If there is no specific treatment available for an ailment, it is human nature to search for remedy and most patients end p trying alternative medicine in one form or another. Common cold has no specific and definite remedy in mainstream modern medicine (commonly known as allopathic medicine) many people go for alternative medicine (I am not giving my opinion against alternative medicine, but giving my views only as I know sometimes alternative medicine can do wonders and there are users of alternative medicine who are satisfied with results).
For management of common cold also alternative medicine can play an important role (at least many individuals and health care professionals believe so). Most commonly used alternative medicine for common cold is use of herbs and supplements. Many patients claim to benefit from use of herbs and supplements for common cold, but in most cases there is no scientific basis or scientific data available to support such claims.
Common used herbs and supplements for management of common cold are vitamin-C, Zinc, echinacea, honey etc.
Vitamin-C in common cold:
It is seen that consuming large doses of vitamin C, especially at the beginning of cold may shorten symptoms. Use of vitamin-C can not prevent common cold and it is not useful in severe cold.
Zinc in common cold:
There are scientific data available to prove the beneficial effects of zinc for common cold management. But the correct dose, most effective formulation and durations of treatment required are not yet clearly determined. Use of zinc may take away your sense of smell and everyone should be aware of this before taking zinc.
Echinacea in common cold:
Some studies have found that regular taking of echinacea at the beginning of symptoms of common cold can reduce the duration and severity of symptoms of common cold. But many studies have shown no such benefits. Research is still going on for possible role of echinacea in common cold and other health problems. But echinacea can improve immunity is proven.
Honey in common cold:
Honey is being used for common cold for hundreds of years in some countries such as India. Honey can decrease severity of cough and improve sleeping, especially among children with cold.