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Common Cold/Sore Throat

Healthy Lifestyle Tips

One study found that a daily saltwater nasal rinse may be beneficial for children with colds.82 The children who used saline nasal rinses (six times per day initially and three times per day during the rest of the 12-week study) had fewer nasal and throat symptoms, they were healthier, and fewer of them used medications to manage their symptoms than the children who did not use the rinses. They were also less likely to have been sick again, and they missed less school. The nasal rinse was a standard 0.9% saline (sodium chloride) solution with trace elements and minerals in concentrations similar to those in seawater. Neti pots (small pots for nasal rinsing) and mineral salts to use  with them are now widely available. Lifestyle habits that may support the immune system and speed recovery include the following:

  • Drink plenty of fluids in order to maintain water balance and to thin secretions.
  • Eat raw garlic, which has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Crush a clove or two and add to foods like soups and grains just before serving.
  • Gargling with plain water three times a day removes mucus and keeps bacteria and viruses from sticking around.
  • A warm, humid environment created by a humidifier may provide some comfort while riding out a cold.

References

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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.

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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.

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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.