With increased attention being paid to antibiotic resistance, doctors are looking to an array of home remedies, over-the-counter symptom relievers and homeopathic treatments to recommend for their patients.
Here's a look at some.
In his new book, "Immunotics," (Putnam Publishing; $21.95) physician Robert Rountree recommends a host of homeopathic remedies, both for boosting immune systems and for treating symptoms. Rountree is the founder of Helios Medical Center in Boulder, Colo. He recommends:
For colds, flus, bronchitis, and sinus and skin infections: Echinacea
For gastrointestinal problems: Aloe vera, in juice or gel form for chronic or acute problems; garlic; grapefruit seed extract
For urinary tract infections: Cranberry
For the flu: Black elderberry extract
For chest colds and coughs: NAC (N-acetyl-cysteine)
For skin infections: Tea tree oil
For immune system boosting: Antioxidants such as vitamins E,C, Zinc chelate and Selenomethionine. For children who are "run down" he recommends astragalus, an herb.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recommends the following self-care, non-prescription therapies for minor illnesses:
To speed healing: Get extra rest; zinc acetate lozenges may help
For sore throat and muscle aches: Ibuprofen or acetaminophen
For cough: Take cough syrup containing dextromethorphan
To rid lungs of mucous: Drink eight to 12 glasses of fluids daily; humidify the air
For nasal congestion: Take a decongestant containing pseudoephedrine and avoid smoke.