Dec 27, 2011 7:51 PM by Ariel Wesler

Home remedies to fight the common cold

As we head into the heart of cold and flu season, you'll find aisles stocked with an arsenal of weapons to combat cold and flu symptoms, but, there's also a host of home remedies that families have relied on for generations.

From family traditions like Mexican chocolate to family favorites.

"I gargle with warm water and vinegar, that's probably a big one," said Libby Edans, who's been a nurse practitioner for 18 years.

"I'll go to the beach and lay in the sun, lay down on the rocks in the sunshine and let it bake it out of me," said Amalia Mahana, who's a medical assistant at Nipomo Medical.

When it comes to beating the common cold, there's relief beyond your neighborhood drug store.

Hit up any store and you'll find dozens and dozens of brand names that claim they can help soothe your symptoms, everything from shortening the duration of a cold, to providing long-lasting relief, to clearing up that nasty mucus, but what did people do before all this even existed? We turned to the experts to find out what are some of their home remedies that have withstood the test of time.

Dr. Gregg Wolff has been treating patients for 15 years. He works at Nipomo Medical.

"My mom would do the Vicks VapoRub and the humidify air," Dr. Woff said.

"Well my grandma was really big on Vicks VapoRub," Mahana said.

In an unconventional sort of way.

"She'd take a dab and say open your mouth and then she'd stick it on my tongue and make me eat it," Mahana said.

Over at Kohana's Pharmacy in San Luis Obispo, we spoke with Alan Martin, who's been a pharmacist for 30 years.

"The thing that I really think is over looked today is Vitamin D usage. They are finding it has incredible healing power," Martin said.

"If I get a cough, I have to be honest with you I use Brandy and 7-Up to stop my cough. It works for me," said Dana Nelson of Dana Nelson's Health Plus Pharmacy in San Luis Obispo.

Despite the differences, doctors and pharamacists say there's no reason to shy away from whatever works for you.

"Common sense, conventional wisdom and folk medicine, are generally based in good science," Nelson said.

But no matter what cold fighting power you summons, there is a common theme.

"The best remedy is taking a couple of days off, lots of fluids and lots of rest and you'll feel better in a few days," Dr. Wolff said.

Some health experts say you can't ignore the placebo effect. They say it is a powerful tool, where if you think what your doing is working, you could actually end up feeling better, even if it's not based in science.


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