Here are various remedies for home treatment of cold and flu:

Mass quanities of green tea, echinacea, goldenseal, alpha lipolic acid (allows greater celluar absorbsion of vitamin C) and vitamin C. Along with plenty of water. Works for me and my friends anyway. (You may also want to try siberian gensing, elderberry, and pine bark extract for when you catch something really mean).
As always YMMV.
The best thing is rest, sleep, and plenty of liquids - there aren't really any instant cures for the cold. But! If you're in the mood for some placebo magic, here are some folk favourites:

-Incredibly Disgusting Cough Remedy (anecdotal evidence only)
-Vitamin C (minor, minor correlation shown, and only with extremely large doses, which in turn can put your kidneys at risk)
-Echinacea (anecdotal evidence only)
-Nasal Decongestants (effective in short term, but actually aggravate and cause symptoms with medium to long term use)
-Buckley's (effective symptom relief, but BLLEHAHHHH)
This really only treats symptoms and does little to CURE the cold, but this herbal tea does wonders on a sore throat or a hacking, phlegmy cough.

Most of these supplies, including cheesecloth tea bags, can be found in many health food stores. All the herbs are considered edible so they very well may be carried there as well. If you can't find them there, check a local herbal shop or a magical supply store, who should either have them or be able to get them for you.

In a teabag, combine equal parts of: (I used one teaspoon of each. You can use more, don't use less.)
nettle LEAVES, not flowers (nearly any kind of nettle)
blackberry leaves
coltsfoot
anise seed (more may be added for taste preference)
peppermint (more may be added for taste preference)

Boil water, pour over teabag and let steep for a few minutes until water turns dark. Sweeten with two teaspoons of brown sugar. Honey may be used, but the tastes do not blend as well. This is a fairly mild, sweet herbal tea which tastes a little like licorice if you like the stuff, and nothing at all like it if you don't. There is no strong herbal taste at all. Try emphasizing either the anise flavor, or the mint, if you strongly prefer one to the other. It feels much less soothing once it reaches lukewarm so if it cools off, reheat in the microwave.

If you choose, you may also add parts of sage, yarrow, chamomile, or catnip, but this will alter the taste unpleasantly if you use the first two--sage has a distinct taste which blends poorly and brewed yarrow is quite bitter. Chamomile will help you sleep easier, catnip has no strong effect but also soothes the throat.

This collection of herbs is good for soothing the throat, the steam can help clear out the sinuses, and also is good for breaking up phlegm, easing its expulsion.

There really is nothing you can take to cure a cold, it's just that simple.

The so-called "cold and flu remedies" available from pharmacists do nothing but alleviate the symptoms and this in itself can prolong the time you spend feeling ill.

How can relieving the symptoms prolong the infection?

Symptoms such as fever and catarrh are the body's natural mechanisms for fighting infection.

Many of the microbes that cause sickness in humans are very sensitive to temperature, and cannot grow at temperatures above the body's normal 37.5°C (98.6°F) . By raising the temperature of the body, as in a fever (pyrexia), the body is attempting to inhibit microbial growth, thereby giving the immune system a chance to react to the invading organism. Paracetamol can be used to bring down mild fevers, to allow you to get a good night's sleep, but generally the fever should be allowed to run it's course. However, excessively high temperatures in adults or fevers in children should always be treated seriously and medical advice sought.

The catarrh produced in the sinuses, nose and throat are in response to infection or irritation of the mucus membranes in those areas. The mucus contains lysozyme which is an enzyme which is active against the cell wall of many (particularly Gram-positive) bacteria. In addition to the antibacterial properties, the mucus also helps wash away any irritants, dead cells, virus particles etc.

There is no evidence that suggests taking zinc, vitamin C, echinacea or anything else will fight the viral infections that cause the common cold. Taking a generic multivitamin may stave off any ill effects of not being able to eat due to the illness, but they will not speed recovery.

Treating the symptoms of a cold, without dealing with the underlying infection has one last effect. By allowing someone who is still infected and shedding virus to feel better, and possibly return to work/school, the cold and flu remedy is aiding the virus in it's spread from person to person.

So what should you do?

By far the best method of returning yourself to health is to stay in bed, drink plenty of fluid and wait it out.

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