Warm, flavorful food can help relieve cough and sore-throat symptoms by stimulating salivation and secretions to help soothe and lubricate the throat.
5 Sanu, A, Eccles, R. The effects of a hot drink on nasal air flow and symptoms of common cold and flu. Rhinology, December 2008; 46(4): 271-5.
A cold generally comes on slowly and starts with a sore throat and sneezing. The flu comes on quickly, and causes muscle soreness, fever, chills, and fatigue. Cold and flu medicine can help alleviate some of these symptoms. Just make sure you find the right cold and flu remedy for you.