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The NozeBot is a Sick Day Essential!

8 Natural Cold Remedy Myths Debunked

If you haven’t noticed yet, snot is our specialty here at Dr. Noze Best! Since our company was founded by Dr. Steven Goudy, a Pediatric ENT, we get asked many questions about tackling colds, managing RSV, and how nasal aspiration plays a massive role in helping both. 

Educating our customers and community is incredibly important to us, and while we are always trying to set the record straight about various topics, we come across a lot of misinformation. When it comes to natural cold remedies, a lot of these methods have been passed down from generation to generation and proved untrue by modern-day studies. 

7 Natural Cold Remedy Myths Debunked

8 Natural Cold Remedy Myths Debunked

As we are all in the midst of a very challenging cold and flu season, we want to debunk these 8 natural cold remedies so that when it comes to time to nurse your little ones back to health that science and your doctor's advice are guiding the methods you use.

1. Gargling salt water

According to Penn Medicine, while gargling salt water can't provide a sore throat with immediate relief, it is great to help you with killing unwanted bacteria in your throat. To use this method, simply mix a half of a teaspoon of table salt with 8 ounces of warm water and gargle. 

2. Hot tea with honey

According to Harvard Health, you lose a lot of fluids when you are sick, so staying hydrated is key - and it also helps break up congestion. Warm fluids, like tea, help to keep your throat moist and can prevent coughing, too. As for honey, we advise not to give this to children under 1, however for anyone over 1, adding it to your warm or hot tea has been shown in studies to reduce symptoms from an upper respiratory tract infection.

Natural Cold Remedy

3. Vitamin C

According to the Mayo Clinic, taking lots of Vitamin C doesn't really do much for preventing or shortening colds. However, they do say that, "some studies have found that taking vitamin C before cold symptoms start may shorten the length of time you have symptoms. Vitamin C may benefit people at high risk of colds due to frequent exposure — for example, children who attend group child care during the winter."

4. Chicken noodle soup

Sorry grandma! UVA Health had debunked this one and says that even though patients feel better when eating chicken noodle soup, it doesn't actually do anything to cure a cold. However, it is packed with tons of vitamins and necessary minerals, so it's great to eat for your overall health!

Natural Cold Remedy Myths Debunked

5. Feed a cold starve a fever

According to UVA Health, this is only true depending on a person's age and size. The myth is based on the theory that eating while sick creates more body heat so avoiding food may allow it to cool down. The facts are that children and adults with less body fat need to eat more when sick and those with stored energy can eat the same. 

6. Skip dairy when you’re sick

While some believe that eating or drinking dairy can increase mucus when you are sick, this is untrue. Doctors say that as long as you tolerate dairy, there is no need to remove it from your diet when you have a cold. 


7. Onion in cold water

Last but not least, we had to share the latest TikTok trend, encouraging people to chop up onion and put it in cold water to help relieve congestion and cold symptoms, naturally. However, according to NBC Boston, doctors say that there really isn't any science backing up this claim. 

8. Putting garlic on your feet to bring down a fever or ear to help with an ear ache or infection

Garlic is a hot topic! Another viral natural cold remedy is slicing garlic and placing it against the feet, inside of a sock overnight to bring down a fever. While garlic does have wonderful antibacterial and antiviral properties, the Journal of Pediatric Emergency Care advises against this as it can cause unintentional burns to your child's feet. 

As for garlic in the ear, Dr. Goudy, Dr. Noze Best founder and a Pediatric ENT has some important thoughts! He says, "putting garlic in your child’s ear is not going to treat an ear infection. Ear infections are typically caused by viruses which will typically get better on their own. There is some evidence that substances within garlic can treat or kill bacteria, which are not viruses. However, to get into the middle ear (behind the ear drum) they would have to be given orally and very, very high doses or through the blood to actually reach the middle ear to treat it."

In addition, putting garlic in your child's ear can lead to a piece of garlic stuck in your child's ear. "It is random and lucky that your child’s ear infection got better when you put a garlic clove in their ear canal. Additionally a garlic clove could get stuck in your child’s ear canal and thus need to have surgery for removal. The only benefit or garlic is that vampires will not be attracted to your child."

Watch what Dr. Goudy has to say about garlic in the ear here:

@drnozebest #duet with @evbateman #naturalremedies as a pediatric ENT I love natural remedies but I don’t think there’s any good evidence for garlic and outer ear infections which is usually caused by pseudomonas bacteria. Definitely no way for the garlic to get down behind the eardrum. I’m afraid that the garlic could get stuck in the air canal. The good news is that inner ear infections are often viral and will get better on their own. ##ear##earwax##earinfection##earforeignbody##garlic##evidence##swimmersear##data##virus##viral@@dr.free.hess ♬ original sound - MentallyFitMama

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