15 Home Remedies For Cold That Actually Work
It is that time of the year when the common cold becomes truly common. The winter months, which are sometimes accompanied by rain and some water logging, are also when all kinds of viruses and infections thrive. One of the most notorious viruses is cold. It is easy to catch one, but very hard to get rid of. Cold is a virus, 200 viruses to be precise, that attacks your upper respiratory tract. Nose, throat, the sinuses and the voice box are the main body parts that get affected. The combination of chills, body aches, nose blocks, sore throats and dehydration is enough to make anyone miserable. There is no cure for cold. While pills and supplements treat only some symptoms of cold, all we can do is wait for our immune system to fight it out completely. However, there are home remedies, some which have come down over generations, which help your body to fight back. We dare say, some of these may work better than pills, or at least that is what most mothers or grandmothers say. Here are 15 easy home remedies for treating the common cold: 1. Fried garlic When it comes to fighting cold, garlic is one of the all-time favourites. Known for its anti- bacterial and anti-viral properties, it helps in relieving stubborn coughs and clearing mucus that blocks the nose and lungs. The best way to consume garlic as therapy is by sautéing a few cloves in ghee. If you find it too pungent to pop it in your mouth as is, you can add it to your soup or have it with plain rice. However, if you are feeling brave, hold half a clove of garlic in your mouth and breathe it into your lungs. The viruses don’t like garlic. In the south of India, garlic rasam is almost always served to people suffering from a cold. 2. Ginger tea Ginger tea is a hot favourite in most households to provide relief from cold. Due to its anti-bacterial properties, ginger limits the growth of bacteria in your body. Add four inches of ginger to a cup of boiling water with cinnamon, two tablespoons of lemon juice and one tablespoon of honey for a hot, warming ginger tea that soothes your sore throat. Ginger is also known to help improve your appetite during a cold. 3. Milk with turmeric Besides ginger tea, milk with turmeric or haldi doodh is also a popular home remedy to fight cold. Turmeric is a really powerful spice. It is known as the holy grail of good health as it treats cold, cough and chest congestions. The easiest way to use turmeric as an antidote for cold is in the form of haldi doodh. Take a tablespoon of haldi, add it to milk and bring it to a boil. Drink it at least two times a day for a week. 4. Pepper as inhaler Pepper has been used as a remedy for centuries and is said to have properties that kill pathogens. Pepper treats various symptoms of cold. For ear aches, spread out some cotton, put some pepper, ball them together and place it in your ears. For a runny nose, add a lot of pepper in your food or even gargle with hot water which has pepper in it. Try the pepper rasam. It will surely free up your clogged sinuses. If you don’t like pepper in your food, you can even just use crushed pepper wrapped in soft cloth as an inhaler. 5. Jaggery syrup Jaggery is a natural blood purifier and immunity builder. Boil water with black pepper, add cumin and jaggery to it. It gives you relief from chest congestion. You can substitute jaggery with sugar or sugar candy, but jaggery is more powerful as it is less processed. Jaggery also gives instant energy, which is much needed when you have cold. Another way to consume jaggery would be to crush it with black pepper and dried ginger. Eat it after every meal for effective results. 6. Lemon squeeze Vitamin C is a known reliever of cold and the best place to find natural vitamin C is in citrus fruits. It helps in reducing the duration of a cold. Make yourself a lemon squeeze with honey and pepper in warm water. Lemon also helps in clearing out your respiratory system and improves digestion. Orange and apple juices also help in fighting cold. This one is a favourite of mothers and grandmothers as well as doctors. The idea is to inhale the steam released from hot water through your nose. This always helps in loosening up your stuffy nose and reduces the heaviness in the head. Add essential oils like peppermint or eucalyptus for faster results. When air passages are moistened, the mucus can be eliminated easily by blowing your nose. There are various contraptions for inhaling steam. But you can also hold your face over a pot of boiling water, covering your head with a towel. However be careful so that the hot water does not spill on you. 8. Salt water gargle Add some salt to warm water and gargle at least four times a day. This will particularly relieve a sore and irritating throat. You could also do it the Japanese way by gargling with green tea. Allow the green tea to cool and gargle with it for 30 seconds at least 5 times a day. Green tea is said to have anti-viral properties. 9. Cinnamon and clove mixture The anti-bacterial and antioxidant nature of cinnamon helps fight cold. It boosts your immune system, reduces the soreness of throat and prevents the virus from reappearing. Cloves have ample health benefits. Apart from flavouring your food, they are used during cold, cough and toothache. A remedy with a combo of these two will definitely do wonders. Add a tablespoon of cinnamon with three cloves and boil them in water for 15- 20 minutes. Strain the mixture and drink after it cools down a little bit. Consume the mixture three times a day. 10. Onion syrup Onions are rich in sulphur. Sulphur is a powerful detoxifying element which helps in eliminating toxins and metals. This homemade onion syrup will definitely help in removing the virus causing cold. Slice the onions horizontally and add honey in between them. Leave it overnight in a box. Next day you will find a thick syrup. Have it multiple times in a day. Beware, do not store half sliced onions for later consumption as the onion has a tendency to absorb bacteria. 11. Cumin and ginger mixture Apart from being an amazing flavouring agent, cumin seeds are also an excellent ingredient for anti-cold home remedies. These small seeds are packed with vitamin C, vitamin A and natural nutrients like iron. They help in strengthening your immune system, too. Add cumin seeds to boiling water along with pieces of dried ginger. Strain the mixture and have it twice a day. 12. Fluids for hydration Getting plenty fluids is important when you have cold. It keeps you hydrated. Drink at least 10 glasses of water or any of the above drinks every day. You can even drink warm milk, tender coconut water, or even some brandy in hot water to keep you warm. Having a steamy, warm water bath will ensure a peaceful sleep. Add baking salt or essential oils like eucalyptus or lavender in the bath water to reduce your body ache. 13. Homemade vapour rubs Take eucalyptus, or even camphor powder, and mix it with oil. Make it into a thick paste and apply it around your nose, and on your throat and forehead. Ensure that it doesn’t get into your eyes or nose. Leave it overnight. It is said to be effective in clearing up the mucus collection. 14. Tulsi concoction Your daadi is right. From boosting your immunity to dealing with stress and headaches, tulsi’s health benefits are many. It contains antioxidant properties which help in lowering body temperature and treating cold and cough. Tulsi can be consumed in the form of tea, added to milk or in its natural form—leaves. The most powerful tulsi concoction is formed when ginger, cinnamon, bay leaf, pepper corns, jaggery or palm candy and tulsi are boiled together to form a thick gruel. It must be drunk warm. Most Indian households grow tulsi. Mint leaves or pudina is an equally effective herb in fighting cold. 15. Flax seed juice Boil the flax seeds in water. Reduce it till it thickens. The warm, thick liquid can have a very soothing effect on your throat. To make the drink palatable add honey and lemon juice. Download the Grow Fit app on Google Play or App Store today for a free consultation with our specialists.
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