BINGHAM FARMS, Mich. (WXYZ) — Garlic, ginger, hot toddies. These might be your ways of getting over a cold, but it will not “cure” a cold.
Doctor Angela Xavier, a primary care doctor for Beaumont, compares these remedies to taking a Tylenol, helping only with the symptom at hand.
“Home remedies help you breathe better, help you sleep at night, but it’s not really affecting the course of the disease,” said Dr. Xavier.
There is one thing that studies show can shorten a cold: Zinc. While Vitamin C is not proven to help the average person, Dr. Xavier says it can help those managing stress while battling a cold.
“Studies have shown that people who are very stressed either physically or emotionally when they get a cold Vitamin C does help, so vitamin C and zinc together is a safe bet,” said Dr. Xavier.
One remedy that might cause more harm than help? The use of a humidifier at night. When you have a cold, it could make it worse.
“Once you have a cold, having a humidifier might actually make you feel more congested. Plus, with humidifiers it is very, very important to clean it, take it out, dry it completely before you fill it again because you can grow mold,” said Dr. Xavier.
While most home remedies don’t cure, Dr. Xavier recommends sticking to them. She says, at the very least, they bring comfort while resting up to feel better.