As a child, my informant used to get sick a lot, and every time she got a cold her mother would tell her to drink orange juice. After coming to college, my informant heard this same remedy from her Czechoslovakian roommate. She is not sure if her roommate heard this after coming to America for school or at home from her “hypochondriac physician mother.” However, she doesnt really think it works beyond the vitamin C benefits, because the patient already has the cold virus, but thinks that maybe it works as a placebo.
I’ve also heard this method of curing the common cold (or at least speeding up recovery) from my mother, who would also prepare a glass of orange juice for me at every meal when I was sick. Personally, I have the same view as my informant: I feel that the remedy is the kind of thing that would not hurt, but does not definitively help symptoms of the cold. It seems to be a very common remedy, as my informant heard it from two different sources, and most other people have heard it as well. It probably stems from the belief that high-vitamin foods can help boost the immune system, which has been scientifically proven (presumably, the experiment was held to determine the validity of the folk remedy).
Annotation: The official medical trial of this folk remedy was released in 2005. Douglas, Robert M. and Harri Hemila. “Vitamin C for Preventing and Treating the Common Cold.” Public Library of Science Medicine 2.6 (2005): n. pag. Web. 25 April 2011.