The common cold is associated with a nasal congestion, cough, and a sore throat. There may also be a mild fever. It can be caused by one of more than 200 different viruses. It runs its coarse in about one to two weeks.
Here are a few things to do if you feel the onset of the common cold:
Get plenty of rest.
Prop head up higher while sleeping if congested.
Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
Run a humidifier, especially while sleeping, if your house is dry.
Take a long hot steamy shower.
Eat healthy – go for the chicken soup!
Blow your nose often to reduce mucous further down your respiratory tract.
The listings of research below represents a compilation of scientific articles found on the topic, with a very brief overview description of each article/study. This compilation of research articles does not necessarily imply that there are adequate results to demonstrate safe and/or effective human use of any herb listed.
This review discussed the many uses for coriander: to cure bed cold, seasonal fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach disorders, indigestion, against worms, rheumatism and pain in the joints and as a diuretic, expectorant, laxative, anti-bacterial, anti-pyretic, and hypoglycemic herb. From: Rajeshwari, U., & Andallu, B. (2011). Medicinal benefits of coriander (Coriandrum Sativum L). Spatula DD, 1(1), 51-58.
This meta analysis concluded echinacea reduced respiratory tract infections. From: Schapowal, A., Klein, P., & Johnston, S. L. (2015). Echinacea reduces the risk of recurrent respiratory tract infections and complications: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Advances in therapy, 32(3), 187-200.
Results of the double blind study suggested aged garlic extract in a diet may enhance immune cell function and reduced the severity of colds and flu. From: Nantz, M. P., Rowe, C. A., Muller, C. E., Creasy, R. A., Stanilka, J. M., & Percival, S. S. (2012). Supplementation with aged garlic extract improves both NK and γδ-T cell function and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled nutrition intervention. Clinical Nutrition, 31(3), 337-344.
One hundred forty-six volunteers were randomized and those taking the allicin-containing garlic supplement, one capsule daily, over a 12-week period between November and February were less likely to catch the common cold. From: Josling, P. (2001). Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. Advances in therapy, 18(4), 189-1
In a large double blind study, vitamin C reduced the duration and symptoms of the common cold. From: Anderson, T. W., Reid, D. B. W., & Beaton, G. H. (1972). Vitamin C and the common cold: a double-blind trial. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 107(6), 503.
In a randomized double blind study of 472 patients with mild influenza, an echinacea drink was more effective in reducing symptoms and had less side effects than oseltamivir, the gold standard for treating the flu. From: Rauš, K., Pleschka, S., Klein, P., Schoop, R., & Fisher, P. (2015). Effect of an Echinacea-based hot drink versus oseltamivir in influenza treatment: a randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, multicenter, noninferiority clinical trial. Current Therapeutic Research, 77, 66-72.
In a clinical trial of 53 outpatients, Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset) was as effective as acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) in treating the common cold. From: Gassinger, C. A., Wünstel, G., & Netter, P. (1980). A controlled clinical trial for testing the efficacy of the homeopathic drug eupatorium perfoliatum D2 in the treatment of common cold (author’s transl). Arzneimittel-Forschung, 31(4), 732-736.
Douglas, R. M., & Hemilä, H. (2005). Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. PLoS medicine, 2(6), e168.
A German drug called Contramutan, containing Atropa belladonna, Echinacea angustifolia (deadly nightshade), Aconitum napellus (monks hood), and Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset) was tested in a non-controlled study of 4,443 patients with differing ages, and showed to be safe, with a reduction in common cold and upper respiratory symptoms after three days. From: Tradler, N., & Eckert, M. (2001). Therapie von fieberhaften grippalen Infekten und Entzündungen der oberen Luftwege mit Contramutan: Eine Anwendungsbeobachtung mit 4.443 Patienten (Poster). In Symposium “Phytopharmaka VII–Forschung und klinische Anwendung (Vol. 23)
Inhalation of eucalyptus, camphor, and menthol improved airway and breathing of those affected by the common cold. From: Cohen, B. M., & Dressier, W. E. (1982). Acute aromatics inhalation modifies the airways. Effects of the common cold. Respiration, 43(4), 285-293.
In participants with the common cold who inhaled a mixture of aromatic vapors of eucalyptus, menthol, camphor, breathing was improved. From: Cohen, B. M., & Dressier, W. E. (1982). Acute aromatics inhalation modifies the airways. Effects of the common cold. Respiration, 43(4), 285-293.
A peppermint lozenge improved airflow in those suffering from the common cold. From: ECCLES, R., JAWAD, M. S., & MORRIS, S. (1990). The effects of oral administration of (—)‐menthol on nasal resistance to airflow and nasal sensation of airflow in subjects suffering from nasal congestion associated with the common cold. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 42(9), 652-65
The immunity boosting, antimicrobial actions of ginger were discussed. From: Shakya, S. R. (2015). Medicinal uses of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) improves growth and enhances immunity in aquaculture. International Journal of Chemical Studies, 3(2), 83-87.
Cold receptor stimulation of the upper airway during nasal inhalation of menthol reduced the sensation of respiratory discomfort associated with difficult breathing. From: Nishino, T., Tagaito, Y., & Sakurai, Y. (1997). Nasal inhalation of l-menthol reduces respiratory discomfort associated with loaded breathing. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine, 156(1), 309-313.
Nutrition, including Vitamins C, D, and Zinc, play a role in optimal immunity. From: Maggini, S., Maldonado, P., Cardim, P., Fernandez Newball, C., & Sota Latino, E. R. (2017). Vitamins C, D and Zinc: Synergistic Roles in Immune Function and Infections. Vitam Miner, 6(167), 2376-1318.