Alternative Medicine for Common Cold

The Common cold is an infection caused when a virus enters your body through the nose or mouth and attaches to the lining in your sinuses, throat or bronchial tubes. Head and chest congestion, sore throat, sneezing, coughing and fatigue are some of the common symptoms. A cold typically lasts for three to seven days and can wear down your body’s resistance, making you more susceptible to bacterial infections. More than 200 viruses can cause a cold, which is the most frequent infection in the United States. The average person has two to three colds a year.


Common symptoms include a nasal stuffiness, nasal discharge and sneezing, A Watery eyes, a low-grade fever, a sore throat, a cough, aching muscles and bones, a mild headache, listlessness, and chills. The discharged mucus may thicken and become yellow or green.

Herbal Remedies

Astragalus or Goldenseal may help boost the immune system response. However, the efficacy of Echinacea for treating colds was scientifically studied in a randomized, controlled trial published in 2002 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Echinacea was no more effective at reducing the severity or duration of cold symptoms than sugar pill. Chamomile may act as an anti-inflammatory. Eucalyptus, fenugreek, horehound, licorice, hyssop or marshmallow may act as an expectorant by reducing mucus viscosity. Ginger or garlic may provide antioxidant protection. Slippery Elm may provide antioxidant protection because it contains bioflavonoids. Tea tree oil may relieve the symptoms of a sore throat. White Willow may act as an analgesic because it contains salicylic acid.

Vitamins and Supplements

Vitamin A, beta-carotene supplements, vitamin C or bioflavonoids may provide antioxidant protection as well as enhance immune system functioning.

Dietary Modifications

The chicken in chicken soup contains a protein called cysteine that is believed to help with respiratory infections by thinning out the mucus in the lungs. That may make coughs more productive. Any of the cruciferous vegetables (in solid or liquid form) such as broccoli may provide additional vitamin C to your system. Remain hydrated or filled with liquids because this will help replace fluids loss during a cold as well as flush out toxins or impurities that may be causing your symptoms.


Zinc may enhance the immune system’s response in fighting infections. The efficacy of zinc gluconate (13.3 mg of zinc) was compared with sugar pill at reducing the duration of cold symptoms. This study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that zinc decreased the duration of cold symptoms from seven to four days when compared to placebo. The zinc lozenges had to be taken every two hours while awake for the duration of cold symptoms.

Conventional Treatments

Many cough/cold combinations primarily treat symptoms, and these products may include any of the following: oxymetazoline, pseudoephedrine, dextromethorphan, aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, guaifenesin, iodinated glycerol, diphenhydramine, codeine, dextromethorphan. You can look for r a combination of the following: antihistamine, which may block the action of histamine causing increased nasal secretions; antitussives, which may help reduce coughing; decongestant which may help reduce nasal swelling and congestion; and analgesic, which may help reduce fever and pain.