There are medications for cold and cough but essentially treat the symptoms rather than the illness itself. You have to go through the entire drill right from a scratchy throat, a running nose till the full-blown one, no other way out. But did you know there are some home remedies for cold and cough that you can use to relieve the symptoms faster? Read through to find out what these are; we hope these remedies can help you get over your sickness sooner rather than later.
It is a known fact that common cold is usually caused by viruses and at times if not always it is accompanied or followed by a cough that can be due to a bacterial infection as well. While taking plenty of rest and drinking a lot of warm fluids help ease the condition, there are a few other home remedies for cold and cough that you can benefit from as well.
Turmeric & Milk
Turmeric is known for its benefits - it is very well known to be helpful in fighting a cough caused by bacterial infections. Mix 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk. Drink it 2 to 3 times a day. You can add a teaspoon of pepper powder as well for additional benefit.
Honey & Lemon
Drinking plenty of fluids is essential, if it is a drink of honey mixed with some lemon juice, it is even more beneficial. This drink is a time-tested home remedy. Honey has been used for centuries in Asia to treat coughs. Mix 1 tablespoon of honey in a cup of hot water, add 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice (or as much as you can handle). Drink it every 2 hours.
Ginger & Honey
Ginger helps to stimulate salivation and mucus secretion, and this can relieve you from the cough. Mix a tablespoon of ground ginger with a tablespoon of honey. Taking this 3 times a day is recommended.
Any form of Vitamin C is good for treating a cold. Some well-known sources of Vit C include limes, oranges, lemons, leafy greens, grapefruits, other fruits and vegetables. Adding fresh lemon juice to hot tea with honey can help reduce phlegm especially when you are sick. Drinking hot lemonade may also help.
Please note that these drinks may not entirely clear up your cold, they can help the body get the vitamin C that the immune system needs at that point ant time. A study suggests that getting enough vitamin C can help relieve upper respiratory tract infections and other illnesses.
This might turn out to be the most unpopular one on the list of remedies we are suggesting. Who would imagine drinking garlicky stuff or even chewing it just like that, especially if you have to meet someone or go off to work? All said and done, it is important to note that garlic is well-known for its antibiotic and anti-viral properties. Chewing it up helps the stubborn bacteria/mucous to come out of the system. For it to be effective, you might need to eat atleast 4 to 8 raw cloves of garlic in a day. You could also make a garlic broth - Add 3 smashed fresh garlic clove to 2 litres of water in a pot. Simmer it on a low fire for about an hour. Let it cool, strain it and store the liquid. Sip through the day.
Turmeric, Honey & Black Pepper
These three ingredients are said to be the main heroes for fighting coughs. You can very well use all the 3 together to make one potent concoction. Mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder, and a teaspoon of black pepper powder with a tablespoon of honey and consume directly. Alternately you could dilute this in a cup of water and drink it at regular intervals.
Drinking ginger tea is said to have its benefits when it comes to a cough or a cold. Ginger as mentioned above can work effectively when you have a cough. So why not add some ginger to the tea decoction that is brewing?
For blocked noses during a cold, steam can very well help. Adding menthol or eucalyptus oil or even Vicks Vaporub to the hot water will give extra relief during the steaming session. This process can help to effectively clear the airways, relieve the cough and also soothe the throat. Just pay attention to the boiling water!
Salt water gargling
According to research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, salt water gargling can actually help prevent upper respiratory infections. It is said to also decrease the severity of cold symptoms such as sore throat, nasal congestion. Gargling with salt water loosens and reduces mucus, which contains allergens and bacteria. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a full glass of warm water. Gargle it at the throat, and spit it out. Also swish some salt water in your mouth to prevent bacteria from growing.
Micro-organism are found to thrive and spread pretty easily in dry environments. Making the environment at home more humid will help to reduce the thriving of micro-organisms such as flu virus. Increasing humidity can also decrease nasal inflammation, thus making it easier to breathe when you have a blocked nose.. Adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil might also stimulate your breathing.
Remember it is important to change the water used in humidifiers daily in order to stop fungi from growing. Alternately, if you do not have a humidifier, you can take a long shower or linger in a steamy bathroom.
Some basic do’s and don'ts to keep in mind when having cold/cough.
• Use a handkerchief to cover your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing.
• Wash your hands constantly.
• Increase intake of fluids
• Avoid consumption of cold foods.
• Avoid the intake of fried foods.
• Avoid smoking or using any other forms of tobacco.
• Keep away from caffeinated beverages.
• Don’t over-exert yourself.
• Stay away from people who are suffering from cold or influenza.
Please note, if cough or cold persists or if you are running temperature, rush to the doctor. These remedies may not be applicable for children, so use your discretion.
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by Hridya Anand
A biochemist by education who could never put what she studied to good use, finally found GetDoc as a medium to do what she loved - bring information to people using a forum that is dedicated to all things medical. View all articles by Hridya Anand.