Best Cold Remedies

Most of us have had our fair share of colds this winter–and perhaps purchased one or more remedies to get over our colds faster. But which ones work?

Studies have shown that there really is no cure for the common cold. While Americans continue to spend over 4 million dollars yearly on cough and cold medications, numerous studies prove that nothing really works in getting rid of a cold faster. The life of a cold is about a week, with symptoms improving gradually. Some remedies have been more thoroughly tested than others, but overall, simply resting and waiting it out is the best way to go.

Below is a simple outline of common cold remedies and the findings on their effectiveness (0riginally compiled by usatoday.com). Do remember that cough and cold medications are not safe for children under the age of 4.

Decongestants:

These can slightly reduce nasal congestion, especially the nasal sprays. However, they are still only mildly effective.

Vitamin C:

It’s important for your body, but it does not cure your cold.

Zinc:

This actually may reduce the life of your cold by a day or two, but the strong taste can turn people off or make them nauseous.

Honey:

It can reduce coughing and soothe throats, which can make a cold more bearable.

Humidifiers and Saline Nasal Sprays

There is nothing that shows that these are effective, although some parents swear by them.

In summary, do whatever makes you feel better while fighting a cold, but remember that there is no sure-fire way to get rid of it. Many perceived effects of remedies are placebos, as people are desperate to find some way to feel better faster.

We hope you stay healthy this cold season!

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