Flu and Colds: In Depth
Many complementary health approaches have been proposed as remedies for the common cold or ways to reduce the risk of catching a cold. There’s evidence that some of them may help, while others may not help combat symptoms.
Complementary approaches that have shown some promise include oral zinc products, rinsing the nose and sinuses (with a neti pot or other device), honey (as a nighttime cough remedy for children), vitamin C (for people under severe physical stress), probiotics, and meditation.
It’s important to consider safety before using a complementary health approach to try to fight the common cold. In particular, neti pots or other nasal rinsing devices should be used properly to avoid infections. The Food and Drug Administration has information on how to use these devices safely.