I have been suffering a cold this week. Not Covid, thankfully. But I know some other friends who are suffering, too. As always, another good reminder to wash your hands whenever possible. And wash them well—not just a rinse-off.

However, even the best prevention doesn’t stop every cold and we find ourselves in bed or on the couch desperately seeking relief.

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Often in these moments, we may feel compelled to rush to the store and buy the most “powerful,” multi-symptom remedies we can find. After all, Americans are into efficiency. So if this one pill can knock out my fever, headache, cough, etc., isn’t that better? Not necessarily.

Researchers at Consumer Reports have dug in and found some interesting insights. Turns out, more isn’t always better. Why is this the case? “Multi-symptom remedies contain several active ingredients, and the more active ingredients a remedy has, the more likely it is you’ll be exposed to unnecessary side effects,” according to Leigh Ann Mike, Pharm.D., clinical associate professor of pharmacy at the University of Washington in Seattle.” Be sure and double check what is in that pill you’re taking.

Some people will want to be careful about acetaminophen, which is the active ingredient you find in Tylenol. You may have heard that taking too much can hurt your liver—which you definitely do not want to do. So, make sure you’re not taking a multi-symptom pill that contains acetaminophen while you’re also popping Tylenol.

Because of these concerns, Consumer Reports suggests, if possible, sticking to products that are “single-ingredient.” It may mean taking a few more pills, but that’s preferable to a potentially toxic alternative. So, in other words, take an ibuprofen for aches and sore throats. Then, opt for another that focuses on remedying your chest congestion.

Don’t forget about natural options, too. After all of our medical advancements, I still find that gargling salt water for a sore throat can be quite effective. Another recommendation for congestion? A hot shower or bath can work wonders.

Feel better soon. Also, here's some of the best ways you can naturally boost your immune system--which can help prevent you from getting a cold in the first place:

KEEP READING: See 25 natural ways to boost your immune system


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