Are There Any Natural Remedies I Can Take When I Come Down With A Cold? How Much Should I Take, And How Will It Help Me?

Question: Are there any natural remedies I can take when I come down with a cold?

Answer: A cold is a viral infection which, what happens with a viral infection is that the body responds to the virus and actually clears the virus out in perhaps a week. So the body's response is an important part of it, but it also gives the symptoms which we all know constitute a cold.

Are there any natural remedies that may dampen down the bodies response, thus making the symptoms less severe? Vitamin C is a possibility. Echinacea has been talked about, but the evidence that echinacea is beneficial in reducing the length of the illness is not true. It really doesn't reduce the length of illness.

However, if taking a supplement makes you feel like your cold is less severe, my advice would be go ahead and take it as long as it's not causing any harm. The reason for that is that there's a large benefit from thinking you're taking something, the so-called placebo effect. And if you feel like something is helpful, go ahead. Is there evidence that a supplement would be useful in helping fight off a cold? And the answer is no.

Next: Is Airborne A Good Supplement To Take To Prevent A Cold?

J. Owen Hendley, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, University of Virginia School of Medicine
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