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Chiropractic Research Review

Home-Based Therapies for the Common Cold

There are many studies of complementary and alternative medicine used to treat chronic illnesses in children. This study addressed what may be the most widely used forms of complementary medicine: popular home-based interventions and therapies for common low-morbidity sickness episodes-bouts of the common cold.

The objective was to describe how parents from diverse ethnocultural backgrounds use home-based therapies and practices to treat their children's common colds.

Subjects included mothers having European American, African American, Puerto Rican and West Indian-Caribbean heritages.

The study found that home-based remedies for colds in childhood are commonly and similarly used among different ethnic groups. Many are complementary to biomedical treatment (such as antipyretics, over-the-counter cold remedies and fluids). Few are potentially hazardous if taken in moderation.

Chiropractors can employ their knowledge and the information from this study to help patients find safe and comforting means to care for children with colds.

Pachter LM, Sumner T, Fontan A, et al. Home-based therapies for the common cold among European American and ethnic minority families: The interface between alternative/complementary and folk medicine. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Nov. 1998;152(11), pp1083-88.

Chiropractic Research Review

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