A Check-Up on Home Remedies for a Cold

Work & Family Life, March 1, 2017 | Go to article overview

A Check-Up on Home Remedies for a Cold


If you are dealing with a cold, you'll probably try some home remedies to relieve symptoms as you wait out the virus.

Here's a brief update on recent research on home remedies-which ones to rely on and which ones are ineffective.

n Chicken soup. Yes, try it. Studies at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and by Nebraska pulmonologist Stephen Rennard have found that soup can help to loosen mucus. So if one of your symptoms is a stuffy nose, a chickenvegetable soup is a good idea.

n Drink hot beverages. That can help, too. A study at the University of Cardiff s Common Cold Centre in Wales found that cold sufferers who sipped hot or tepid beverages reported relief from a runny nose, coughing, chills and sneezing.

The study authors suggest that while there's likely a placebo effect, hot drinks do seem to have benefits for a sore throat. And hot tea with a spoonful of honey can be especially soothing.

Honey for a cough. A review by The Cochrane Collaboration looked at studies that compared honey with (a) over-the-counter cough drugs, (b) no treatment and (c) a placebo. They found that honey was more effective at relieving a cough than either no treatment or a placebo, and it was slightly better than the drug with diphenhydramine. …

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