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The herbal remedy echinacea is getting a lot of attention for its claims to prevent cold and flu symptoms. Some studies have found benefits; other studies have found none. Because there are no standards or quality controls available for echinacea (including what part of the plant to use) or any other herbal remedies, and some of the medications can cause toxic side effects in large doses, you should always discuss natural remedies with your health care professional before taking them.
Large doses of vitamin C have not been proven to effectively prevent or cure colds. It is important, however, to take the minimum daily requirement. Ask your health care professional what he/or she recommends.
Various brands of zinc lozenges that claim quicker recovery time for people suffering from colds have appeared on pharmacy shelves, but evidence from studies completed so far has been inconclusive.