Don't Believe Everything You Read: Cold and Flu Edition

There is a lot of inaccurate medical information passed around every day on social media, websites and even TV (I'm looking at you, Dr. Oz). Many of these claims sound great but have little or no science to back them up and can be downright dangerous. Especially if they are used instead of proven medical treatments.

We have put together a list of questionable stories you may see and set the record straight about them.

1
Can Cinnamon and Honey Cure the Common Cold?

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Can Cinnamon and Honey Cure You?. Juan Silva/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

How many times have we seen posts on social media shared by friends about how these simple and common ingredients can cures all that ails you? It sounds great - who wouldn't want to try a combination of cinnamon and honey, thinking it could make them feel better? But before you hit that share button, think about the claims made. If it were really that simple, we wouldn't have nearly the rate of illness that we do.

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2
Can Cinnamon and Honey Cure the Flu?

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Cinnamon for Flu?. Matthew O'Shea/Photolibrary/Getty Images

Just like the claim above that a combination of cinnamon and honey can cure the common cold, there are claims that it can cure the flu as well. Find out where this piece came from, learn the truth and the reason this story is not as great as it sounds.

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3
Does Cold Weather Cause the Cold or Flu?

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Could Frosty be making you sick?. Sharon Dominick/PhotoDisc/Getty Images

Research shows that weather may play a role in how likely viruses and germs are to spread, but the weather itself isn't what makes you sick. This one isn't so much a story that has been passed around on the internet, it's more of a widely believed "old wives' tale". But that doesn't make it true.

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4
Think The Flu Shot Gave You the Flu? Here's Why It Didn't

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How do flu vaccines work?. Tim Boyle/Getty Images News

The belief that the flu vaccine can give a person the flu persists despite the fact that it is scientifically impossible. If you or someone you know avoids flu shots because you think it will give you the flu or you think it has in the past, read this and find out why it just isn't possible.

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5
Elderberry for the Cold and Flu

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Elderberries. Nicole Faton/Moment Open/Getty Images

The use of elderberry to prevent and treat colds and the flu is on the rise despite limited research and evidence that it actually provides any benefit. Learn more about this common herbal remedy and see what the studies show.

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6
Vitamin C and the Common Cold

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Can Vitamin C Help With a Cold?. TS Photography/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Many people take vitamin C to ward off colds, the flu and respiratory illnesses. Whether you take it on a regular basis or just increase your intake when you start to feel sick, studies show varying degrees of benefit from this vitamin supplement.

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7
Before You Buy Echinacea: Will It Help With the Common Cold?

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Echinacea. Steve Gorton/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

Did you know you shouldn't take echinacea if you are also taking Tylenol? Although this is one of the most popular herbal remedies in the US for cold and flu prevention and treatment, it is not without risk.

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8
Fevers Cause Brain Damage

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Are fevers dangerous?. Brand New Images/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Almost everyone is afraid of fevers. They come on suddenly and make us (and our kids) feel terrible. But are they really dangerous? Is it necessary to rush to the ER when the fever hits 103, 104 or even 105? Can high fevers actually cause brain damage? All of the current evidence says no, yet millions of people still believe they are harmful. Find out why you really don't need to worry as much about fevers as you do. 

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