London: An ingredient often used to make curry may be the key to fending off the cold virus.
For centuries, mothers have used fenugreek, which is rich in antioxidants, to stimulate the production of breast milk during pregnancy and following childbirth, reports the Telegraph.
But now the herb has been hailed as an unlikely "fix-all elixir" thanks to its powerful antiviral properties.
Researchers found it may stave off viruses that cause sniffles and sore throats, helping to relieve the symptoms.
In a three-month period - between October and late December - 10 healthy volunteers consumed two portions of the herb per week.
The same amount was consumed by another 10 volunteers with common cold symptoms for the same period.
The results appear to be conclusive, with volunteers reported immediate and sustained relief from symptoms of runny nose, cough, sneezing, sore throat, and tiredness.
Volunteers who were fit and healthy at the outset remained that way for the duration of the trial, despite usually coming down with a cold at least once in the same period.
The trial was conducted by the Anglo-Indian chef Gurpareet Bains, a leading nutritionist and the creator of the ``world``s healthiest meal``.
Gurpareet, author of best-selling book Indian Superfood, released the results of the study today.