Today i will discuss some home remedies for common cold. Common cold is basically a harmless viral infection which attacks the upper respiratory tract or more specifically, the nose. There is no exact cure for the cold but there are remedies and some medicines that can cure it. On an average person, the common cold lasts for approximately 9 days to 2 weeks. There is nothing to worry about. Usually it resolves on its own. Some doctors tend to prescribe antibiotics as therapy which is basically useless as they suppress the symptoms instead of making us better.
The symptoms for common cold usually appear within 2-3 days of being exposed to the virus. They include sore throat, cough, runny or stuff nose, body aches including headache, sneezing, mild fatigue and mild fever. The difference between other viral infections and cold is that the fever is very low. In case the fever runs high for more than 2 days and you feel abdominal pains or vomiting or ear pain etc. it is better to consult a doctor immediately.
The following remedies will help soothe and relax the symptoms to a great extent to make the time bearable till it finally goes away on its own:
Garlic is very good for immune system. It also contains some anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties which help in flushing out the toxins from the body and clear up the respiratory tract. Garlic is also an old classic remedy for common cold.
- Mix a crushed medium garlic clove, around 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey (more can be added for taste). Stir them in a cup of warm water and drink 2-3 times a day till you get better.
- Alternately you can add half a teaspoon of red chilli powder or cayenne pepper to the above dry mixture and consume it daily.
- You can also boil 4-5 chopped garlic cloves in water. Add honey for taste and drink 2-3 times daily.
- You can also eat raw garlic or add a few drops to your food and drinks.
The best of all cures is pure honey. It helps with the immune system, shortening the cycle of the cold, soothing the irritated throat etc. The amount of enzymes, minerals and nutrients present in it help fight of the bacteria and viruses both.
- You can consume a spoonful of raw honey daily.
- A couple of teaspoons of honey mixed with a teaspoon of lemon juice to be taken every 2 hours helps with soothing the throat and cold.
- Honey can also be used mixed with almost all the remedies mentioned for taste and additional benefits.
3. Spice Tea
Spice tea is a part of Ayurvedic remedies for common cold.
- Take a quarter cup of coriander seeds, a quarter teaspoon of fenugreek seeds, half a teaspoon of cumin and fennel seeds each ; dry roast them and then grind them into a powder.
- In a cup of boiling water, now add half a teaspoon of rock candy (also known as misri) and 1.5 teaspoon of the spices powder.
- Let them simmer for 5 minutes before adding 2 tablespoons of milk and bring to boil.
- Strain the tea and sip it while hot.
- Drink this daily till the symptoms go away.
Ginger like garlic is very effective in treating common cold. It also contains some anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is also an expectorant.
- The easiest way, if you can bear it, is to eat some raw ginger daily.
- Else you can make some ginger tea. Adding lemon juice and honey adds to its effectiveness.
- For runny nose, mix equal amounts of dry ginger powder, a natural sweetener, clarified butter (ghee) and jaggery (gur or raw brown sugar). Have this mixture daily first thing in the morning on empty stomach.
5. Chicken Soup
Another age old remedy and comfort food is chicken soup. Chicken soup contains some vitamins, nutrients and anti-oxidants which help in speeding the healing process. Chicken soup also helps in boosting immunity and restoring strength to the body. For best results, make homemade chicken soup with fresh chicken and vegetables.
6. Red Onion
Red onion syrup is known to provide relief from cold.
- Cut 2-3 red onions horizontally.
- Take a bowl. Put in a slice of onion and add raw honey on top of it. Keep repeating till bowl fills up.
- Leave the bowl covered for 12-15 hours or overnight. The result will be a thick liquid like syrup.
- Drinking a tablespoon of the syrup several times a day. This will relieve the sore throat and other symptoms of cold.
Peppers are one of the easily available ingredients which contain natural properties to treat symptoms of common cold. The pepper contain a chemical called capsaicin which helps in thinning the mucus and relieving congestion.
- For runny nose, adding pepper to your food helps a lot.
- The black pepper can also be used for gargling in warm water.
- In case you find the pepper too strong, you can inhale the smell of raw solid peppers for slight relief.
8. Mullein Tea
Mullein Tea also known as Verbascum (scientific name) is a flowering plant having some expectorant properties. Tea made from its leaves and flowers help in relieving chest congestion from cold.
- Put dried mullein herbs in a strainer and place it in a cup of boiling water. Let it sit for 8-10 minutes.
- Remove the strainer, add some honey for taste and drink the tea 2-3 times a day.
Milk helps treating in lots of things including cough, body aches, headaches etc. especially when combined with turmeric and ginger powder. If you think that milk produces more mucus hence worsening the symptoms is actually not true and just a misconception.
- In a cup of boiled milk, add half a teaspoon of turmeric and ginger powder (fresh ginger can also be used).
- Mix thoroughly and allow the mixture to cool down till warm or as hot as you can take it without burning your mouth.
- Drink it twice a day especially before bedtime.
Cinnamon helps with sore or dry throat immensely relieving it from irritation.
- Mix a teaspoon of powdered cinnamon or 2 cloves of cinnamon in boiling water and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Add honey for taste and drink 2-3 times a day.
- Alternately you can also take cinnamon bark oil. Mix a few drops in warm honey and consume it.