Almost everyone among us suffers from at least one or more bouts of cold every year. It is the most common infection that is caused due to different types of viruses. The common cold is more prevalent during the weather changes and is easily spread by inhalation of contaminated air, touching the contaminated surfaces and sharing contaminated food drinks or kissing the infected person.
Older, children and immunocompromised people are more susceptible to it. Characterized by a sore throat, sneezing, runny nose, mild body ache, headache and cough this common illness is easily diagnosed. Although it has no cure cold is not a serious matter of concern. Its symptoms usually subside in a week or two.
But the discomfort caused due to common cold may compel you to rush to the doctor for consultation or pharmaceutical shops to buy conventional medicines. By taking conventional medicines or antibiotics for the common cold you are interfering with your immune system’s ability to fight infections. This will, in turn, make your immune system lazy and weak.
Then what can you do to ease the symptoms of common cold so that it won’t interfere with your work efficiency and provide relief from the discomfort caused?
Do not worry, as there is a big list of home remedies that have proved to be very effective in soothing the symptoms of common cold. Almost all of them are compiled in this article. So go through this article till the end and choose home remedies for cold that are easily available to you.
Top 11 home remedies for cold
Since ages ginger has been used to treat the common cold. It is one of healthiest spices on the earth and is loaded with many bio-active compounds and nutrients that are essential for the brain and the immune system. Ginger possesses antiviral, antiseptic and expectorant properties. Gingerol present in the ginger is very effective in fighting infections, especially RSV virus which is known to cause respiratory infections.
Chew raw ginger 3 to 4 times in a day. To increase the effectiveness of the ginger, you may also add honey and lemon juice to it or make a paste of ginger, salt and clove and take a half teaspoon of this paste twice a day. One more recipe of ginger to fight cold is to make a paste by mixing ginger, holy basil leaves and honey in equal quantity and consuming half teaspoon of this paste two times in a day. This will help to get rid of sore throat and cough.
One easy recipe to stop a runny nose is to mix clarified butter, dry ginger, and jaggery in equal quantities and consume it empty stomach every morning.
2. Carom seeds
Again, this is a popular herb that is very effective in treating a cough and cold. It contains Thymol that has antimicrobial properties and is also known to relieve congestion. If you suffer from frequent cold and cough, then carom seeds will be the best home remedy to get rid of a cough for you.
Make a habit of chewing 2 grams of carom seeds after dinner. Do this for 15 to 20 days and see the result. To relieve stuffed nose and chest congestion inhale fried and ground carom seeds. You may also chew carom seeds and drink lukewarm water to relieve a sore throat.
Turmeric is an herb that is rich in medicinal properties. This bright yellow colored spice holds a very important part in Indian cooking. Besides being anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and anti-microbial turmeric also stimulates the immune system and improves the digestion. When dissolved in warm milk the properties of turmeric is enhanced.
If you are suffering from common cold, then add a teaspoon of turmeric along with a tablespoon of honey, a half teaspoon of cinnamon powder and a pinch of black pepper in a glass of warm milk. Mix the ingredients to make an amazing anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and relaxing beverage. Drink it 2 times in a day.
To prevent cold and keep a cough at bay drink a glass of milk with half teaspoon of turmeric powder every day before sleeping. This will boost the immune system and will also keep your cholesterol level low.
Have you heard of nutmeg. According to Ayurveda it is one among the most effective home remedies for cold, especially in the case of small children. There is a compound known as myristicin present in the nutmeg that is known to clear the respiratory tract.
Take a grinding stone and rub nutmeg on it. To make a paste also add cow’s milk. Apply a the little paste on the nose and forehead and also lick a pinch of this paste to provide instant relief. Do this once in a day till the symptoms of cold subside. If you have small children it is better to always keep a nutmeg on your kitchen shelf. A very small amount of nutmeg paste is required every time you use it thus just one nutmeg can be used several times.
I remember when I was small and had cold my mom use to make a necklace of garlic pods and made me wear it for a few days. Maybe that was the reason I never suffered from annoying stuffed nose, and chest congestion. Garlic is known to flush out the body toxins. Also, it is antiviral and antibacterial. It is better if you are able to chew raw garlic as raw garlic contains allicin.
Allicin is a powerful anti-bacterial which remains only for a short time if the garlic is crushed. Also, this compound is lost when garlic is heated. But if you are unable to chew garlic pod you may crush it, add a tablespoon of lemon juice, a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper and a teaspoon of honey to it. All these ingredients are very powerful home remedies for cold. Mix them well to make a paste and consume this paste daily till the symptoms subsides.
In the case of small babies. Warm mustard oil and add a crushed clove of garlic to it. Rub this oil on your baby’s chest, nose, head and back. This will relieve her from stuffed nose and chest congestion and the baby will sleep like an angel.
If you are suffering from a sore throat, which is a common symptom of common cold try taking honey. Honey is antibacterial and antiviral. But if you will take honey alone, it will suppress a cough. Thus, to increase the effectiveness of honey better to consume it along with lemon juice. Take a teaspoon of lemon juice and double the quantity of honey. Mix both the ingredients and take it after every 2 to 3 hours.
7. Chicken soup to get rid of cold
Rich in essential nutrients and vitamins, hot chicken soup keeps the nasal passage moist and thins the mucus. This relieves congestion and stuffy nose. Besides this, it also prevents dehydration and soothes a sore throat. Add variety of vegetables to the chicken soup to make it nutrient rich food so as to boost the body immunity.
8. Betel leaves
Betel leaves not only provides refreshment, but it also has healing and curative properties. It contains a compound known as chavicol that acts as an antiseptic. To get instant relief from a sore throat and other symptoms of cold gargle with the water in which betel leaves are boiled.
9. Onion to get rid of cold
Onion is rich in antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory. It contains flavonoid and quercetin that inhibits the production of histamine. Homemade onion syrup is very helpful in easing the symptoms of a cold. Cut onion in horizontal slices, put it in a bowl and add honey to it. Leave it overnight. In the morning a thick liquid will be formed. Take a teaspoon of this liquid 3 to 4 times in a day.
10. Steam inhalation for cold
The easiest thing you can do to relieve stuffed nose and other symptoms of cold instantly steam inhalation. Add any essential oil such as lavender oil or peppermint oil to make steam inhalation more effective. Essential oils possess antimicrobial properties. They thin the mucus, and relieves congestion. Take a bowl of steaming water. Add 3 to 4 drops of essential oil. Place your face over the bowl and cover your head with a towel. Now inhale deeply and then exhale. Repeat this for 10 minutes and you will be relieved from stuffed nose and post nasal drip.
11. Basil leaves
Holy basil leave is a traditional home remedy to get rid of cold. It is rich in antioxidants. Cinnamic acid present in basil leaves improves breathing, fights infection, and allergies. Boil basil leaves in water and gargle with this water.
Extract basil leaves juice. Add half teaspoon ginger extract, a teaspoon of honey and half teaspoon of basil leaf extract. All these ingredients are home remedies for cold. Mix them well to form a paste and take the paste before sleeping.
Besides the above home remedies for cold also take proper rest and drink plenty of fluids. To prevent frequent bouts of common cold eat vitamin C rich foods such as Indian gooseberry, guava, drumstick etc.
Also make sure to wash your hand at regular intervals, before and after eating. If cold do not resolves even after 2 weeks or is recurrent do meet your doctor as it may be due to allergies, sinusitis or other secondary infections.