Common cold, ayurvedic and home remedies

From an Ayurvedic perspective, common cold is caused by provocation of Kapha. It is also found to be caused due to non-release of ama or mucus which reaches the respiratory system and causes cold and cough. Cold is also considered to occur when exposed to humid weather.

A few home remedies for common cold are given herein:

  1. Allow the body to sweat out. This can be done by drinking hot herbal teas or just covering the body with a warm blanket and let it sweat for about 15 to 20 minutes.
    Drinking warm water in which a drop of lemon or honey is added twice or thrice a day will help relieve symptoms of cold.
  2. As a remedy for dry cough, especially during night, blend together 10 grams each of cardamom, black pepper, dry ginger, and cinnamon with sugar or sugar candy of about 40 gms. Half a teaspoon of this powder can be mixed with warm water or honey and taken after meals.
  3. For symptoms of sore throat, gargling with warm salt water or chewing a few raisins or cardamoms or rock candy will help.
  4. Mixing equal parts of honey and baked lime juice and drinking this thrice a day can provide relief from cough and laryngitis.
  5. Making the necessary changes in the diet and taking necessary precautions by avoiding cold drinks, cheese, creams, yogurt, ice cream and taking warm foods that contain steamed vegetables, vegetable soup, herbal teas and fruits like papaya and apple are recommended. Also spices like black pepper, coriander and clove are found to be effective in treating cold.
  6. Stewed Apple is considered to be an excellent desert during winter. The apple is steamed by piercing it with 3 to 4 cloves and on removing from steam, the cloves can be removed and apple can be savored.
  7. Apart from diet changes, changes in ones lifestyle can help prevent frequent attacks of cold. Starting the day with two glasses of warm water, eating well cooked fresh food, eating timely lunch and dinner aids digestion, and prevents formation of ama in the body. It is best to avoid fasting during winter, as this weakens bodys defense mechanisms