One of the most challenging problems faced by many doctors and patients across the world in a common cold! Yes! Albeit a simple infection, a cold can make you feel like you are on the death bed. Most of the over-the-counter medications suppress a common cold for a few hours, but also give you many side effects. Luckily for us, there are many natural home remedies for cough and cold, which are safe and effective. Read on to learn how to use them.
Causes of Cold and Cough:
Both cold and cough are caused by a microbial infection, usually a virus called Rhinovirus. Here are some of the key factors responsible for the spread of this infection:
- Sharing of personal items
- Physical contact
- Saliva droplets
- Toilet seats
Cold and cough can also be caused as an allergic reaction to the weather, cold food or beverages, pollen and other allergens.
Symptoms of Cold and Cough:
These are the common signs experienced by an infected person suffering from cold and cough:
- Runny or Stuffy Nose
- Sore Throat
- Persistent Cough
- Nasal Congestion
- Body Aches, Joint Pains
- Continuous Sneezing
- Fever, usually low-grade
- General Sickness
- Loss Of Appetite
Prevention of Cold and Cough:
It is very difficult to prevent cold and cough, particularly in children. However, you can certainly lower its frequency by following these simple precautions:
- Maintain strict personal hygiene
- Keep anti-microbial wipes and sanitizer handy. Clean all the surfaces like doorknobs, tables, or stationery items if they are shared
- Wash your hands with soap to destroy any infection causing germs
- Avoid contact with people who are infected
- Don’t send your ward to school if they have a cold to prevent it from spreading to others
- Eat a Vitamin C rich food to strengthen your immune system
Natural Remedies For Cough And Cold:
Listed below are some of the simplest, yet effective DIY cold cough home remedies:
1. Garlic For Cough And Cold:
One of the best home remedies for cough n cold is garlic. It is an antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal element can work wonders for your health. One can use garlic by juicing it out and slowly consuming a little bit at a time. Other than this the best way to use garlic to treat colds is to sauté it with a little ghee or butter and consume it. It also takes care of your immunity since at this time the body is prone to various diseases. One can even use garlic in their daily meal to ensure a fast recovery.
An ancient Chinese method stated the use of ginger to cure the common cold and runny nose and the same goes for the knowledge in Indian Ayurveda. Ginger is a well-known traditional method which is known to cure cough and cold immediately and for this the best way suggested is a hot steaming cup of ginger tea may be at times mixed in with a little lemon and honey. Not only does it taste wonderful its properties keep you fresh and opens up your blocked nasal passage.
3. Eucalyptus Inhalation:
Eucalyptus is essentially plant, famous for its gum and oils and timbers but it may come off as a surprise how inhaling eucalyptus can help you relieve your congested chest and running nose. When we say inhale eucalyptus, we don’t mean the plant itself but all we need is a few drops of that essential oil. Over a boiling surface of water pour a few drops of eucalyptus oil and then covering your head with a towel create a home spa situation where you bend over the water surface and breathe in the steam. This is a very effective home medicine for cough and cold.
4. Saline Nasal Spray:
Salt is the best home treatment for cold and cough, which can destroy the viral pathogens. During the cold days, our body is weak as we lose our immune system. The salt in our body at this time will help us fight the virus and harmful foreign bodies. While we cannot consume salt in handfuls, this is an effective way as to how you can cure yourself. The best method is to make a diluted solution out of salt and baking soda mixed with water and then used in a nasal spray to spray it in the nose. The saline water also is known to open up your blocked passages.
5. Honey Cures Cough And Cold:
Honey is the best home remedy for cold and cough, used at many homes since times immemorial. It is said to have an antioxidant and antibacterial property that helps you soothe an irritated throat thereby helping you relieve yourself of the irritation. One can either use honey directly or use it in the form of a lozenge. This is also one of the best home remedies for severe cold and cough in kids.
6. Fluid Intake:
Solid intake is a must for your weak body at this time but one thing that should be maintained and kept constant is the fluid intake in your body which will help keep your throat warm and itch-free, another reason why the coughing might be exaggerated. To avoid a dry itchy throat usually chicken soup, water, juices and energy drinks are the best effective way. Abstain from cold or hot beverages like cold drinks and warm coffee which might act like a diuretic and dehydrate you.
Dating back to the Chinese tradition, Astragalus roots were known to work as an elixir to the weakened body. This has antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties which keep the cold at bay while astragalus works on your body to keep the immunity shield strong and protective. Although one can buy over the counter capsules the best way is to make a soup from the boiled roots of astragalus and consume it. Astragalus is one of the best natural herbs for cough and cold.
Even though the name suggests a fruit, elderberry is essentially a herb that is often used to cure the common cold and dry cough. It also acts towards creating a strong immune system. Either juice it or use store bought capsules. It is one of the most effective natural home remedies for cough and cold.
9. Watch What You Intake:
Due to a faltering immune system, the right proportion of nutrients is a must for the body and starting with antioxidants such as berries and vitamin Cs containing oranges and limes one has to make sure the protein intake in their body is sufficient. Vitamin D is also a strong requirement. Therefore, the list of food that should be a must on the list is eggs, tofu, dairy products, meat and a whole lot of vegetables. At times some spices and herbs can be of effect too.
10. Steam Inhalation:
Home remedies for cough and cold include the first and foremost step of steam inhalation to drive away nasal cavity congestion. Thick phlegm on the nasal cavity on steam inhalation softens the stubborn phlegm and lightens it so that a little blowing can relieve your nasal passage. You can often add a few drops of essential rosemary or lavender oil to the boiled water for extra care.
11. Morning Drink:
Start your day amidst the cold and flu with a lukewarm glass of water, a tablespoon of honey and a lime squeeze. Honey has always been regarded as a natural healer and the use of lime or lemon enriched in antioxidants can help you loosen your congestion. The warm water in itself is a miracle worker and comforter for the cold and flu days.
