General HealthHealth & Beauty

Airborne Supplement As A Cold Remedy… Does It Work? Is It Safe?

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By Regina

Airborne is an herbal and vitamin supplement that was created by former second-grade school teacher Victoria Knight McDowell.

She came up with the formula because, as a school teacher, she kept picking up bugs from her students. She found that it worked for her, and since she wanted to help others with the same problem, she went public with her formula.

Airborne cold remedy contains:

  • zinc
  • magnesium
  • selenium
  • echinacea
  • forsythia
  • manganese
  • vitamins A, C and E

The above ingredients are combined in an Airborne tablet that you drop into a glass of water. Once it’s done fizzing, you drink it — much like popular alka-seltzer products.

Some people swear by Airborne cold medicine to help fight colds, but does it work?… Is it safe?

The Downsides Of Using The Airborne Supplement

When Airborne first came on the market, the company touted it as being able to fight off colds.

They also claimed that if you took Airborne before entering any closed in area where people might be sick (such as on an airplane), that it would prevent you from getting a cold.

This is unfortunate because this not so good marketing ploy has landed Airborne in some legal hot water to the tune of over 23 million dollars which they had to pay consumers who purchased the product believing its claims.

Believe it or not, the lawsuit over Airborne making false claims about their product isn’t the only issue.

When studied by both medical practitioners and some concerned consumers, it was discovered that some of the amounts of vitamins and such (particularly Vitamin A, and if you took the product every 3 hours as directed) would cause you to have a Vitamin A overdose.

So, not only was the company making claims that they couldn’t back up, but the amounts of vitamins, herbs, and minerals could possibly cause overdoses even when taken using Airborne’s own dosage instructions.

Airborne’s chief executive stressed that the FTC charges deal with advertising and labeling that the company no longer uses. The company’s Web site provides links to over a dozen studies which it says show “that the key ingredients found in Airborne will help support a healthy immune system.” Ingredients include various vitamins, minerals and herbs.


My Experience Using The Same Ingredients Found In Airborne

I’ve never personally tried Airborne, but then I’m a chicken when it comes to products that contain multiple ingredients — because I’ve had allergic reactions to drugs that had combinations of ingredients.

So I take everything singly, and I always consult with a pharmacist anytime I’m not sure if it’s safe to combine 2 or more products before I take them.

I have used Zinc before and have found it to reduce the length of my colds, and even the flu. Along these same lines, there is some evidence that vitamins and even echinacea are helpful in boosting the immune system and helping to reduce the severity of a cold.

The vitamins and minerals common to these Airborne products include vitamins A, C and E, riboflavin, zinc, selenium, manganese, magnesium, sodium and potassium. Airborne also contains a proprietary blend of amino acids and herbs. 


Because of my own experiences with some of the ingredients found in Airborne cold medicine, I’m confident that it probably does, at the very least, reduce the duration of a cold.

However, because of the possibility of overdosing on certain ingredients (such as Vitamin A, which can be fatal if too much is taken), I think it’s important to be smart about using Airborne.

Here’s an organic alternative to airborne cold remedy.

The Ingredients Aren’t The Issue, It’s The Dosages

If you are already taking supplements that contain the same ingredients that are found in Airborne, be sure to stop taking them while you are taking Airborne.

Also, if you don’t know what the proper dosages are for any of the ingredients, find out ahead of time so that you only take the recommended dosages… when combined with Airborne.

While I personally disagree with many health practitioners who claim that herbs, vitamins, and minerals don’t do anything to help with colds or the flu, it’s still important to be smart.

Remember, many of the drugs we use today were created from herbal remedies, so discounting them completely doesn’t make sense at least in my view.

As long as you’re smart about using products like Airborne, then there is no reason that your health cannot benefit from the vitamins, minerals, and herbs that are commonly available over-the-counter. The best option might be to simply purchase the ingredients in Airborne separately, and then follow the dosage instructions to avoid any chance of overdosing by accident.