home remedies for cold and cough
Health Tips

Home Remedies For Cold And Cough

Though, cold and cough are not very serious diseases, but, can be really irritating. Constant coughing and sneezing can jar your mind and body, and a runny nose is one of the biggest problems that we want to get rid of instantaneously. While there are plenty of medicines available for these ailments, but, one should prefer the home remedies for cold and cough which not only offer immediate relief but, also help in avoiding any medicines induced side-effects.

A cough and cold are very infuriating, as they disrupt our day to day routine, make us stay awake at night, disturb the sleep badly and just wreck havoc on the peace of mind.

The moment we start sneezing and get cold, we start wondering how to stop a runny nose instantly. Not only this, most of us also get worried that if we take the medicines, would they cure the disease or would only suppress the cold, that will reoccur after some time. On the flip side, the home remedies are very effective and safe too.

What is Common Cold?

The common cold, seasonal fever, and flu are caused by the viruses. One of the most common virus that causes the common cold is “Rhinovirus”.  It is very contagious and can infect the people through the direct or indirect contact. The most common symptoms of the infection causes by rhinovirus include a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, low fever, body ache, backache and sore throat. The children and infants are more susceptible to these infections as their immune system is not fully matured.

Causes of Cough

There can be various causes of a cough, and the most common ones include:

  • Pertussis or Diphtheria characterized by a whooping cough
  • Common Cold
  • Eosinophilic Bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Viral RTI (Respiratory Tract Infection)
  • GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
  • Pollution Induced Pathogens
  • Pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis
  • Lung Tumors

If you are coughing for more than two weeks, and home remedies aren’t giving you any relief, you must visit your doctor. There can be serious ailments causing coughing and a timely check-up and diagnosis can help significantly.  Some types of coughs can be cured with antibiotics, while the other types of cough may require a long term treatment.

When Should You Visit the Doctor?

While the below mentioned home remedies are very effective, but, sometimes, the cold or cough may be an indicator of a serious ailment. Thus, if you experience any of the following symptoms in addition to constant sneezing, runny nose, coughing, and body ache, you must immediately see your doctor.

  • Dehydration
  • Chills
  • Malaise, or the feeling of being unwell
  • Extreme weakness
  • Fever higher than 101C
  • Foul smelling or a yellow or brown cough

How Can You Prevent Coughs and Colds?

With simple preventive measures, you can avoid getting sick and catching a common cold. Some of the best preventive measures include:

  • Ensure that you get your annual flu shots, and it’s best to get these shots before the weather change.
  • Avoid coming in direct contact with the people who are sick, and are suffering from common cold or flu.
  • Drink plenty of water and other fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Wash your hands frequently, and use a hand sanitiser every time you touch something which may be carrying the infection.
  • Regularly clean the common areas of your home, office or school with a good anti-bacterial liquid. Also, keep your mobile phones, laptops, and countertops also clean with anti-bacterial sprays.

Home Remedies For Cold and Cough

1. Garlic

The antiviral and antibacterial properties of garlic can help you to get rid of the symptoms of common cold and cough.

Garlic not only strengthens the immune system but also helps in opening the respiratory passages while flushing out the toxins from the body.

What To Do

  • Crush one clove of garlic and mix it with one teaspoon honey, two teaspoons of lemon juice, and a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Consume it daily till the symptoms subside.
  • Chop four to five cloves of garlic, and boil them with one cup of water. Let it boil for 3 – 5 minutes and after that strain the solution. Once it becomes a little cold, mix one teaspoon if honey in it. Drink it two – three times a day.
  • Use a few drops of garlic oil in your drinks and food.

2. Almonds

Almonds are not only rich in Vitamin E, but, also have soothing and relaxing properties which make them a perfect home remedy for cold and cough.

Almonds can be mixed with some lemon or orange juice,  which is rich in Vitamin C, that helps in enhancing the immunity to fight off the viruses.

What To Do

  • Mix crushed or powdered almonds with some orange juice or lemon water, and have it 2 – 3 times a day.

3. Honey

Being a time honored remedy for common cold and sore throat, honey is used in almost every household.

But, what most people don’t know that honey is more effective in relieving cough than many over the counter medications which contain DM (Dextromethrophan), which is a cough suppressant.

Honey can shorten the lifespan of cold and kills bacteria with its anti-bacterial properties. You can also use honey with green tea, and get its benefits.

What To Do

  • Mix two teaspoons of honey with one teaspoon of lemon juice, and consume it every two hours to get immediate relief from a sore throat and cold.
  • If you are coughing, you can consume one teaspoon of honey every 3 – 4 hours to soothe the throat.
  • One teaspoon of honey can be mixed with any herbal tea and should be taken 2 – 3 times a day.

4. Pineapple

Pineapple is rich in Bromelain, which can loosen the mucus in the throat and suppress a cough.

