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Health Condition

Common Cold/Sore Throat

The right diet is the key to managing many diseases and to improving general quality of life. For this condition, scientific research has found benefit in the following healthy eating tips.

  • Honey

    Raw honey has antimicrobrial properties and can soothe irritated mucous membranes. It should not be given to children younger than 12 months old.
    Honey
    ×

    One study found that children who received a single dose of raw buckwheat honey had less coughing and fewer sleep difficulties than children who received either a dose of honey-flavored dextromethorphan or no treatment.81

    Honey has antimicrobial properties and can soothe irritated mucous membranes. As it may contain bacteria harmful to infants, honey should not be given to babies under 12 months old.
  • Eating Healthy

    Opt for fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, as excessive sugar, dietary fat, and alcohol have been reported to impair immune function.
    Eating Healthy
    ×

    Excessive sugar, dietary fat, and alcohol have been reported to impair immune function, although no specific information is available on how these foods may affect the course of the common cold.

References

1. Panossian A, Davtyan T, Gukassyan N, et al. Effect of andrographolide and Kan Jang--fixed combination of extract SHA-10 and extract SHE-3--on proliferation of human lymphocytes, production of cytokines and immune activation markers in the whole blood cells culture. Phytomedicine 2002;9:598-605

2. Rajagopal S, Kumar RA, Deevi, DS, et al. Andrographolide, a potential cancer therapeutic agent isolated from Andrographis paniculata. J Exp Ther Oncol 2003;3:147-58.

3. Caceres DD, Hancke JL, Burgos RA, et al. Use of visual analogue scale measurements (VAS) to assess the effectiveness of standardized Andrographis paniculata extract SHA-10 in reducing the symptoms of common cold. A randomized double blind-placebo study. Phytomedicine 1999;6:217-23.

4. Hancke J, Burgos R, Caceres D, Wikman G. A double-blind study with a new monodrug Kan Jang: Decrease of symptoms and improvement in recovery from common colds. Phytother Res 1995;9:559-62.

5. Melchior J, Palm S, Wikman G. Controlled clinical study of standardized Andrographis paniculata extract in common cold-a pilot trial. Phytomedicine 1996;34:315-18.

6. Kulichenko LL, Kireyeva LV, Malyshkina EN, Wikman GA. Randomized, controlled study of Kan Jang versus amantadine in the treatment of influenza in Volgograd. J Herb Pharmacother 2003;3:77-93.

7. Caceres DD, Hancke JL, Burgos RA, et al. Prevention of common colds with Andrographis paniculata dried extract: a pilot double blind trial. Phytomedicine 1997;4:101-104.

8. Hemilä H. Does vitamin C alleviate the symptoms of the common cold?—a review of current evidence. Scand J Infect Dis 1994;26:1-6.

9. Hemilä H. Vitamin C supplementation and common cold symptoms: factors affecting the magnitude of the benefit. Med Hypotheses 1999;52:171-8.

10. Macknin ML. Zinc lozenges for the common cold. Cleve Clin J Med 1999;66:27-32 [review].

11. Eby G, Davis DR, Halcomb WW. Reduction in duration of common colds by zinc gluconate lozenges in a double-blind study. Antimicrobial Agents Chemotherapy 1984;25:20-4.

12. Al-Nakib W, Higgins PG, Barrow I, et al. Prophylaxis and treatment of rhinovirus colds with zinc gluconate lozenges. J Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 1987;20:893-901.

13. Prasad AS, Beck FWJ, Bao B, Snell D, Fitzgerald JT. Duration and severity of symptoms and levels of plasma interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor, and adhesion molecules in patients with common cold treated with zinc acetate. J Infect Dis 2008;197:795-802.

14. Macknin ML, Piedmonte M, Calendine C, et al. Zinc gluconate lozenges for treating the common cold in children. A randomized controlled trial. JAMA 1998;279:1962-7.

15. Petrus EJ, Lawson KA, Bucci LR, Blum K. Randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled clinical study of the effectiveness of zinc acetate lozenges on common cold symptoms in allergy-tested subjects. Curr Ther Res 1998;59:595-607.

16. Prasad AS, Fitzgerald JT, Bao B, et al. Duration of symptoms and plasma cytokine levels in patients with the common cold treated with zinc acetate. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 2000;133:245-52.

17. Eby G. Where's the bias? Ann Intern Med 1998;128:75 [letter].

18. Garland ML, Hagmeyer KO. The role of zinc lozenges in treatment of the common cold. Ann Pharmacolther 1998;32:63-9 [review].

19. Weismann K, Jakobsen JP, Weismann JE, et al. Zinc gluconate lozenges for common cold. A double-blind clinical trial. Dan Med Bull 1990;37:279-81.

20. Jackson JL, Peterson C, Lesho E. A meta-analysis of zinc salts lozenges and the common cold. Arch Intern Med 1997;157:2373-6.

21. Predy GN, Goel V, Lovlin R, et al. Efficacy of an extract of North American ginseng containing poly-furanosyl-pyranosyl-saccharides for preventing upper respiratory tract infections: a randomized controlled trial. CMAJ 2005;173:1043-8.

