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Best Life: Cold remedies, what works and what doesn’t

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 6:14 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Starve a fever and feed a cold… or is it feed a fever and starve a cold? I can never remember which it is! All I know is we are smack dab in the middle of cold and flu season and if you do catch a cold, you can expect to be sick for one to two weeks. These home remedies might help you feel better faster.

It’s the time of year for sneezing, coughing, and blowing your nose. But what actually works when it comes to easing symptoms of the common cold?

Australian researchers reviewed dozens of studies and found that zinc supplements may prevent a runny nose, high temperature, and headaches. It may also help clear up colds two days earlier.

The staff from the mayo clinic released the list of things they think works. First water, juice, clear broth or warm lemon water with honey helps loosen congestion and prevents dehydration. Gargling salt water does help to soothe a sore throat. Saline nasal drops and sprays work to combat stuffiness. For achy muscles, take acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin. Vitamin c won’t help once cold symptoms appear, but if you take C regularly, it may help shorten the length of time you have symptoms. And some studies show echinacea may help reduce the severity of symptoms. Echinacea is most effective if you take it when you notice cold symptoms and continue it for seven to 10 days. Most importantly, the number one thing you should do is rest!

The mayo clinic also released the list of cold remedies that don’t work. First, forget about 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.

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