Christine Venter (CV)
General Practitioner, Raffles Medical
‘Home remedies to
treat or cure the common cold have never been scientifically studied. When you
have a cold, the most important things are to rest as much as possible, keep
hydrated and wash your hands as often as possible’.
Dr Christine Wang (CW)
‘There is no clinical
evidence that show home remedies are useful for common cold. However they can
help patients drink more fluids or relieve symptoms. The symptoms of a cold
will resolve over time, even without any treatment’.
Photo by Leighann Renee on Unsplash
Boiling coke with ginger
Method: Add ginger slices and coke
in a saucepan and boil over a slow flame for 10 minutes.
CV: I don’t advise using this home remedy. Caffeinated and carbonated drinks can make
dehydration worse, which will make congestion worse. The high sugar content in
Coke is also not healthy though it, and little bit of caffeine in Coke might
make you feel more energised for a period after drinking it.
CW: If you like coke or ginger flavor, it’s a good way for you to drink more fluids.
However, know that every 100ml coke contains 180 kj energy and 10.6g sugar so
it’s not recommended for diabetic patients.
Photo by Libby Penner on Unsplash
Method: Boil a chicken with
onion, thyme, bay leaf, and garlic. After 45 minutes, add celery, carrots,
potato, egg noodles and parsley.
CV: There’s no reason not to drink
chicken soup as its warmth can be soothing and it will also keep you hydrated.
Eating healthy meals like this is always a good idea when you’re ill.
CW: Healthy ingredients like
carrots, onions, and celery, have vitamins A, C, and anti-oxidants. The chicken
itself is full of protein, which is good for your immune system. It’s a good
way for us to keep nutrition balance. However, remember not to use too much
salt and skim extra oil from the soup.
Photo by Dominik Martin on Unsplash
Method: Add ginger slices to a
freshly boiled tea. Cover cup for 10 minutes to infuse.
CV: The tea will
keep you hydrated. The warm liquid can be soothing and might ease congestion by
improving mucous flow. Studies on the health effects of ginger have also shown
that it helps fight against nausea and vomiting.
CW: If you like ginger flavor, it can help us to drink
more fluids, a way to relive cold symptoms. There are no negative side effects
to drinking ginger tea.
Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash
and lemon water
Method: Mix honey and water into
boiling hot water.
CV: Honey soothes
a sore throat and it could help with suppressing coughs. Lemons are high in
Vitamin C, which has anti-oxidant effects and also improves the immune system.
However, studies have shown that Vitamin C is not helpful if you start to take
it after the onset of symptoms and too much of it can cause diarrhea, nausea
and stomach cramps.
CW: Lemon water and ginger tea have the same functions
in helping with a common cold. The main ingredients of honey are glucose and
fructose and it has high calories and offers some nutrition. This remedy is not
recommended for diabetic patients.
Method: Dissolve one-half
teaspoon baking soda in a glass of cool water and drink six times per day
CV: Baking soda is an alkaline agent.
As a home remedy it is commonly used to treat indigestion and heartburn by
neutralising stomach acid. However excessive intake can be harmful as it contains
a lot of sodium, which elevates blood pressure and leads to fluid retention. It
should not be used by people with hypertension, cardiovascular disease or
chronic kidney disease. Sodium bicarbonate can also interact with other
medications. It also tastes horrible. Definitely not something I recommend.
CW: Baking soda is an
alkaline substance. When it mixes with an acid, it alters the pH level. That’s
why it can quickly soothe an upset stomach or
cover a bad smell. If one of the symptoms of your cold is indigestion, baking
soda water can help you to calm it.