Pineapple is also very effective in relieving sinusitis, and the allergy induced sinus issues which sometimes cause mucus and cough. It also helps in treating the inflammation.

What To Do

  • Have 3.5 ounces of fresh pineapple juice or eat a slice of pineapple three times a day.

5. Peppermint

Peppermint leaves are well known for their cough and cold healing properties. The menthol present in the peppermint helps in breaking down the mucus and acts as a decongestant.

What To Do

  • Drink peppermint tea mixed with one teaspoon of honey 2 – 3 times a day.
  • Inhale the vapors of peppermint oil, by mixing 3 – 4 drops of the peppermint oil in every 150 ml of steaming hot water. Take deep breaths of the steam coming out from water mixed with peppermint oil to relieve the symptoms.

6. Lemon Tea

Lemon is rich in Vitamin C and thus, it helps in strengthening the immune system to fight off against the virus or bacterial infection causing the cold and cough.

Also,  lemon helps in clearing up the phlegm built ups in the throat while giving you effective relief from a raspy cough.

What To Do

  • Prepare the lemon tea by boiling a few slices of lemon in water. When it cools down a bit, add one teaspoon of honey to it, and sip this tea slowly.

7. Thyme

Thyme is considered as a wonder herb for the respiratory issues. Thyme leaves contain flavonoids, which can relax the throat muscles and decrease inflammation.

The thyme leaves essence when mixed with ivy can not only relieve coughing but also, short-term bronchitis.

What To Do

  • You can prepare the thyme tea by boiling two teaspoons of the thyme leaves with one cup of water. Let it boil for 2 – 3 minutes, and then, strain the tea. Let it cool for some time, and then mix one teaspoon of honey.

8. Gargles With Listerine

Listerine, the mouthwash is enriched with anti-microbial properties and is capable of killing the infection causing bacteria.

When you gargle with Listerine, it helps in killing the bacteria present in the throat area and helps in providing relief from irritation in the throat.

What To Do

  • Mix 25 – 30 ml of Listerine in a glass of water, or the amount that you use of mouthwash in a glass of lukewarm water.  Gargle with this water, and do it 3 – 4 times a day.
  • Avoid this remedy for kids under the age of 10.

9. Ginger

Ginger is rich in antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties, and thus, helps in treating cough, common cold and their various symptoms.

What To Do

  • For a runny nose, mix the equal amounts of clarified butter, dry ginger powder (saunth) and any natural sweetener. Have this mixture empty stomach in the morning.
  • For common cold and cough, you can make a paste of cloves, ginger, and salt. Have a half teaspoon of this mixture two times a day.
  • You can also drink ginger tea mixed with honey, or eat raw ginger.

10. Red Onion

The homemade red onion syrup is one of the best home remedies to get immediate relief from the symptoms of the cold and cough.

What To Do

  • Horizontally slice, two – three red onions, and put these slices one by one in the bowl with the layers of honey, that is, place one slice of onion, and then pour honey on it, and then repeat the process with each slice.
  • Cover this bowl and leave it for 13 – 14 hours. Now, there will be a thick syrup in the bowl. Have one tablespoon of this syrup several times a day to get relief from a sore throat and cold.

11. Pepper

Pepper is one of the most effective kitchen ingredients that helps in reducing the symptoms of a cough and the common cold.

Pepper is rich in the compound called “capsaicin” which helps in thinning the mucus and providing relief from congestion.

What To Do

  • Crush the pepper and mix it with some honey. Have half a teaspoon of this mixture several times a day.
  • Mix one teaspoon of black pepper powder with a glass of warm water, and gargle with it to get relief.
  • If you cannot eat or drink the pepper, you can also benefit from smelling it. Its aroma also helps in suppressing the cold and cough.

12. Turmeric Powder

Turmeric powder can soothe cough, and heal the infection with its anti-bacterial properties.

Turmeric is an age-old remedy been used for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

What To Do

  • Boil one glass of milk, and add a half teaspoon of turmeric powder and half teaspoon of ginger powder to it, if you want, you can also use fresh ginger while boiling the milk. Add some sweetener to the milk, and have it before sleeping at night. If possible, drink it one during the daytime too.

13. Cinnamon and Cloves

Cinnamon is very effective in easing the pain caused by sore or dry throat and fighting the common cold.

What To Do

  • Mix one tablespoon of powdered cinnamon with two cloves in a glass of boiling water, and let it simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes. Strain this tea, and drink it. If you want, you can add some honey to it too.
  • You can also consume a few drops of cinnamon bark oil with some honey.

The Bottom Line

If you have been experiencing the common cold symptoms, you can try these remedies. Also, these home remedies for cold and cough for kids are very safe and cure the diseases gently without causing any harsh side effects.

While there are many options, but, you can choose the best way to get rid of a cough from the aforementioned remedies, and try it. These remedies effectively ease the symptoms and fight off the viruses causing the cold and cough.