The most bizarre cold remedies that people claim really work
As we near closer to Christmas, we're also fully into cold and flu season.
With more time spent indoors as temperatures dip, germs are more easily spread (particularly by central heating) and are often picked up from coughing and sneezing commuters.
Over-the-counter medicines are typically used to treat symptoms, but there are claims from some that an alternate home remedy is actually a much better fix.
So, if you're trying to banish the runny nose and sore throats, here are a few bizarre cold remedies to try - and apparently, they really work.
Eat chicken soup
A warm bowl of soup may be comforting, but it has also been said that eating chicken broth can help to protect the body from infection.
The broth contains a number of immune system-boosting minerals, including calcium, magnesium and sulphur, and slows the movement of white blood cells so they stay more concentrated to areas that need the most healing.
Added ingredients such as onions, vegetables and garlic, which are rich in phytonutrients, can help reduce inflammation and ease cold symptoms.
Try lizard soup
If the classic chicken soup fails to do the trick, try tucking into Chinese lizard soup instead.
The broth replaces chicken with dried lizards, with some boiled dates and yams thrown in, and is thought to soothe cold symptoms and reduce coughing.
Drink lukewarm water
It may feel a little like drinking bath water, but legend has it this simple remedy helps to ease inflammation in the throat, as well as flushing infection from the body.
Believe it or not, listening to jazz music is thought by some to be an effective remedy for a cold (Photo: Shutterstock)
Some also suggest adding honey to lukewarm lime water for soothing a sore throat.
Put on wet socks at night
Climbing into a wet pair of socks may sound counter productive when suffering with a cold, but according to some naturopathic health practitioners, it will increase circulation to the feet and, in turn, relieve congestion from the head.
The remedy is also claimed to help regulate your immune system and aid the elimination of waste.
Stuff an onion in your socks
In a similar vein, slicing up an onion and stuffing it in your socks is also considered to be an effective remedy for sore throats.
Onions contain the compound allicin, which is considered to reduce inflammation and have antioxidant benefits.
Rub Vicks on your feet
If the above two remedies fail, you could try rubbing Vicks VapoRub into the soles of your feet before putting on your socks.
Some say that doing so provides relief for coughs and congestion.
Make some Gogol Mogul
Originating in Russia, this hot beverage is made by combining whisked egg yolk with a spoonful of sugar or honey, before adding the mixture into a half cup of milk, heated with a tablespoon of unsalted butter.
Garlic and onions are common home remedies for colds (Photo: Shutterstock)
A shot of cognac or rum can be added for adults, and the mixture is said to both treat a sore throat and help promote a good night's sleep.
Listen to some jazz
It may sound bizarre, but there have been claims from scientists and naturopathic doctors that listening to jazz for 30 minutes has the ability to reduce stress and boost the body's level of immunoglobulin - an immune protein that defends against infection.
Drink garlic-infused milk
Like onions, garlic is also rich in the inflammatory-fighting compound allicin and has strong antibacterial properties.
Adding some garlic to a glass of milk is supposed to make it taste better and offer fresher breath than eating a raw clove, but garlic soup is a flavoursome alternative if you can handle the kick.
Fill up on oysters
Oysters are thought to be a great food to consume when you have a cold, thanks to their high zinc content - the mineral responsible for white blood cell function, which fight bacteria and viruses.
If you can't stomach seafood, meat, spinach, dairy products and legumes are also rich in zinc.