Popular Remedies for the Common Cold

Sneezing, Coughing, Sniffling - Go Away!

The common cold. It can make your head feel like a bowling ball. It can ruin a vacation or cause you to get a lower grade on test. Everybody hates getting colds, yet we all seem to get them.

Most people catch 2 or 3 colds a year - some more, some less. People have tried all sorts of products, vitamins, and cures to get over this miserable, sniffling annoyance as soon as possible. People don't want to hear that there is no cure. Maybe they already know it, but just want to feel better fast.

Presented below are the most common and popular remedies for speeding up the process to get better from a cold:

  • Vitamin C - the studies are mixed as to whether Vitamin C will actually prevent a cold or not. However, it is reasonable to conclude that Vitamin C can slightly cut down on duration of symptoms, like coughing and sneezing, certainly more so than if none was taken. 1,000 mg a day while you are sick is the recommended dose (and the day prior to getting sick, if possible).
  • Echinacea - while this herb won't prevent you from catching a cold, many people swear that it helps speed up the process of getting better from one.
  • Orange Juice - with it's Vitamin C power, people drink this hoping it will boost their immune system.

  • Salt Water - Not meant to be swallowed, but simply gargled. Dissolving 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8 oz. glass of warm water can be effective in temporarily relieving your throat.
  • Chicken Soup - Yup, good old chicken soup isn't just a myth. It has mucus thinning and anti-inflammatory effects which can help easy symptoms.

Homeopathic Remedies

While there are many other homeopathic remedies on the market, I am mentioning two of the most popular. Both of these claim to shorten the duration of the cold and relieve symptoms.

  • Cold-fx - this is an extract of carbohydrates from the root of American ginseng. Many people take this at the first sign of a cold, claiming it helps cut down on the duration of symptoms. Some people even take this daily during cold and flu season, to keep their immune system stimulated.
  • Airborne - Created by a school teacher, this popular formula, including a high dose of Vitamin C along with Vitamin A, has been a go to staple for many for over ten years.

  • Oscillococcinum - this concoction of duck liver and heart (diluted in water) can be effective in relieving flu symptoms like body aches, chills, and a fever. BUT the studies only supports this claim saying it may lessen the time by a few hours - not days. So take note. Still, if you are feeling miserable, even a few hours less may sound good to you!
  • Cold-Eeze - Zinc Gluconate Glycine is what composes each lozenger. People take this lozenge every two hours while experiencing cold symptoms and many believe it helps make the worst of their symptoms disappear. Whether or not it's really true, at least it soothes your throat!

Which Cold Remedy Works Best For You?

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Remedies that don't work

It is worth mentioning that there a few popular things that people consider turning to that are known not to work. Medicine like antibiotics, are on of these. Antibiotics is for clearing up a bacterial infection. A cold is a virus, so antibiotics will have no effect. What's more, taking antibiotics too much or when not necessary can build your immune system to become resistant to them. This could be dangerous for when you truly need antibiotics and they don't work.

Take note that although many companies have stopped producing OTC (over the counter) cold and cough medicine for young children, they are still sold for older children. The FTC has warned against using on children under the age of two, but consumer groups say not to use on children under the age of four. These medicines may cause serious side effects in young children and if you are considering them for slightly older children, you should still check with your doctor first.

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