6 Home Remedies to Cure Cold and Cough

Written by Dr. Veena Madhankumar and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team

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Cough and cold are common ailments that you and your children suffer from with the change in weather. Believe it or not, all the annoying symptoms that accompany viral cold and flu are a part of your body’s natural healing process. The symptoms, such as cough, fever, and runny nose, result from your immune system trying to fight off the infection. This is why natural remedies that help relieve symptoms and boost your immunity will help your body fight the infection more effectively.

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The following home remedies might help fight cold and cough:

1) Steam Inhalation

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A cough that produces mucus or phlegm (wet cough) may improve with steam. You can either take a hot shower and let the steam fill the bathroom. Or you can fill a bowl with hot water and essential oils (Eucalyptus) and inhale the steam by placing a towel over your head. Inhale the steam for 5 minutes. Make sure you drink water after a hot shower to prevent dehydration. You can also make use of a steam vaporizer.

2) Honey

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Honey provides significant relief from coughs. You can mix two teaspoons of honey in warm water or herbal tea and drink it once or twice a day to relieve coughing. Avoid giving honey to children under 1 year of age, as it can contain bacteria that cause infant botulism, which is a severe gastrointestinal infection.

3) Salt Water Gargle

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Salt water gargling helps clear nasal congestion and also removes viruses and bacteria particles from the nose. You can prepare salt water by mixing 1/4 teaspoon salt in a cup of lukewarm water. You can also use this saline water to irrigate your nasal cavity. Use a syringe and squirt water into one nostril while holding the other nostril closed. Let the water drain and repeat it with the other nostril.

4) Turmeric

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Turmeric is used as a home remedy and in Ayurvedic medicines to treat cold and cough for ages. It contains curcumin, which is believed to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Drinking a cup of warm milk mixed with turmeric also relieves dry cough. It soothes a sore throat and runny nose.

5) Stay Hydrated

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Prevent dehydration by keeping yourself well hydrated, as it helps the body function properly and fight off cold and flu more effectively. Drink plenty of warm fluid and water to ensure a speedy recovery. It can also loosen mucus in the nose and relieve nasal congestion.

6) Carom Seeds

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Carom seed (Ajwain) is said to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Boil a teaspoon of carom seeds with holy basil (Tulsi) leaves in water and strain it. Drinking this concoction keeps cough in check and relieves chest congestion.

Certain herbs and natural supplements can interfere with medications that you might be taking for some other condition and result in unwanted side effects. So talk to your doctor before taking any herb or trying any natural remedy. In case you feel your symptoms are getting worse even after a couple of days, consult a doctor. If you develop breathing problems and feel dizzy, get immediate medical help.

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