Take better care of yourself  Home Page


Return to FACTS & FOOD REMEDIES page


Title: Treating the Common Cold: A look at Alternative Medicine and
Common Cold Treatment

Author: Patsy Hamilton

Scientists and researchers continue to evaluate different methods of treating the common cold. There are thousands of
published studies concerning alternative medicine and common cold prevention. More studies are published almost daily

One of the obstacles that researchers face is the fact that some people can be infected with a common cold virus and

 never have symptoms, some recover quickly without treatment and others have symptoms for as long as two weeks.

The reason or reasons for these differences among people can not be fully explained.

The average person has two or more colds per year. Children, typically have more. The cold is a leading reason for school
absences and doctor visits. There are no effective prescription medications for treating the common cold. Antibiotics neither
prevent nor kill viral infections. Although a cold is not a serious medical condition, it can cause lost days at work and
school and can lead to bacterial infections of the sinuses, throat and respiratory system, so many researchers feel that
studying the effects of vitamins, alternative medicine and common cold home remedies is a worthwhile effort.

Treating the common cold with zinc nasal sprays or gels has been the subject of several studies and is somewhat controversial.
Some scientists and researchers believe that applying zinc directly to nasal membranes can lead to a permanent loss of the
sense of smell. In fact, one group of people sued a company, because they lost their sense of smell after using a zinc nasal
spray. Zinc lozenges are also available and are not believed to have the side effects associated with the nasal spray, but they
are only effective in reducing the duration of cold symptoms in about 50% of the people who use them.

There have been numerous studies about vitamin C as an alternative medicine and common cold remedy. Some of these
studies conclude that vitamin C can reduce the duration and severity of common cold symptoms. Others show that it is an
effective preventative. Still others conclude that vitamin C is not effective for treating common cold symptoms or for
preventing them.

One study in Helsinki, Finland reported a 28% reduction in common cold frequency with vitamin E supplementation, but a
follow-up study did not support the initial results. Vitamin E seems to prevent colds in some people, but is not effective for
treating the common cold. These types of studies do not take into consideration the fact that some people do not seem to
catch colds as easily as others. So results are not reliable.

Even acupuncture has been studied as an alternative medicine and common cold remedy. Some researchers believe that acupuncture
can be a reliable fever reducer. Echinacea is often recommended by herbalists as alternative medicine and common cold treatment.
However, some researchers believe that Echinacea can be toxic to the liver when used for extended periods of time and so, should
not be used as a preventative.  
Focusing on preventing, rather than   treating common cold symptoms typically leads to immune system
boosters. Andrographis paniculata is an herb that has been used in traditional medicine throughout Europe and Asia,

both as a preventative and a treatment. Laboratory tests have shown that it has a very low toxicity, even in large amounts

 and is an effective alternative medicine and common cold remedy. For more information about Andrographis paniculata

and other natural immune system boosters, visit"

About the author:
Patsy Hamilton has more than twenty years experience as a
healthcare professional and currently writes informational
articles for the Immune System Booster Guide. To learn more
about the common cold, influenza and other viruses, as well as
natural immune system boosters, visit






Return to FACTS & FOOD REMEDIES page