Skip to content

Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

Font Size

Natural Cold Remedies: What to Know

Other Popular Remedies: What to Know continued...

Bruce Barrett, MD, PhD, a professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, led clinical trials on the herb. He calls the overall results of more than 20 studies “inconclusive.” If echinacea helps prevent colds, “the degree of benefit is not large,” he says. It might stave off one in six colds, he estimates.

Vitamin C: It’s possible that vitamin C may help shorten symptoms. But don’t take too much. High doses may cause kidney stones.

Chicken soup: It tastes good and it could help, a little.Hot liquids in general might help clear mucus and help you breathe better, says Barrett. And studies show that chicken soup does a better job of that than other hot liquids, he says.

Greatly lower your odds of getting a cold in the first place: Wash your hands well and often. Other powerful weapons include regular exercise, mindfulness meditation, and having positive relationships, Barrett says.

If you’re unlucky enough to catch a cold, do everyone around you a favor: “Avoid giving it to others by carefully washing your hands, especially every time you touch your face,” Barrett says. And “if you’re coughing or sneezing, wear a mask.”

1 | 2
Reviewed on December 04, 2013

Today on WebMD

hot toddy
15 tips to help you feel better.
man sneezing into elbow
Do echinacea and vitamin C really help a cold?
teen girl coughing
Get a good night’s rest with these remedies.
elder berry
Eat these to fight colds, flu, and more.
Natural Cold Flu Remedies Slideshow
cold weather
Allergy And Sinus Symptom Evaluator
Boy holding ear
woman receiving vaccine shot
woman with fever
Waking up from sleep
woman with sore throat