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Dr. Alan Greene on Treating a Cold


My school-age son has a terrible cold. I have him rubbing with mentholated ointment and breathing in steam, but he is so miserable! Is there anything else that will help?


My favorite recipe for a cold (if he'll drink it) is 2 cups of water combined with the juice of one lemon, zest from half that lemon, 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, 2 cloves of chopped garlic, an inch of chopped fresh ginger, and honey to taste. Bring it to a boil, pour through a strainer, and drink it hot. All of these ingredients have proven natural anticold properties.

The cold virus lives best at 98.6 degrees, so raising the temperature in the throat and nose can help. Drinking lots of hot tea and chicken soup and breathing in steam can help. Salt makes it more difficult for the cold virus to replicate -- another good reason for chicken soup, which is often loaded with sodium. Some canned soups have more salt than salt water. Acid is also tough on the cold virus, which is why lemons and tea are a great idea. Honey helps as well.


The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.