Home Remedies for Common Cold

Home Remedies for Common Cold
Isn’t there always someone around us or maybe ourselves, complaining of a cold? The common cold is one of the most frequent ailments that we often hear about — that’s why it’s called common cold!

A cold is a mild upper respiratory tract infection of the throat, nose, and sinuses. Viruses belonging to the Rhinovirus group are mainly responsible for this, but it can be caused by other viruses too. It is usually harmless.

The virus enters your body through the eyes, nose, and mouth. It spreads through the air containing infected droplets, direct contact with infected people through handshakes, and contaminated objects like towels, doorknobs, telephones, keypads, etc.

The symptoms generally surface 2 or 3 days upon becoming infected with the germs and last for 7 to 14 days.

Here are the top 10 home remedies for the common cold.

Note: If the cold lasts longer than two weeks, you should consult a physician.

1. Garlic

The organosulfur compounds present in garlic are mainly responsible for its medicinal properties. Garlic’s antibacterial and antiviral properties can be very helpful in getting rid of cold symptoms. Garlic boosts the immune system, helps open up respiratory passages, and flush toxins out of your body.

Allicin is a compound found only in freshly crushed/chopped/chewed garlic and is inactivated upon cooking. It has antiviral properties against rhinovirus and certain other viruses.

  • Mix together 1 crushed garlic clove, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of honey, and ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper or red chili powder. Consume it daily until the symptoms subside.

Here is how the prepared home remedy will look like.

  • Boil 4 or 5 chopped garlic cloves in 1 cup of water. Mix in 1 teaspoon of raw honey. Drink it 2 or 3 times a day.
  • You can also eat raw garlic chopped in salads or along with warm milk.

2.  Raw Honey

Honey can be of great help in soothing an irritated throat as well as shortening the duration of a cold. The high amount of nutrients and enzymes in honey help kill bacteria and viruses that cause colds.

The results from a randomized study done in 1998 concluded that antibiotics were not of much help in fighting upper respiratory tract infection like colds in children.

There is increasing evidence to show that honey decreases the secretion of mucus and thereby cough in children.

Always use raw organic honey.

  • The simplest home remedy is to consume a mixture of 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of honey. Take it every 2 hours to get immense relief from your cold and sore throat.
  • If you prefer, you can simply swallow a spoonful of raw honey.
  • Children with cough and cold can be given ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of raw honey before bed.

Note: Use organic honey preferably. Avoid honey as a remedy for children below 1 year of age.

3. Ginger

Did you know that ginger has many key medicinal properties, of which removal of chills due to common cold, and keeping the body warm are important properties?

Ginger can be helpful in treating common cold and its symptoms due to its antiviral, expectorant, and anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Eat raw ginger or drink ginger tea up to 3 times a day. To make ginger tea, boil 2 cups of water, add 1 tablespoon of chopped ginger in it, cover and let it simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit for another 5 minutes. You can now strain the tea and add a little lemon juice and honey to it to enhance its health effect.

4. Chicken Soup

“Eat Chicken soup when you have a cold” is not just an old granny’s myth! Yes- studies have shown that chicken soup is superior to cold or hot water in treating a cold.

Chicken soup has many essential nutrients and vitamins that help treat common cold symptoms. The high antioxidant properties of vegetables present in chicken soup speed up the healing process.

So, chicken soup is highly recommended for its nutritional benefits, relieving dehydration and is best for promoting speedy recovery from the common cold.

For best results, make homemade chicken soup using organic vegetables and chicken.

5. Red Onion

Those suffering from a cold can get relief from homemade red onion syrup. To make the syrup, you will need red onions and honey or brown sugar.
  • Slice 2 or 3 red onions horizontally. Put one slice of onion in a small mason jar and add raw honey. Repeat the process until the bowl is full.
  • Cover the jar and leave it for 12 to 15 hours. When you open the jar, there will be thick liquid like syrup.
  • Drink a spoonful of the syrup several times a day to get relief from sore throats and other symptoms of a cold.

6. Black Pepper

Black pepper contains a compound called as piperine that makes it pungent and is also responsible for many of the medicinal properties of black pepper.

Piperine is known to cure cold, cough and throat problems by improving breathing and reducing cough. Once in the body, it also makes the nutrients from other foods and spices more available to the body.

Pepper is one of the most readily available natural treatments for various symptoms of a common cold.
  • If you are suffering from a runny nose, add pepper to your food when you eat a meal.
  • You can also gargle with 1 teaspoon of black pepper mixed in a glass of warm water.
  • If you cannot eat or drink black pepper, you can still benefit from smelling pepper throughout the day.

7. Mullein Tea

You can get relief from cold by drinking plenty of fluids and nothing can be better than a hot cup of mullein tea! Mullein is a woolly-leaved plant that is found in certain parts of North America, Europe, North Africa and Asia.

It has traditionally been used to manage respiratory diseases like cold, treat wounds and burns. Due to its expectorant properties, mullein tea can relieve chest congestion that often accompanies a cold.
  • To make mullein tea, fill a strainer with dried mullein herb and place it in a cup of boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add a little raw honey to it and drink it 2 or 3 times a day.

8. Turmeric Milk

Turmeric milk is a popular traditional remedy for cold. Milk, when combined with turmeric and ginger powder, helps treat coughing as well as other symptoms of a cold, like body aches and a headache.
  • Boil milk and add ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder and ½ teaspoon of ginger powder (you can also use fresh ginger).
  • Allow the milk to cool to room temperature so you can drink it without burning your mouth. Try to drink it 2 times a day, especially before going to sleep.

9. Cinnamon

Cinnamon can fight a common cold and help ease the pain of a dry or a sore throat. Cinnamaldehyde is the major constituents of cinnamon bark.

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamaldehyde have been demonstrated through many studies.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of powdered cinnamon and 2 cloves in 2 cups of boiling water water and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and drink it while it is still warm. For best results, you can add some honey as well. Drink this tea 1 to 3 times a day.
  • If you prefer, you can simply consume a few drops of cinnamon bark oil with honey.

10. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is also known as ascorbic acid. It gained significance with respect to its role in preventing scurvy related deaths among ancient sailors.

You can find it abundantly in fruits and vegetables especially citrus fruits.

Vitamin C improves the glucose metabolism of your body. It also helps the body produce a chemical substance that is important for proper signalling of the nervous system. Vitamin C also plays a very crucial role in strengthening your immune system.

Fruits rich in Vitamin C:
  • Indian gooseberry or Amla
  • Cantaloupe
  • Orange, grapefruit, limes, lemons
  • Kiwifruit
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Berries like strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, cranberries
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