Remedies for the Common Cold
Can herbal or natural remedies prevent or cure the common cold? Some tablets, pills, and powders, sold in neighborhood stores and by national retailers, have been touted as products that can prevent or cure colds and fight germs in ads on radio and television, in national publications and in-flight magazines, and by celebrities.
Attorneys for the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, say that these products simply don’t live up to their hype. The marketers of these products lack the reliable scientific evidence required by law to back up the claims they make.
Medical experts agree that there is no cure for the common cold. Indeed, the FTC is investigating – and has already sued – several marketers of products that claimed to prevent colds, fight germs, reduce the severity or duration of a cold, or protect against sickness in crowded places.
The best defense against a cold is prevention through good hygiene like frequent hand washing and healthy habits like eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising. Should you have a cold, relief comes from drinking fluids, resting, and taking over-the-counter cold medicines that treat specific symptoms.
To learn more about preventing and treating colds and flu, visit the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
This article was previously available as Pills that Prevent the Common Cold? A Tough Claim to Swallow.