The state of wellbeing is very beautifully mentioned in Ayurveda as the equilibrium of dosha, agni, dhatu, mala along with an inner blissful state of soul,senses and mind .This closely relates to the modern definition mentioned by WHO.
Samadosha samaagnishcha samadhathu malakriya Prasannatma indriya manaha swastha ityabhi
Any illness as for this case , the peenasa or common cold ,occurs as a result of the disturbance in this equilibrium. The symptoms of common cold, include runny nose, sore throat, cough, watery eyes, sneezing, congestion, headaches, fatigue, and sometimes a low-grade fever. It typically last from one week to 10 days, the recovery depending on the immunity of the person. Common cold takes almost the same time to get cured with and without treatment.
Importance of home remedies
Home remedies for minor ailments saves time money and visits to pharmacy. Many simple effective home remedies
mentioned in the ancient texts if discovered can reduce the burden of common people economically and save from
unwanted use of drugs
Precautions to be considered
Though there are excellent and effective home remedies for many ailments they are yet to be scientifically assessed and validated One of the common disadvantage while using home remedies is the proper dose or durtation of the medicine to be given is unknown and when to stop is not clearly understood. Long term or excess self medication is not advisable as the herbs have different action and properties for short term and long term use.The knowledge of right choice, right dose and right duration of the medicine or herbs is always very important. Some of the home remedies mentioned in various books have been compiled and listed below.
Ingredients used in home remedies for common close and cough
Most of the ingredients used for cold and cough are avaiable in our kitchen only some fresh herbs also if grown in pots at our home can be used. Commonly used fresh ingredients are
- Tulasi leaves – cold, cough and fever
- Betel leaves -cold , cough, fever
- Ajwain leaves- cold , cough fever
- Adathoda leaves- cough with phlegm
- Fresh turmeric- cold, cough with phlegm
- Pomegranate -dry and wet cough
- Lemon -cold and cough
- Ginger-cold cough and fever
The common kitchen spices to treat cold and cough are
- Dry ginger
- Rock saltSome herbs that are not commonly used in cooking but often used for home remedies are
- Long pepper
- Kali jeera
- black salt
- Palm jaggery or sugar candy
Popular methods followed
- FRESH JUICES – The juices are extracted by crushing from the fresh herbs .Some herbs have to be wilted in fire before crushing such as ajwain leaf, onion.They act as decongestant and given instant relief .Fresh juices
are stronger so the dose have to carefully decided. Generally one to two teaspoon of the fresh juice are given with honey for 3 to 5 days twice or thrice day before food depending on the condition.In infants the
juice are applied on the chest and back instead of giving internally.
- TEAS – Generally aromatic herbs and spices are boiled together in water for few minutes and this water is used for drinking .Such tulasi tea, ajwain leaf tea, ginger tea.
- DECOCTIONS – Different combination of dry and fresh ingredients are boiled and reduced to half or one fourth and added with a sweetener such as jaggery or palm sugar or with honey.
- Choornam/Powder – such as trikatu ,yashtimadhu are given mixed with honey.
- Warm milk withtumeric, pepper
- Try instead of regular COUGH SYRUP using
- Ginger lemon infused honey,
- Dry ginger powder +honey
- Cinnamon +honey
- Yashtimadhu ,Freshginger juice, +honey
- Lemon +honey
- Chew HOME MADE LOZENGES
- Fresh ginger piece with black salt
- Dry ginger and sugarcandy
- WARM SOUP -Warm veg soup with spices
- MASSAGES on chest and back with warm oils such as ococonut oil, sesame oil mustard oil infused with herbs.
As a prevention
Pranayam can be taught to children like anulom, vilom, kapalbathi, ujjayi. Ayurvedic medicines rasayanas such as chyanvan prash should be given on regular basis.
Plants which can be grown at home
Preparations commonly used
Generally fresh juices alone or in combination with two such as ginger lemon, tulasi betel, ginger amla. They can be given to children above 1 year from 1 to 2 tsp twice a day with honey
- Ginger juice- Juice of ginger 5gms and one amla with one teaspoon honey Juice of ajwain leaf wilted on fire juice one teaspoon twice daily with honey
- Lemon juice- Lemon juice with water and honey. a glass of hot water mixed with the juice of two lemons and honey to taste. It soothes sore throat, boosts vitamin C intake and releases excess cough
- Juice of Tulasi leaves – 2 parts tulsi juice +1/2 part Ginger juice + ½ part Betel leaf juice Take two teaspoon of the juices together with 1 teaspoon of honey thrice a day
- In a jar mix equal amounts of honey and onion juice. Consume around 3 to 4 teaspoons of this mixture once a day, till the flu lasts
- 1 teaspoon tulasi juice and 2 teaspoon of honey 3 times a day
- 1 tespoon of onion juice( small onion) and 2teaspoons of honey 3 times a day. Onion is very useful in bronchitis
Different combination of dry and fresh ingredients are boiled together for few minutes and used as a drink
- Ginger tea- Drink ginger tea. Use 2 to 3 pieces of ginger to prepare this tea and consume it at regular intervals during the cough It acts as a decongestant, helps stimulate slow digestion and enhances the taste
- Tulsi tea-½ tsp black pepper powder+1/2 tsp dry ginger powder-+10 Tulasi leaves boil in 1 cup water make tea and drink 2-3 times a day
The teas or hot infusions chosen should be balanced with hot and cold potency
- Preapare a decoction with Fresh ginger -3 teaspoon cinnamon powder ½ easpoon, yashtimadhu 2 teaspoons . All the ingredients should be boiled with four glasses of water and reduced to ½ glass and this has to be taken twice daily .Honey can added as a sweetener if needed
- Prepare a decoction by boiling a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in half liter of warm water. Continue boiling the seeds, till the water reduces to one third of its original quantity. Then, add a teaspoon of fresh ginger juice to this concoction, along with a few drops of honey, just to make it more palatable. Drink this mixture once a day.
