The UK centre for common cold research is based at Cardiff University.

For the past eight years they have been conducting experiments into the progression of the disease with the help of the local student populace, who are a notoriously sickly bunch, due to the general lack of sleep, poor diet, and consumption of huge quantities of alcohol on a regular basis, which leads to them having a depressed immune system, and catching lots of colds.

When they first show signs of the illness, volunteers turn up at the centre. If you are deemed to have shown up early enough in the development of cold symptoms, you are rewarded with a crisp tenner, and asked to fill in questionnaires on a daily basis as to the current state of play with the cold, and any cures you attempt, until it clears up

In the 1999-2000 academic year they ran trials of echinacea, a herbal remedy commonly touted as a 'common cold cure', both as prophylaxis, and when the symptoms first became apparent, to see if it had any impact on the diseases progress. The research is still being analysed.

My personal advice on clearing out cold, is to eat the hottest curry you can manage, which, after the streaming eyes and nose have cleared up, seems to make me feel a whole lot better