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How to Treat Colds Naturally

Updated on March 12, 2011

Natural remedies for cold offer greater comfort and security for people concerned about the dangerous side effects of prescription medications and even some over-the-counter cold remedies. Many of these cold remedies are being pulled from the market due to their abuse by some teens and young adults and their general ineffectiveness for treating symptoms of the common cold. In fact, doctors advice against taking cold and cough medications for the common cold. In addition, more and more physicians are reluctant to prescribe antibiotics for people with colds, due to the increased risk of mutated viruses and the development of autoimmune diseases.

For years, doctors have overprescribed antibiotics, leading to weakened immune systems in a large percentage of the population. Medical researchers also contend that excessive reliance on antibiotics to treat common conditions may be to blame for the emergence of superbugs like MRSA. When it comes to the common cold, research also confirms that antibiotics really do little to help cold symptoms at all. There is no cure for the common cold, and many doctors urge patients to simply allow the cold to run its course.

The average duration of a cold is 5-7 days, with cold symptoms lasting from 3-5 days in most people. Although there is nothing that can cure a cold, there are several home remedies that can help alleviate cold symptoms once they begin and even shorten the duration of the cold in some cases. Zinc is an all-natural substance that is considered to be an essential mineral for many types of physiological functions. Zinc has also been found to help alleviate cold symptoms like cough, runny nose, and sinus pain. In addition, recent research confirms that zinc supplements taken during a cold can help shorten the duration of the cold itself.

Zinc can be found in many multivitamins. It is also found in foods such as pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. Zinc lozenges are also sold in many drug stores for people with colds. Additional supplements recommended to help treat cold symptoms, and also prevent colds, are vitamins A, C, and E. Garlic and gingko biloba can also provide additional immune support. When it comes to treating and preventing colds and other types of common infections, nutrition experts advise that adequate overall nutrition is the best method. There is no one supplement that will magically treat or prevent all types of conditions, but getting the right amount of all essential nutrients on a daily basis is important for better overall health.


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  • swedal profile image

    swedal 6 years ago from Colorado

    Yeah zinc has worked really well for us also when treating a cold.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

    Good practical stuff!

    We've had great results with the zinc products. Not following package directions prevents treating a cold successfully with zinc.