Exploring Options for Cold and Flu Treatment

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COLUMBIA - Cold and flu season is just right around the corner.

So if you've got a bug that needs treatment, it's important to know your options.

Patty Clover of Clover's Natural Market said natural remedies are a good place to start cold and flu treatment.

"Most of us probably start with the childhood remedies of chicken soup and lots of rest. I do believe there are things like lemon juice, Vitamin C, there are herbal remedies that can help. But if you start with just the simple things, salt water passages through your nasal or your throat, has always been recommended," Clover said.

Clover suggests first turning to a natural remedy when sick, but if you don't get better, then you should consult a doctor and take their recommendations for prescriptions or other over-the-counter medicine.

Gene Forrester works as a pharamacist at D&H Drug Store in Columbia. He said the regulation of natural remedies and pharmaceutical are different.

"I'm not real sold on some of the natural products. They have very little requirements for testing so they have a lot of wiggle words in their medical claims and there is very little supervision as far as what's actually in there," Forrester said.

Although, Forrester does agree with one natural remedy for cold and flu treatment: honey. He said especially for children less than 4 years old, honey is an effective alternative as a cough suppressant. He also said the Food and Drug Administration decided young children needed different treatment than young adults; therefore, he recommends honey as a cough suppressant.