Cures for the common cold: Fact or Fiction?

An average adult is likely to catch between two and four colds every year, according to NHS Choices.

Winter time is when the pharmacy tills really start ringing, with more people suffering colds during these colder months than at other times of the year.

NHS Choices is warning families trying to treat colds, that many of those long held beliefs about effective cold treatment are actually rubbish.

Vitamin C
Myth – according to NHS Choices, one in three people believe that Vitamin C can help cure a cold. In fact, research has shown that Vitamin C doesn’t prevent or cure a cold.

Echinacea
Myth – many think that Echinacea can be used to prevent a cold or treat one, but research has shown that there is no proof of this being the case.

Over the counter medicines for colds
Myth – over the counter medicines do not cure a cold. The usual ingredients are painkillers and decongestants, which only help manage the symptoms.

Live well
Fact – the best way to treat a cold is to ‘rest, eat well, avoid stress and keep hydrated’. As most colds are caused by viruses, you don’t need antibiotics to help treat it.

GP Dr. Knut Schroeder says: “Many people will catch a cold this year – but there really isn’t any miracle cure out there. A balanced diet and regular exercise can help you to stay healthy. But, if you are to catch a cold then my advice is to try and stay warm, drink plenty of fluids and to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. All this can help your body naturally fight the cold virus.”

For more information on surviving colds this winter visit, www.nhs.uk/livewell/coldsandflu