By Dr. Mercola
Your nose is running, your eyes are itchy and watery, you have a low-grade fever and you’ve been sneezing all day. You probably have a cold. They are the leading cause of doctor visits and missed days at work and school. The average adult in America will suffer between two and four colds each year.
Despite advancements in medical care and treatment, traditional western medicine has little to offer in the care and treatment of the common cold. That’s because the cold is caused by a virus and not bacteria. This is important because antibiotics work only against bacteria and not against viruses.
Most uncomplicated colds last between two days and two weeks, depending upon the specific virus and your overall general health. Oftentimes over-the-counter cold remedies don’t speed your recovery and can actually prolong your suffering.
Many remedies contain aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil), all of which may suppress your body’s ability to produce antibodies and fight the cold.1This is completely opposite of your goal to get better as quickly as possible.
Although your physician may offer antiviral medications, such as Tamiflu, they are not effective against the common cold2,3 and carry specific risks worse than the cold they are meant to treat, and may be more ineffective than advertised.
The answer to treating your cold does not lie in the medicine cabinet. Use a combination of lifestyle choices, herbal remedies and vitamin supplementation to fight the virus and support your immune system in defense against viral attacks.
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