- Boil 3 teaspoons of Yashtimadhu choornam/licorice in two glasses of water and reduce to ¼ glass and add honey if needed.This is good remedy for dry cough and sore throat
- Betel leaves,tulasi leaves, ajwain leaves , pepper are boiled together and reduced to half
- Tulasi leaves a piece of ginger of an inch size few pepper corns are boiled and reduced to half
- Trikatu ,-the mixture of dried ginger powder, pepper and long pepper taken in equal quantities of a quarter to half teaspoon twice a day with honey. Trikatu has anti -pyretic qualities and are effective in fever accompanied with bronchitis.
- Ayurvedic medicines like sitopaladi choornam , Thaleesadi choornam , Karpooradi choornam can be taken with doctors advise
Tumeric Milk -Mix a half teaspoon or turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk twice is good during the symptoms of
flu cough with phlegm
Thin vegatable Soups,chicken soup spiced with pods of garlic, cloves, cinnamon, Drumstick leaves soup prepared with little salt, pepper and lime juice is very beneficial during common cold
Take steam with water added with three to four drops of eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil. Mint leaf,Tulsi leaf, Cumin seed,Ajwain, Black jeera, are the some of the other ingredients used for steam which can
be used for children.
For infants below 6 month
For infants herbal medicines for cold and cough are mostly applied externally.Infused oils or crushed herbal leaf juices and rubbed on chest and back of the baby.The other preferred method is to treat the mother with medicines. Sometimes very little amount of medicines is applied on the breast before feeding the baby.
- Mustard oil cooked with garlic
- Karpooradi thailam,Mustard oil, ajwain leaf extract, -They are rubbed on the chest and back
- For nose block- Ajwain garlic pottali
For infants above 6 month
Same methods mentioned as above are to be followed but with a stronger dose.
- Apply turmeric paste on chest and back.
- Mustard oil with garlic, ajwain
- Fresh juices such as ajwain leaf juice ,betel leaf juice,
For children above 1 year
Some of the Teas decoctions, fresh juices mentioned above are to be given. The dose depends on age. Generally decoctions are given 1-2teaspoon before food thrice daily, teas 3-4 times a day, fresh juices 1 to 2 tsp twice a day with honey
Home remedies for common problems
- To stop a running nose, you can apply the paste made of nutmeg (jaiphal) and cow’s milk along with a little opium on the nose and forehead. to be taken as a snuff.
- Lemon juice can also be used for running nose
- Smoke from burnt turmeric stops the running nose.
Common salt +2 black peppercorn chew every four hours
- Powder made of equal parts of cinnamon, black pepper, cardamoms and the seeds of Nigella sativa (krishna jeeraka) is used for smelling.
- Crushed garlic pods can be used for smelling for relief of blocked nose. Chewing garlic will also give relief of blocked nose.
For dry chronic cough ingredients such as cumin, clove, cardamom, dry grapes, coriander seeds, fennel, sugar candy, are more in the combination of the medicines and often mixed with sweet base such as palm jaggery or honey
- Trikatu churna- An effective home remedy for bronchitis is They also tone up the metabolism of the patient. It can help by keeping the mucous in the lungs wet and fluid-like, and decreasing inflammation of the respiratory tract. You can take half a teaspoonful of trikatu powder mixed with honey.
- Onion has expectorant properties. It liquefies phlegm and prevents its further formation. Half to one teaspoon of raw onion juice is given
- 3.. Drumstick leaves soup prepared with little salt, pepper and lime juice is very beneficial especially in case of bronchitis.
- 20 to 40 grams of black basil (Krishna Tulsi) leaves juice thrice daily
- Decoction prepared with 30 to 80 grams roots and leaves of holy black basil (krishna tulsi) plant can help in all types of fever
- Application of warmed mustard oil will help people affected with dengue fever and suffering from joint pains the legs and hands.
- Water boiled with cumin seeds can be used for drinking during fever
- Dry ginger and coriander seeds are pounded well and boiled in water. This water brings down the fever
- Drink a cup of warm water added with lemon juice and honey two to three times a day.
- Decoction made with 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds boiled in 1 ½ glass of water boiled and reduced to ½ glass. To this add 1 tsp of ginger juice and few drops of honey. This is taken two to three times a day
- 3 to 4 tsp of the onion juice and honey mixture once or twice a day daily till the flu lasts.
- 1 tsp turmeric powder in a glass of warm nati milk. Reduces the fever and loosens the phlegm
- Ginger tea has an excellent remedy for flu
Home Remedies for Cold in Infants
- Lots of rest
- Drink lot of fluids -keep body hydrated
- Saline nasal drops to clear out the mucus in the nasal passages, and thus relieve congestion.
- Resting with head elevated
- Salt water gargling
- Use of humidifier/vaporizer/head bath
When to visit the doctor
If you are suffering from symptoms of cold more than 3 weeks, such as itchy eyes, nasal congestion, cough, excessive fatigue, sore throat swollen lymph nodes, rapid heart beat you may have to seek the help of doctor. It may be that you get into secondary infections if not treated. In general if you find the following symptoms it’s better to visit the doctor
- High (above 103 degrees) fever or a fever that lasts for more than 3 days. In infants below 3 month if fever is
- Symptoms that last for more than 10 days
- Trouble breathing, fast breathing or wheezing
- Bluish skin color
- Earache or drainage from the ear
- Changes in mental state (such as not waking up, irritability or seizures)
- Flu like symptoms that improve, but return with a fever and a worse cough