22. Murray MT. The Healing Power of Herbs. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1995.

23. Bradley PR, ed. British Herbal Compendium, Vol. 1. Bournemouth, Dorset, UK: British Herbal Medicine Association, 1992.

24. Tiralongo E, Wee SS, Lea RA. Elderberry supplementation reduces cold duration and symptoms in air-travellers: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Nutrients 2016;8:E182.

25. Josling P. Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. Adv Ther2001;18:189-93.

26. Nantz MP, Rowe CA, Muller CE, et al. Supplementation with aged garlic extract improves both NK and γδ-T cell function and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled nutrition intervention. Clin Nutr 2012;31:337-44.

27. Bereznoy VV, Riley DS, Wassmer G, Heger M. Efficacy of extract of Pelargonium sidoides in children with acute non-group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus tonsillopharyngitis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Altern Ther Health Med 2003;9:68-79.

28. Hojsak I, Snovak N, Abdovic S, et al. Lactobacillus GG in the prevention of gastrointestinal and respiratory tract infections in children who attend day care centers: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clin Nutr 2010;29:312-6.

29. Cazzola M, Pham-Thi N, Kerihuel JC, et al. Efficacy of a synbiotic supplementation in the prevention of common winter diseases in children: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study. Ther Adv Respir Dis 2010;4:271-8.

30. Gerasimov SV, Ivantsiv VA, Bobryk LM, et al. Role of short-term use of L. acidophilus DDS-1 and B. lactis UABLA-12 in acute respiratory infections in children: a randomized controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr 2016;70:463–9.

31. Brinckmann J, Sigwart H, van Houten Taylor L. Safety and efficacy of a traditional herbal medicine (Throat Coat) in symptomatic temporary relief of pain in patients with acute pharyngitis: a multicenter, prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study. J Altern Complement Med 2003;9:285-98.

32. Camargo CA Jr, Ganmaa D, Frazier AL, et al. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation and risk of acute respiratory infection in Mongolia. Pediatrics 2012;130:e561-e567.

33. Aloia JF, Li-Ng M. Re: epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect 2007;135:1095-6.

34. Laaksi I, Ruohola JP, Mattila V, et al. Vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of acute respiratory tract infection: a randomized, double-blinded trial among young Finnish men. J Infect Dis 2010;202:809–14.

35. Grant CC, Kaur S, Waymouth E, et al. Reduced primary care respiratory infection visits following pregnancy and infancy vitamin D supplementation: a randomised controlled trial. Acta Paediatr 2015;104:396–404.

36. Rees JR, Hendricks K, Barry EL, et al. Vitamin D3 supplementation and upper respiratory tract infections in a randomized, controlled trial. Clin Infect Dis 2013;57:1384–92.

37. Denlinger LC, King TS, Cardet JC, et al. Vitamin D supplementation and the risk of colds in patients with asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2016;193:634–41.

38. Macknin ML. Zinc lozenges for the common cold. Cleve Clin J Med 1999;66:27-32 [review].

39. Eby G, Davis DR, Halcomb WW. Reduction in duration of common colds by zinc gluconate lozenges in a double-blind study. Antimicrobial Agents Chemotherapy 1984;25:20-4.

40. Al-Nakib W, Higgins PG, Barrow I, et al. Prophylaxis and treatment of rhinovirus colds with zinc gluconate lozenges. J Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 1987;20:893-901.

41. Prasad AS, Beck FWJ, Bao B, Snell D, Fitzgerald JT. Duration and severity of symptoms and levels of plasma interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor, and adhesion molecules in patients with common cold treated with zinc acetate. J Infect Dis 2008;197:795-802.

42. Macknin ML, Piedmonte M, Calendine C, et al. Zinc gluconate lozenges for treating the common cold in children. A randomized controlled trial. JAMA 1998;279:1962-7.

43. Petrus EJ, Lawson KA, Bucci LR, Blum K. Randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled clinical study of the effectiveness of zinc acetate lozenges on common cold symptoms in allergy-tested subjects. Curr Ther Res 1998;59:595-607.

44. Prasad AS, Fitzgerald JT, Bao B, et al. Duration of symptoms and plasma cytokine levels in patients with the common cold treated with zinc acetate. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 2000;133:245-52.

45. Eby G. Where's the bias? Ann Intern Med 1998;128:75 [letter].

46. Garland ML, Hagmeyer KO. The role of zinc lozenges in treatment of the common cold. Ann Pharmacolther 1998;32:63-9 [review].

47. Weismann K, Jakobsen JP, Weismann JE, et al. Zinc gluconate lozenges for common cold. A double-blind clinical trial. Dan Med Bull 1990;37:279-81.

48. Jackson JL, Peterson C, Lesho E. A meta-analysis of zinc salts lozenges and the common cold. Arch Intern Med 1997;157:2373-6.

49. Kurugol Z, Akilli M, Bayram N, Koturoglu G. The prophylactic and therapeutic effectiveness of zinc sulphate on common cold in children. Acta Paediatr 2006;95:1175-81.

