When you cough so hard and your nose simply refuses to stop dripping, you know you have caught cold. It is true that dealing with a cold is never easy, and many people try different remedies to shorten the duration of a cold attack. Interestingly, you will find many common and some not-so-common cold remedies to deal with the problem, but the truth is that there are many popular cold remedies that do not work.
Cold Remedies that Prove Ineffective
While some remedies may help you feel better, most of them are not going to treat your condition. Here are some popular remedies that do not work:
1. Chicken Soup
There are many benefits of enjoying a bowl of chicken soup, but unfortunately, it does nothing to cure your cold faster. Many people think that a hot cup of soup will make them feel warm and help them recover quickly. Yes, a cup of chicken soup will serve as a soothing food, but it is not going to cure your cold. Some experts are of the view that chicken soup contains an amino acid called cysteine that may ease chest congestion, but you may have to wait for days to feel better.
2. Vitamin C
Many people think that increasing their intake of vitamin C will help fight cold better. Again, it is one of those popular cold remedies that do not work, as studies do not support the idea of taking vitamin C as a cold remedy. So, be sure to think twice before you take vitamin C supplements or drink several glasses of orange juice to combat cold.
This one is quite obvious but many people would still reach for antibiotics to treat the common cold. You have to understand that you catch a cold after contracting a viral infection and antibiotics do nothing to treat viral infections. These drugs are only effective against bacterial infections. If you take antibiotics to treat your cold, you may end up develop antibiotic resistance.
4. Over-the-Counter Cold Meds
Some people experience some relief from OTC cold meds, such as antihistamines, decongestants, and other cold products, but you have to understand that these cold remedies are not going to kill the virus. You may notice some symptomatic relief, but do not expect much in terms of recovery. You should also ensure that you do not give these OTC cold meds to children younger than age 6.
Using zinc-based cold and cough remedies is a common choice for many people, but those nasal gels and lozenges are not going to hasten recovery. You will find some studies suggesting that zinc may help reduce the severity of cold symptoms, but more research is required to conclude anything. Moreover, there is a degree of ambiguity about the most appropriate dosage and duration of use.
6. Saline Sprays
Saline sprays are also among the cold remedies that do not work because they are not going to do much to reduce nasal congestion. Saline irrigation may be a more suitable choice and is more likely to offer some relief from congestion. Even if you feel better by using a nasal spray, you should keep in mind that it is not going to help you recover any sooner.
Some Cold Remedies Worth Trying
While there are many popular remedies that are quite ineffective, you can certainly take some steps to help you feel better while your body is getting rid of the cold virus. Again, it is worth mentioning that you may have to fight a cold for a couple of weeks, and taking the following steps will not accelerate recovery, but it will certainly help you feel less miserable. Here is what you can do:
- Get plenty of rest. You need to bear in mind that your immune system is always at work against the cold virus. Therefore, you should not put it under stress and take as much rest as you can.
- Be sure to drink plenty of water for better recovery. Staying hydrated will make you feel better. You can opt for juice, water, or warm lemon water with honey. Never try to rehydrate your body with coffee, alcohol, or caffeinated beverages.
- Try a salt water gargle to help treat your sore throat. You may also benefit from sore throat sprays and ice chips.
- Take pain relievers to manage body aches. While OTC cold remedies are quite ineffective, you can take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help relieve pain to a certain extent.
- Consider adding moisture to the air by installing a humidifier. You may also benefit from a cool mist vaporizer because it will increase humidity in the air and help reduce congestion.