Common Cold Myths
Common Cold Myths: SteamAlthough inhaling steam may temporarily relieve symptoms of congestion, health experts have found that this approach is not an effective common cold treatment.
Common Cold Myths: EchinaceaEchinacea is a dietary herbal supplement that some people use to treat their colds. Researchers, however, have found that while the herb may help treat your colds if taken in the early stages, it will not help prevent them.
One large research study found that echinacea is not effective at all in treating children ages 2 to 11.
Common Cold Myths: Vitamin CMany people are convinced that when it comes to the common cold, vitamin C in large quantities will prevent colds or relieve cold symptoms. To test this common cold myth, several large-scale, controlled studies involving children and adults were conducted. To date, no conclusive data have shown that large doses of vitamin C prevent colds. The vitamin may reduce the severity or duration of symptoms, but there is no clear evidence of this.
Taking vitamin C over long periods of time in large amounts may be harmful. Too much vitamin C can cause severe diarrhea, a particular danger for elderly people and small children.
Common Cold Myths: Summary
Many patients have their own, nonscientific common cold remedies. As long as it's not harmful, it is probably okay to try it. But be skeptical of something that hasn't been clinically proven in a well-designed, placebo-controlled study.