12. Holy Basil And Honey:
Holy basil also known as Tulsi is used as an age-old alternative medicine for cough and colds. Be it itching or soreness, could easily be removed by using holy basil in a teaspoon of honey. Holy basil can be purchased from your nearby botany or simply from a local grocery store.
Home remedies for cold and cough also include gargling as one of the important techniques to soothe a sore throat while keeping your chest and throat cavity snug and warm. Normal warm water possibly mixed in with a little salt or ginger oil drop or even a sore throat medicine would help you calm your throat muscles allowing them to open up while the sodium might actually aid in reducing pain and swelling.
14. Peppermint Reduce Cold And Cough:
Peppermint can be availed in the form of herbal oil or simply by crushing mint leaves and adding it to your gargle water. Mint is a natural cooling agent and can cool the painful red swelling sensation in your throat while the opening up your congested cavities so that you can breathe in fresh and freely.
15. Baking Soda Nasal Spray:
Make a quick nasal spray using baking soda and make sure you dilute it well enough with water to make the solution watery. Now use a nose sprayer or dip to spray some into your nasal cavity, in such a way that the nasal congestion can be loosened thereby allowing air to pass from your nasal cavity. After using this home remedy no one can say it is not good, simply say it is an excellent treatment for cold and cough.
16. Cinnamon Tea:
Home remedy for cold and cough would also ask you to have a steaming cup of cinnamon tea. Anything warm and snug would add relief to your congested chest, probably one of the reasons why tea brewed in cinnamon will help you keep yourself warm while soothing your sore throat and control your cough. Cinnamon is also anti-inflammatory in nature probably curing your swelled throat.
This is especially a remedy for the elders who suffer from cold and cough. Brandy cannot be termed as a direct cure for cold and cough, but a little warmth during this time would definitely bring relief to your congested nasal cavity. Start with a simple whiff that clears your nasal passage and then sip on a good drink.
18. Extra Pillow Care:
During a bad cold and flu, lying down on your pillow would often block the smooth passage of air through your nasal cavity, making breathing difficult. This is why it is always advised that you prop your head a little up by using a second set of the pillow so that the inclined neck can allow free breathing without blocking your nose. This is one of the best ways to get relief from cold.
19. Chicken Soup Treatment For Cold And Cough:
Cold and flu is always accompanied by fever and body ache. At around this time, an aromatic bowl of chicken soup with soft rashers floating in it is just the thing you were missing all this time. Chicken is not only helpful for regaining your strength at this time but also helpful for your sore throat. Nothing a warm bowl of soup can’t fix. Chicken soup is the simplest and best home remedy for the cough.
20. Vapor Rub:
A common household name, vapor rub can often be availed from the nearby drug or medical store. The minty flavour to this medicinal gel can easily open up blocked or congested passageways. Apply this gel onto your chest or forehead and allow the whiff of the minted gel to work its wonders on you. It definitely gives relief from cold and cough.
Keep the air around you warm so that the cold from the outside cannot worsen the situation for you. A humidifier or a room heater working in your room will keep the surrounding snug and comfortable. Even though it doesn’t partake in directly helping you cure a cold and cough, it will surely aid you in keeping yourself away from further chances of contracting cold.
22. Herbal Care:
Use herbs in your everyday diet so that it can soothe your insides and at the same time help you regain your strength. Use herbs such as rosemary, thyme, parsley and even coriander, all chopped and diced into your everyday palate. Herbs are always one of the best and natural home remedies for cough and cold and which are very helpful to your health also.
23. Warm Coconut Oil Massage:
Cold and cough home remedies can also be in the form of a good warm oil massage, especially in the chest area. The warm coconut oil keeps your insides warm and massage will help the congestion open up so that your breathing can be aided. Out of the more home remedies for cough and cold, it is the most effective home remedy.
24. Indian Gooseberry:
Indian gooseberry or as we call it amla is enriched in vitamin C, a steady source of antioxidants that help you build up your immunity system while helping you cure sore throat and swelling. After using the gooseberry you can feel the freeness in your throat and nose. Which means it can control the cold and cough problem.
25. Jaggery To Help For Cold And Cough:
Jaggery, when mixed in a solution with black pepper and cumin can be a good remedy for sore throat and the common cold. Mix it well with water and keep your chest warm and free of congestion. The anti-viral properties of this mixture can offer soothing relief from the infection.
Are you surprised reading about these simple home remedies for cold and cough? Most of the ingredients are available in your kitchen, making them one of the most economical methods of treating this problem. To be very honest, there are no specific medications that can treat a cold and a cough that comes with it. Instead of going for high power drugs which only suppress the symptoms or induce sleep, you can try these natural healing methods.
1. How Long Does a Cold and Cough Usually Last?
Common cold and cough usually last for a week or 7 days. It is the result of a viral infection, which cannot be treated by antibiotics. You can however, get relief from the symptoms by trying these natural remedies at home. If the situation doesn’t get better even after a week, you are advised to see a doctor.
2. Why are School Children More Prone to Catching Colds?
Children below the age of 6, particularly those who go to school are at a higher risk of catching colds. Physical contact, sharing of items, lack of awareness on personal hygiene contribute to these attacks. You can reduce the frequency of colds by strengthening their immune system with nutrition laden food. With age, the risks of catching a cold get lowered.
3. Why Am I Advised to Stay at Home During a Cold and Cough?
The reason you are asked to take a break from work is because of cold and cough are contagious. It spreads easily from person and person. Especially in closed spaces like work stations, schools or movie theatres, the chances of contractions are high. For the well-being of your colleagues, friends and your loved ones, it is better to stay indoors until the symptoms subside.