-tea medley. To make it, slice a 3-inch knob of washed, unpeeled ginger. Add it to 6 cups of water. Boil for 15 to 20 min. Add 1 tbsp brown sugar.” — Carolyn Lim Chua, associate food editor
The assessment: Fluid in general helps moisten the lining of the respiratory tract, and ginger can reduce nausea.

2. Hug in a mug

“I call this my hug in a mug. I drink it once a cold hits. Camomile tea plus peppermint and honey. It soothes a cough and is so calming.” — Laura Brown, managing editor
The assessment: This will help with congestion, and the honey will have a soothing effect on the throat. Mint can also help settle an upset stomach.

3. Cold and Flu Buster

“My go-to is the Cold and Flu Buster from the Big Carrot Juice Bar in Toronto: raspberries, grapefruit, orange, lemon and echinacea tincture.” — Alexandra Gater, editorial coordinator
The assessment: Top marks for all the vitamin C. Consuming 200 mg of it a day may slightly reduce the duration and severity of symptoms.

Related:
10 ways to stay flu-free till spring
Can you “boost” your immunity?
What you need to know about the flu shot