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Colds: these remedies do not help

The fall and winter months are the peak season for respiratory infections. Many infected people try to relieve their symptoms with home remedies for the flu or the common cold. But in no case do all the advertised means help.

Whether it’s from your grandmother or an Instagram influencer, advice on cold and flu season is pouring in from all directions, leaving you wondering what remedies will help ease your runny nose and headache. throat – and which ones won’t. In a stream contribution The Cleveland Clinic (USA) has some answers.

Elderberry as an effective home remedy?

Elderberry has found its way into many common drugstore products to treat colds: lozenges, cough syrups, etc. But unfortunately, this berry may not be the panacea for which it is presented.

former scientist surveys have shown that elderberry can help treat the flu and colds. But a more recent study comes to different conclusions.

The in the professional magazine “Journal of General Internal MedicinePublished results suggest that elderberry is not effective in reducing the severity or duration of cold and flu symptoms.

Instead, try this: pour yourself a cup chicken soup to make sure you’re getting enough protein and try a popsicle to ease your sore throat.

Garlic in the nose?

One of the worst symptoms associated with a cold or the flu is a stuffy nose. Platforms like TikTok have seen some people try to combat these ailments by sticking garlic up their noses.

Garlic has many health benefits, but sticking a raw clove in your nose to get rid of a cold is not one of them.

“There may be complications because of this”Explain Dr Raj Sindwani in an older contribution Cleveland Clinic, “and in the end it won’t help you either”according to the doctor.

“It excites them nasal mucosa, causing them to produce more mucus. Moreover, by clogging the nose with the clove of garlic, it also prevents the mucus that is already there from flowing out.

Try this instead: If your nose is stuffy and you can’t find relief, there are other safer and more effective remedies. The use of nasal showers is a common method for clearing mucus, and humidifiers and saline sprays can also help.

A magic cider?

You may have acquaintances who swear by something called Feuerwein (fire cider) to boost the immune system when sick. While many of the ingredients in this concoction – apple cider, honey, ginger – certainly have health benefits, it won’t help your cold or flu.

If you want to keep your immune system in top shape, try an anti-inflammatory diet that minimizes processed foods and relies on whole foods instead.

And if you’re looking for something warm to soothe your sore throat, classic herbal teas and hot soups will help. You can also use other remedies like gargling and Inhale try it to relieve discomfort.

Vitamin C supplement?

If there is one thing for which vitamin C is known to keep your immune system strong. It is therefore reasonable to think that vitamin C supplements or powders can help control your cold more quickly. There’s no harm in taking it as a daily vitamin, but there’s not enough evidence that it will make your cold go away much faster.

Instead, try this: the best way to use vitamin C is to include it in your regular diet. You can get all the vitamin C (along with many other beneficial vitamins) your body needs by consuming a daily dose of fruits and vegetables like strawberries, oranges, spinach, etc.

Echinacea for the common cold?

Echinacea (echinacea) is considered an immune booster. Can the plant also help against colds?

As the recent article from the Cleveland Clinic indicates, there isn’t much research to support the use of this herbal remedy for the common cold – especially when it comes in the form of food supplements is taken.

Moreover, we still do not know which possible damage this could be the case for pregnant women or people with certain allergies.

Try this instead: While there’s no magic pill that boosts your immune system overnight, there is a combination of the two. lifestyle changes and immune-boosting foods in your diet can protect you from disease all year round. That means a balance of antioxidants and prebiotics, plus plenty of sleep and exercise. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


  • Cleveland Clinic: 5 Cold and Flu Remedies You’ll Want to Ignore, (Accessed: 11/16/2022) Cleveland Clinic
  • Michael Macknin MD, Kathy Wolski MPH, Jeffrey Negrey MA, and Sharon Mace MD: Outpatient treatment of influenza with elderberry extract for emergency room patients aged 5 years and older: a randomized, double-blind, and placebo controlled; in: Journal of General Internal Medicine, (published: 09/14/2020), Journal of General Internal Medicine
  • Cleveland Clinic: Can putting garlic in your nose relieve congestion?, (accessed: 11/16/2022), Cleveland Clinic

Important Note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.

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