There are few experiences as universal as catching a cold. And while there are around 200 viruses that cause it, there seem to be almost as many home remedies to combat it.
But do any of them work?
At the core of any home, a remedy is the idea that it bolsters our immune system. When a virus enters our bodies, it comes up against two systems of defense: the innate immune system tries to flush invading cells out, while the adaptive system targets specific pathogens that the body already has had contact with and creates memory cells of new ones, so the body can fight them off if they return.
Even so, studies looking into cures for the common cold have found that they can make a difference.
The vast majority of these studies concentrate on supplements, rather than food – in fact, no reliable research has been done on whether a popular cure like chicken soup makes a difference.
Another supplement many people reach for when they feel cold symptoms is vitamin C. Researchers concluded that since the supplements are low-risk, it may be worthwhile trying them to see if they can help.
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