When you're sneezing and coughing and feeling crappy sick, all you want is to get better. Fast. And claims from some of those natural cold remedies make you feel like you'll get almost instant wellness:
"Relief from major cold symptoms in 24 hours, guaranteed!"
But is there really anything in products like Emergence-C, Airborne, No Time for Colds, and Wellness Formula that will boost your immune system?
But can you get the same relief if you just take some plain ol' vitamins?
Maybe -- depends on which vitamins you take.
No Time for Colds are zinc-based lozenges. Emergen-C, Airborne, and Wellness Formula all have 1,000 mg of vitamin C or more. Both zinc and vitamin C help support your immune system. So, there's that. Plus they all have some other vitamins and nutrients packed in their products.
It all sounds fine and good ... until you recall the lawsuit from a couple of years ago over false advertising claims from one of them. At the time, the Center for Science in the Public Interest said, "Airborne is basically an overpriced, run-of-the-mill vitamin pill that’s been cleverly, but deceptively, marketed."
Since then, the claims from natural cold remedies seem more toned down:
"Helps support your immune system."
"Formulated to boost your well-being."
But you can skip the marketing gimmicks and get those benefits just by taking good care of yourself when you're sick. Drink plenty of liquids, get lots of rest, and eat more fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C, like oranges, broccoli, and tomatoes. They'll really strengthen your immune system the natural way.
Image via mcfarlandmo/Flickr