2

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Is there any scientific evidence supporting the use of hydrogen peroxide for a cold cure?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 17, 2013 at 2:57 PM

My gramma (bless her) used to have me drip hyrdogen peroxide in my ears and let it fizz away at the first sign of a cold. It always seemed to do the trick. I have begun doing this again recently but am plagued by the thought that it could be a placebo effect. It makes sense that hyrdogen PEROXIDE would be harmful to anaerobic microorganisms, but I can't seem to find any studies that support this assumption. Anybody come across anything addressing this question in the scientific literature?

D400bbb1c5b3b874b8334a268c854c62

(120)

on March 18, 2013
at 12:50 AM

Well, if there was a placebo effect it's gone now. I should have kept my mouth shut...I think my throat hurts.

8f87879387f2a357db7c33008ff9a04a

(887)

on March 17, 2013
at 03:34 PM

I have a friend that insists that if you gargle with it several times a day when you feel you are coming down with something, that it will stop it in it's tracks. IDK

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on March 17, 2013
at 03:27 PM

Nope, but it works for me--thanks for the reminder!

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2 Answers

3
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on March 17, 2013
at 08:16 PM

It is likely a placebo, as colds are viruses, not bacteria. Viruses do not operate as bacteria do, and there is no reason why a cold virus would be in your ear. It might be useful against an ear infection.

Unless you have an open wound, the peroxide won't hurt you. Don't use it on open wounds, as it destroys granulating tissue. Saline water is better.

Edit: Viruses enter through our nose or mouth. We get a virus on our hands, touch our face, and presto, we give it to ourselves.

D400bbb1c5b3b874b8334a268c854c62

(120)

on March 18, 2013
at 12:50 AM

Well, if there was a placebo effect it's gone now. I should have kept my mouth shut...I think my throat hurts.

1
F26fbc92b18f4689769d6f8746ea40f7

(334)

on March 17, 2013
at 08:43 PM

Some of our immune cells produce and use peroxides on intruding pathogens, but that occurs in confined infected areas. As has been mentioned, this system is predominantly used to clear extracellular bacteria. Virus-infected cells are cleared differently, as are soluble virus particles. So basically, the ol' gramma trick sounds very placebo based. But placebo doesn't mean that it does not work. It just hasn't any scientific rationale.

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