Brits reveal the best pieces of health advice given to them by their family

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  • Almost half of Brits still rely on a cold cure or remedy their parents told them as a child when they feel under the weather, new research has revealed. 

    Gargling salt water for a sore throat and drinking a hot toddy before bed were among the health advice passed down through the generations that we still adhere to.

    Almost three quarters turn to their family’s tried and tested approach of steam inhalation to help with the head congestion which comes with the common cold.

    Less traditional cold cures are also favoured with one in seven swearing by the fortifying power of garlic while 22 per cent boost their vitamin C by eating more oranges.

    Nearly one in four have boiled up a bowl of chicken soup when a cold threatens, and 42 per cent have gargled salt water to help their sore throat symptoms to pass more swiftly.

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    More unconventional pieces of health advice passed down from loved ones include drinking onion water from a pot of boiled onions to help clear a chest infection, and drinking orange peel tea to cure a cold in less than 24 hours.

    The study, by Olbas, also revealed more than two thirds have flaunted conventional health wisdom to try a home remedy to treat an ailment.

    And one in five have a recipe in their back pocket, passed down through their family, which they believe will help rejuvenate them when they are feeling ill.

    Dr. Roger Henderson, family GP and Olbas expert, said: “Autumn is here and for millions of Brits, cold season has officially arrived.

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    “Thankfully we have lots of tools at our disposal for dealing with the symptoms of the common cold, whether these are over the counter solutions or more holistic solutions passed down from family member to family member, or made popular across our health-obsessed culture.”

    The study also found 62 per cent of Brits believe most ‘old wives tales’ are at least partly in scientific truth.

    And when Brits are feeling under the weather, their first port of call for diagnosing their symptoms is a quick check-in with mum for her advice, followed by a web search.

    Curious as to whether your advice made the list?

    Here are the top ten tips to help a cold that have been passed down through the generations:

    1. Smell menthol to clear a blocked nose
    2. Feed a cold and starve a fever
    3. Put your head over a bowl of steaming water to ease congestion
    4. Gargle saltwater for a sore throat
    5. Take vitamin C to cure a cold
    6. Chicken soup can cure a cold
    7. Drink a hot toddy before bed to get rid of a cold
    8. Honey and lemon to soothe a sore throat
    9. Avoid dairy to minimise congestion
    10. Placed unpeeled onions in every room to soak up viruses