Smart Living: The best cold remedies

Smart Living: The best cold remedies

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Cold and flu season is here. The average adult will get two to four colds a year and they will last nine to 14 days. So what can you do to ease your misery when you’re sick? We’ve got what works and what doesn’t.

Coughing, sneezing, and sniffling. Nobody likes to be sick! But if you do catch a cold, try chicken soup. It’s not a cure, but research published in the Journal Chest found it can reduce symptoms of upper respiratory infections. A study in pediatrics found 10 grams of honey at bedtime reduced the severity of cold symptoms in kids. An article in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed gargling salt water may ease sore throat and nasal congestion. And Ball State researchers found volunteers with severe colds who exercised lightly for 30 minutes a day felt better in the afternoon and evening than those who simply rested.

What about pills? Antibiotics won’t work! They attack bacteria and do nothing for a cold virus. And the saying “feed a cold, starve a fever” is just an old wives’ tale. Good nutrition is important any time you’re sick. Also there’s no proof that treatments labeled “homeopathic” are effective. And the jury’s still out for remedies like Vitamin C, Zinc, and Echinacea which have all shown mixed results.

Experts say some of the best remedies for a cold are adequate sleep and hydration. It’s also important to note that only light exercise is recommended if you’re sick. Strenuous activity can worsen your condition by weakening the immune system. If you really feel bad, skip exercising altogether.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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