Cold remedies: What works, what doesn’t, what can’t hurt

Cold remedies: What works, what doesn’t, what can’t hurt

There ‘s no cure for the common cold. But what about cold remedies that claim to make you feel better fast ? Find out what ‘s effective — and what ‘s not .By Mayo Clinic Staff
cold remedies are about ampere common as the coarse cold, but are they effective ? nothing can cure a cold. But some remedies might help ease your symptoms and keep you from feeling thus abject. hera ‘s a look at some coarse cold remedies and what ‘s known about them.

Cold remedies that work

If you catch a cold, you can expect to be ghastly for one to two weeks. That does n’t mean you have to be hapless. These remedies might help you feel better :

  • Stay hydrated. Water, juice, clear broth or warm lemon water with honey helps loosen congestion and prevents dehydration. Avoid alcohol, coffee and caffeinated sodas, which can make dehydration worse.
  • Rest. Your body needs rest to heal.
  • Soothe a sore throat. A seawater gargle — 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water — can temporarily relieve a huffy or cranky throat. Children younger than 6 years are improbable to be able to gargle properly .
    You can besides try ice rink chips, huffy throat sprays, lozenges or hard candy. Use caution when giving lozenges or unvoiced candy to children because they can choke on them. Do n’t give lozenges or heavily sugarcoat to children younger than 6 years .
  • Combat stuffiness. Over-the-counter saline solution nasal drops and sprays can help relieve stodginess and congestion .
    In infants, experts recommend putting several saline drops into one nostril, then lightly suctioning that nostril with a medulla oblongata syringe. To do this, squeeze the bulb, gently place the syringe point in the nostril about 1/4 to 1/2 edge ( about 6 to 12 millimeters ), and lento release the light bulb. Saline nasal sprays may be used in older children .
  • Relieve pain. For children 6 months or younger, give lone acetaminophen. For children older than 6 months, give either acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Ask your child ‘s doctor for the adjust dose for your child ‘s long time and weight .
    Adults can take acetaminophen ( Tylenol, others ), ibuprofen ( Advil, Motrin IB, others ) or aspirin .
    Use caution when giving aspirin to children or teenagers. Though aspirin is approved for use in children older than old age 3, children and teenagers recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin. This is because aspirin has been linked to Reye ‘s syndrome, a rare but potentially dangerous condition, in such children .
  • Sip warm liquids. A cold remedy used in many cultures, taking in warm liquids, such as chicken soup, tea or warm apple juice, might be soothing and might ease congestion by increasing mucus flow.
  • Try honey. Honey may help coughs in adults and children who are older than age 1. Try it in hot tea.
  • Add moisture to the air. A cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier can add moisture to your home, which might help loosen congestion. Change the water daily, and clean the unit according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Try over-the-counter (OTC) cold and cough medications. For adults and children age 5 and older, OTC decongestants, antihistamines and pain relievers might offer some symptom respite. however, they wo n’t prevent a cold or shorten its duration, and most have some side effects .
    Experts agree that these should n’t be given to younger children. Overuse and misapply of these medications can cause serious damage. lecture with your child ‘s sophisticate before giving any medications .
    Take medications only as directed. Some cold remedies contain multiple ingredients, such as a decongestant plus a pain reliever, so read the labels of cold medications you take to make surely you ‘re not taking besides a lot of any medication .

Cold remedies that don’t work

The number of ineffective cold remedies is hanker. Some of the more common ones that do n’t work include :

  • Antibiotics. These attack bacteria, but they’re no help against cold viruses. Avoid asking your doctor for antibiotics for a cold or using old antibiotics you have on hand. You won’t get well any faster, and inappropriate use of antibiotics contributes to the serious and growing problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  • Over-the-counter cold and cough medications in young children. OTC cold and cough medications may cause serious and even life-threatening side effects in children. Talk with your child’s doctor before giving any medications.

Cold remedies with conflicting evidence

In hurt of ongoing studies, the scientific jury is inactive out on some democratic cold remedies, such as vitamin C and echinacea. here ‘s an update on some common option remedies :

  • Vitamin C. It appears that taking vitamin C wo n’t normally help the average person prevent colds.

    however, some studies have found that taking vitamin C before cold symptoms start may shorten the length of time you have symptoms. Vitamin C may benefit people at high risk of colds due to frequent vulnerability — for model, children who attend group child concern during the winter .

  • Echinacea. Study results on whether echinacea prevents or shortens colds are blend. Some studies show no profit. Others show some reduction in the severity and duration of cold symptoms when taken in the early stages of a cold. Different types of echinacea used in different studies may have contributed to the mix results .
    echinacea seems to be most effective if you take it when you notice cold symptoms and continue it for seven to 10 days. It appears to be safe for healthy adults, but it can interact with many drugs. Check with your sophisticate before taking echinacea or any other supplement .
  • Zinc. several studies have suggested that zinc supplements may reduce the duration of a cold. But research has turned up mix results about zinc and colds .
    Some studies show that zinc lozenges or syrup reduce the distance of a cold by about one day, specially when taken within 24 to 48 hours of the beginning signs and symptoms of a cold .
    Zinc besides has potentially harmful side effects. Talk to your doctor before considering the use of zinc to prevent or reduce the length of colds .

Take care of yourself

Although normally minor, colds can make you feel deplorable. It ‘s tempting to try the latest rectify, but the best thing you can do is take wish of yourself. Rest, drink fluids and keep the air around you moist. Remember to wash your hands frequently .

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