A cold is an infection that can bother the nose and throat. It is caused by a virus. Influenza (flu) is a viral infection that may cause problems with breathing. The flu can make you a little sick or very sick. Sometimes it can lead to death.
Both the cold and the flu can cause problems that get in the way of daily tasks. Both are treated with home care and over the counter drugs. But the flu may need prescription drugs. A flu shot can also help stop you from getting the flu. Some people turn to natural therapies to treat health problems and lower the risk of a bacterial infection.
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Talk to your doctor about all herbs or supplements you are taking. Some may cause problems with your treatment plan or health conditions. Some supplements discussed here have certain concerns such as:
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C1. Josling P. Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. Adv Ther.2001;18:189-93
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Traditional Chinese Medicine
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E4. Ginde AA, Blatchford P, et al. High-dose monthly vitamin D for prevention of acute respiratory infection in older long-term care residents: a randomized clinical trial. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017 Mar;65(3):496-503.
Last reviewed February 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board
Richard Glickman-Simon, MD
Last Updated: 2/22/2019