15 July 2021

Which cold and flu remedies are a waste of money?

Find out which cold and flu remedies work and which may be a placebo.

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24 Jul 2021
Plodding on.

The best comment on dealing with ‘colds’ that I have heard is that “ If you take something for the cold it will last for 7 days, if you take nothing it will last a week”. I am, hopefully, just getting to end of a cold having used Codral ‘Night and Day’ to lessen the symptoms, staying at home and drinking lots of tea and ‘honey, ginger and lemon juice’ to soothe my throat.

Christina R.
22 Jul 2021
Cold, flu... or COVID?

This article would be a good place to remind people that COVID symptoms overlap significantly with cold and flu symptoms, and that if you're suffering from runny nose, sore throat, coughing etc then you should stay home and call the Healthline or your GP to see if you should get tested.


Julie B.
20 Jul 2021
Active constituents

When a substance is tested, it is really important , for eg echinacea or garlic, that the whole substance is tested. For eg, extracts of a substance behave very differently when tested with the whole. A lot of pharmaceutical testing is done one one part of the subject, eg an "active" part of echinacea and gives very different results from testing the whole subject. What we found in a study class is the combination of the whole worked very differently and more cohesively than one active extract. It changed the efficiency of the extract being tested and the availability of the other components. This in turn affected other factors such as availability and viability of active constituents, stability and even absorption and ease of breakdown for absorption. Also when working as a whole substance, the potency of what was called the active ingredient could be much lower as the efficiency when working together as a whole substance changed the overall balance and increased the ease of assimilation, making it more accessible for absorption.
Just observations from our class.

Ian R.
19 Jul 2021
Manuka Honey

Whenever I get a tickle in the throat or a sore throat appears to be starting, I take a teaspoonful of Manuka Honey UMF 10+. Don't be fooled by the MGO rating. UMF 10+ is the same as MGO 263, so MGO 10 would be a very low rating.

19 Jul 2021
Lemsip drinks were helpful for my recent cold

I had a cold just a few weeks ago. I found Lemsip drinks to be pretty good at dealing with the symptoms. For me, the most annoying symptom is a runny nose. Lemsip helped with that. I'm not convinced by sprays.

Jim V.
18 Jul 2021
Nasal Sprays

While they are effective for relieving nasal blockages they should not be used in children under the age of 2 although the reasons for this are not particularly strong

Valerie B.
18 Jul 2021

Sadly the use of pseudoephedrine to make methamphetamine means it has been replaced with the less effective phenyleprhine for non-prescription cold medicine.

19 Jul 2021
Yes, pseudoephedrine was great back in the day

I agree. Back in the day, Pseudoephedrine was great for colds. Phenyloprine doesn't appear to be nearly as good.

Nigel G.
17 Jul 2021
Blis Probiotic Throat Guard Pro

If I think I am getting a sore throat I suck a couple of lozenges over the course of a day. They seem to dry up my sniffle and stop the "tickle" in my throat.
I used to suck a couple when on a plane and I seemed to gets less colds when flying.
They are NZ made in Dunedin.

Bill F.
17 Jul 2021
New country new viruses

I moved to Hong Kong in 1992 and took the light rail transit to work in Tuen Mun. In the first three months I made friends with all the new viruses travelling on the crowded train every day.

Gary K.
17 Jul 2021
Vitamin C?

In 1974 my family and I visited England and caught up with my uncle, a physician specialising in pediatrics and geriatrics. It was a time when Linus Pauling (who had discovered the structure of ribo nuclei acid—RNA) was pushing the benefits of Vitamin C and advocating that people eat at least 30 oranges every day! My uncle commented that the body would absorb what it needed and the remainder (29 oranges?) would be flushed out in urine. I am inclined to follow that theory.

Peter R.
17 Jul 2021
Blindfold can leave you blind

In the years prior to 1998 I had been getting ever more frequent colds. Then I happened to to read on the internet about staff in a vitamin C factory having almost no colds. I started taking vitamin C tablets that year, and in fact I probably overdid it. I used to keep a bottle on my desk and treated the tablets like sweets.
I read about the dangers of that and cut back to a regular daily dose.
These days I take 250mg twice a day and if I think I feel a cold coming on I step that up to 500mg per hour. That does not always work but I would say it's about 50% effective.
If I do get a cold (no more than twice year) I keep up the larger doses in the belief that it shortens my illness.
It's good to carry out double-blind and placebo testing but that should not negate all other evidence. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean you aren't being followed.
Another Peter R

Blake K.
17 Jul 2021
Liposomal Vit C

When I feel a cold coming on I will take up to 6 sachets of liposomal (Lypospheric) Vit C. Not cheap but well worth the investment. 6000mg may seem a lot but it works a treat with the cold disappearing overnight.
This wont work with normal Vit C.

Rainer C.
17 Jul 2021
Arbitrary article

Lozenges: Why is an immediate pain relief useless? Where is Kaloba?

Elaine D.
17 Jul 2021

Some garlic pills are just freeze dried garlic and Kyolic and another process the garlic to increase the active ingredient. They cannot be assessed the same way
The research I have seen on Kyolic garlic uses a much higher dose than on the bottle which is a preventative dose rather than to treat an illness.

Peter R.
17 Jul 2021
Zinc supplements

Other sources that similarly debunk most remedies but for the comfort of faith, have suggested some credibility for Zinc as a booster supplement beyond that which occurs in food. Your thoughts?

Elizabeth R.
17 Jul 2021
Buccaline Berna

I'd be interested to see this product added to your investigation.
I've used it in the past, & subjectively feel that I've had fewer or milder colds, but is the science good?

Maria Conlon
18 Jul 2021
Ditto re Buccaline

I would also be interested to know about this - my boss recommended it to me as I get a lot of colds in winter and take days off in winter, especially since COVID and in my Bradford sick leave meeting he recommended that :) I took it but I still got a cold & it was the worst that I'd had in ages.....