Q. I live in Sweden and work from home, so I rarely come down with colds. However, the other day I got a whopper–a sore throat, a horrible runny nose and a really bad cough, so I decided to try Kan Jang. Kan Jang is a popular cold remedy here produced by the Swedish Herbal Institute.
I started on Kan Jang a day ago and was surprised by the results. My runny nose is completely gone and my cough has subsided dramatically. The postnasal drip that has been driving me nuts for a couple of years is gone.
A. Kan Jang is not available in the United States, but its principal ingredient, a Chinese herb called Andrographis paniculata, is sold in health food stores by various manufacturers. It can also be found in a product called Kold Kare. There are placebo-controlled studies showing that Andrographis can speed recovery from colds (Planta Medica, April 2004).
We discuss the use of Andrographis, another Chinese herb, Astragalus, and a variety of natural remedies for easing symptoms in our Guide to Cold Remedies.