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Grandma’s remedies, essential oils, physiological serum… Are these remedies effective against colds?

Grandma’s remedies, essential oils, physiological serum… Are these remedies effective against colds?

After the call to “avoid oral vasoconstrictors” in case of a cold by the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM), one question remains unanswered: how to treat your cold?

Since October 22, 2023, several oral vasoconstrictive medications for the treatment of the common cold have been discouraged by the ANSM due to their very serious side effects. According to the ANSM, “myocardial infarctions and strokes can occur after its use.” Novelty remedy, essential oils, physiological serum and many more solutions can then be offered to people suffering from colds.

The “placebo” effects of “grandma’s recipes”

Browsing social media, Internet users are highlighting “grandmother’s remedies” of all kinds. We’re talking about a drink with onion juice, hot water with honey, and a drink of rum with cinnamon.

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In columns Western FranceDr. François Montastruc, from the Department of Medical Pharmacology at Toulouse University Hospital, explains: “As far as we know, and this has been studied by many specialists, these “grandmother’s recipes” have no beneficial effects on the treatment of cold symptoms. He defines the potential effects of these “prescriptions” as “placebo.”

Essential oils are an “effective” treatment.

As for essential oils, it is possible, and sometimes recommended, to use them at the beginning of a cold. However, these are still contraindications in pregnant women and in some diseases.

According to Florian Duval, a pharmacist in Rennes who was interviewed by our colleagues d’“Brands offer capsules based on essential oils that differentiate diseases and make it possible to target infections. They are very effective.”

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Recommended solution: physiological serum

Even if there is no miracle cure for the common cold, there is still one habit that doctors highly recommend: washing the nose with physiological serum. “Even if it is not very pleasant, regularly washing your nose with a physiological or isotonic serum to avoid nasal congestion is the only thing that has been clearly proven,” confirms François Montastruc to our colleagues at Western France.