Are you looking for a cure for the common
? Sneezing, running nose,
, and body aches are symptoms of the common cold. Symptoms usually last 7-10 days. Your grandmother probably recommends chicken soup, but if that fails, you may want to try an herbal remedy extracted from the South African geranium,
. In a recent study published in the journal
, patients taking
experienced symptom relief sooner than those taking a placebo.
About the Study
Researchers studied the effects of
compared to placebo in 103 patients with symptoms of the common cold. Patients were aged 18-55 and lived in the Ukraine. They received
30 drops three times daily for 10 days. Cold severity was rated on a scale of 0-4 points on 10 symptoms for a total possible score of 40 points. The average score at the beginning of the study was 17 points.
After five days of treatment, the patients taking
reported a drop in symptoms to an average score of 7, while the placebo group reported a score of 11. The average person taking
reported a 10-point reduction in their symptoms. After 10 days of treatment 64% of the patients taking
reported no symptoms, whereas only 12% in the placebo group reported feeling cured. There was also a significant reduction in work days lost in the group taking
How Does This Affect You?
When you are down and out with the common cold, there is not much your physician can do for you. It is important that you rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take medication to lower a fever. Now you may be able to reduce the suffering by a couple days.
The herbal preparation of
available in the United States can be purchased at most pharmacies or health food stores. Since it is not a prescription medication, the formulation is not as regulated as pharmaceuticals. Always check with your pharmacist and healthcare provider about possible interactions with any other medications, especially Coumadin (warfarin), you are taking.
Last reviewed December 2007 by Larissa Lucas, MD
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