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Home Remedies for Common Ailments

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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.

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