50. Scaglione F, Cattaneo G, Alessandria M, Cogo R. Efficacy and safety of the standardized ginseng extract G 115 for potentiating vaccination against common cold and/or influenza syndrome. Drugs Exp Clin Res 1996;22:65-72.

51. Scaglione F, Cattaneo G, Alessandria M, Cogo R. Efficacy and safety of the standardized ginseng extract G 115 for potentiating vaccination against common cold and/or influenza syndrome. Drugs Exp Clin Res 1996;22:65-72.

52. Schilcher H. Phytotherapy in Paediatrics. Stuttgart, Germany: Medpharm Scientific Publishers, 1997, 126-7.

53. Schilcher H. Phytotherapy in Paediatrics. Stuttgart, Germany: Medpharm Scientific Publishers, 1997, 126-7.

54. Melchart D, Linde K, Worku F, et al. Immunomodulation with echinacea—a systematic review of controlled clinical trials. Phytomedicine 1994;1:245-54 [review].

55. Li SC, Smith FP, Stuart GA. Chinese Medicinal Herbs. San Francisco: Georgetown Press, 1973:422.

56. Li XY. Immunomodulating Chinese herbal medicines. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 1991;86 Suppl 2:159-64.

57. Davydov M, Krikorian AD. Eleutherococcus senticosus (Rupr. & Maxim.) Maxim. (Araliaceae) as an adaptogen: a closer look. J Ethnopharmacol 2000;72:345-93.

58. Melchior J, Spasov AA, Ostrovskij OV, et al. Double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot and phase III study of activity of standardized Andrographis paniculata Herba Ness extract fixed combination (Kan jang) in the treatment of uncomplicated upper-respiratory tract infection. Phytomedicine 2000;7:341-50.

59. Gabrielian ES, Shukarian AK, Goukasova GI, et al. A double blind, placebo-controlled study of Andrographis paniculata fixed combination Kan Jang in the treatment of acute upper respiratory tract infections including sinusitis. Phytomedicine 2002;9:589-97.

60. Schulz V, Hansel R, Tyler VE. Rational Phytotherapy, 3rd ed. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag, 1998, 146-7.

61. Murray, MT. The Healing Power of Herbs. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1995, 162-72.

62. Bradley PR, ed. British Herbal Compendium, Vol. 1. Bournemouth, Dorset, UK: British Herbal Medicine Association, 1992, 119-20.

63. Murray, MT. The Healing Power of Herbs. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1995, 162-72.

64. Bradley PR, ed. British Herbal Compendium, Vol. 1. Bournemouth, Dorset, UK: British Herbal Medicine Association, 1992, 119-20.

65. Mills SY. Out of the Earth: The Essential Book of Herbal Medicine. New York: Viking Arkana, 1991.

66. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Beaconsfield, UK: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1985.

67. Schulz V, Hansel R, Tyler VE. Rational Phytotherapy, 3rd ed. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag, 1998, 146-7.

68. Schilcher H. Phytotherapy in Paediatrics. Stuttgart, Germany: Medpharm Scientific Publishers, 1997, 126-7.

69. Schilcher H. Phytotherapy in Paediatrics. Stuttgart, Germany: Medpharm Scientific Publishers, 1997, 126-7.

70. Scaglione F, Cattaneo G, Alessandria M, Cogo R. Efficacy and safety of the standardized ginseng extract G 115 for potentiating vaccination against common cold and/or influenza syndrome. Drugs Exp Clin Res 1996;22:65-72.

71. Suryakumar G, Gupta A. Medicinal and therapeutic potential of Sea buckthorn (Hippophaerhamnoides L.). J Ethnopharmacol 2011;138:268-78.

72. Larmo P, Alin J, Salminen E, et al. Effects of sea buckthorn berries on infections and inflammation: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Eur J ClinNutr 2008;62:1123-30.

73. Mills SY. Out of the Earth: The Essential Book of Herbal Medicine. New York: Viking Arkana, 1991.

74. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Beaconsfield, UK: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1985.

75. Beuscher N, Kopanski L. Stimulation of immunity by the contents of Baptisia tinctoria. Planta Med 1985;5:381-4.

76. Li SC, Smith FP, Stuart GA. Chinese Medicinal Herbs. San Francisco: Georgetown Press, 1973:422.

77. Jafek BW, Linschoten MR, Murrow BW. Anosmia after intranasal zinc gluconate use. Am J Rhinol 2004;18:137-41.

78. Macknin ML. Zinc lozenges for the common cold. Cleve Clin J Med 1999;66:27-32 [review].

79. Hirt M, Nobel S, Barron E. Zinc nasal gel for the treatment of common cold symptoms: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ear Nose Throat J 2000;79:778-80.

80. Belongia EA, Berg R, Liu K. A randomized trial of zinc nasal spray for the treatment of upper respiratory illness in adults. Am J Med 2001;111:103-8.

81. Paul I, Beiler J, McMonagle A, Shaffer M, Duda L, Berlin C. Effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep quality for coughing children and their parents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2007;161:1140-46.

82. Šlapak I, Skoupá J, Strnad P, Horník P. Efficacy of isotonic nasal wash (seawater) in the treatment and prevention of rhinitis in children. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2008;134:67-74.

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.