espite the many ways to prevent getting sick, millions of Canadians will still fall ill over the coming months. What then? Here are some of the best recommendations to manage symptoms and soothe that nasty cough, sore throat, and congested head.

1. Rest your body

There is no substitute for simply resting your body while fighting a cold or the flu. “Once you have a virus, you will have to let it run its course, which can last up to two weeks,” says Dr. Lee Schofield, a family physician. “If you are run down and tired it will be harder to fight the virus. Rest will help boost your immune system and not prolong your illness.”

2. Stay hydrated

Drink water, have some soup, and eat juicy fruits such as melons, grapes, and mangoes that contain lots of water and vitamin C. “We lose a lot of fluids when we’re sick, and when we feel crappy sometimes we don’t feel like drinking and eating, so we need to remind ourselves to stay hydrated,” says Abby Langer, a registered dietician. “Staying hydrated will loosen the mucous and congestion.”

3. Ease muscle aches and pain

Muscle aches and pain are typically associated with the flu. To ease the symptoms, Dr. Schofield suggests taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, and recommends following dosage amounts on the packaging. If you are an older adult, or have chronic kidney or liver disease, you should consult a health care provider before taking pain relief medications.

4. Liquid gold for your body

A teaspoon of honey three times a day can suppress a cough and soothe a sore throat. According to Langer, Manuka honey is best because of its strong anti-bacterial properties. It’s a great option for children, who may not like the taste of cough syrup, and especially for those less than six years of age, who shouldn’t take cough medicine.

5. Saltwater can be good for you

Dr. Schofield says salt’s anti-bacterial properties can relieve irritated throats.  Reap the benefits by gargling salt water. Likewise, when your nose and sinuses are congested, you can use a nasal decongestant or saline rinse.

6. A friend of the sea

To alleviate a cough or sore throat you want to use a menthol based lozenge, but Langer says not all lozenges are the same. Her preference is Fisherman’s Friend, because they have anti-bacterial properties, no artificial preservatives, and they are sucrose free. They come in a variety of flavours, and offer strong relief.