Cold and flu season is here and along with it comes sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, an itchy or sore throat, cough, and congestion. While we know that there is no cure for the common cold or the flu, there are remedies that can shorten the duration of a cold or the flu and make the symptoms milder.
Some common remedies…
- Vitamin C. Taking vitamin C before the onset of cold symptoms may shorten the duration of symptoms.
- Echinacea. Studies show some reduction in the severity and duration of cold symptoms when taken in the early stages of a cold. Echinacea seems to be most effective if you take it when you notice cold symptoms and continue it for 7 to 10 days.
- Zinc. There’s been a lot of talk about taking zinc for colds ever since a 1984 study showed that zinc supplements kept people from getting as sick. Some studies show that zinc lozenges or syrup reduce the length of a cold by one day, especially when taken within 24 hours of the first signs and symptoms of a cold.
- Garlic. Garlic has shown promise as a treatment for preventing colds and the flu. Studies have shown that garlic reduces the risk of becoming sick in the first place, as well as how long you stay sick. It can also reduce the severity of symptoms.
- Elderberry. Elderberry has long been used as an herbal remedy for colds, flu, and sinus infections. Preliminary studies suggest that elderberry extract may offer virus-fighting, immune-stimulating, and anti-inflammatory effects.