In life, cold can happen any time. It is mostly caused by viruses and they are really very stubborn. Kids and adults are equally troubled by common cold. One should try home remedies for cold which help to recover much earlier and also pass it with much less discomfort. Common cold is in fact not a big problem in most cases. It can be relieved at home using natural remedies. Cold is worse, if it is not treated early. However, home remedies are great for early recovery from cold. The big problem with cold is that it is a viral infection, and as a result, there is no absolute treatment for it. In general, cold can last pretty long. However, with the use of home remedies, it can get over in just 3 days, or even faster. The secret to getting over cold is using a combination of home remedies, so that they work in synergy to help you recover faster.
With cold come many symptoms.
- Runny nose or blocked nose. Discomfort in breathing.
- Sore throat
- Watery eyes
- Change in voice
( Photo Courtesy: kellysue )
Home remedies for cold for kids and adults to get quick relief.
1. Vitamin C rich foods
Although there is mixed reports on whether Vitamin C helps in cold or not, it can faster recovery. In fact, taking foods rich in Vitamin C really helps one get over cold very fast. Within 2 – 3 days, cold can be gone, which is fantastic. Try these foods to start mega dosing on Vitamin C. Mega dosing is the concept of taking food in such proportion that you get many times more than the RDI of a vitamin. It is a kind of selective eating, done for an effect. Vitamin C has a powerful effect on our body. It is a strong immune booster and blood cleanser. This immune boosting property is possibly what works underneath to kill all the virus causing cold.
Foods very rich in Vitamin C.
- Indian gooseberry ( Amla )
- Rose hips
- Green chili peppers
- Guavas ( both pink and green )
- Black currants
- Camu Camu ( an exotic fruit from the Amazon , great for health and very high Vitamin C content )
- Acerola ) a kind of cherry, also native to South America )
If you can get your hands on any of these foods, they are absolutely amazing for cold and most other infections. Other common foods that contain good amounts of Vitamin C like citrus fruits are also helpful.
2. Chicken Soup
It is one of the best home remedies for cold in infants, and is also applicable for adults. Packaged chicken soup may not be as effective as homemade chicken soup, with good quality chicken. Prepare a chicken soup or broth. You should add veggies to your liking. Drink this soup 2 times a day for quick relief from cold. It should be warm. Chicken soup helps to get rid of nasal congestion in kids. It is quite nutritious for the body.
3. Lemon and Honey
This is a simple and worldwide popular home remedy for cold. You get the beneficial ingredients from lemon and honey in a single drink which tastes amazing.
Honey ( organic is better )
- Directions / How to use
Prepare some lukewarm water, add 3/4 of a large glass. It should be only slightly warm, and not on the hot side. Squeeze the juice of 2 lemons. Add them to water and stir. Now add 1 tablespoon of honey. Mix it nicely and drink this. It tastes amazing, sweet and sour. It stimulates the throat, helps get rid of irritation and congestion and can even put an end to runny nose for some time.
- Why it works ?
Lemon helps to cut through the mucus, and acts as expectorant. It is also a mild antiviral . Honey is a decongestant and an demulcent ( coats the throat ). It relieves cough and irritation, which is very relieving to the person suffering from cold. Warm water is the conducive medium to take this drink. Lemons in warm water perform a mild liver detox and also provide Vitamin C, noted earlier to help with cold.
It is easy and quick to prepare. You can take it as many times as you want in a day.
Caution – Never put honey in hot water, it should be just slightly warm.Do not give honey to babies less than 1 year old.
4. Way to sleep when you have cold
If you have a cold, and are also feeling a bit cold because of it, then try this. It is a wonderful remedy against cold, and works great. Lie on your bed or couch. Cover up with a blanket. Turn off the fans, and turn on the thermostat. Make sure the temperature inside is warming up. Prop your head a few inches above the body. This helps to breathe. Now, cover your face with the blanket and try breathing inside for a few minutes. After some time, take your face out. Do this as a cyclic process. Within a few minutes, your body may start sweating and mucus would thin out. At this point, go to the washbasin and drain out your nose, gently. It should provide considerable relief from cold in a single treatment.
5. Plain Honey for Coughing
If you are coughing along with cold, there is nothing better than plain honey. Just take 1 tablespoon of honey every few hours ( 3 – 4 hours ), and your cough would subside tremendously. Honey is one of the best natural cough suppressants and is employed in many herbal remedies too.
6. Zinc lozenges
During a cold, take zinc lozenges. They are available in sweet coated chewable form. These lozenges boost your levels of zinc temporarily, especially if the zinc concentration is low. Zinc has been identified in research studies to help people recover from cold much faster.
7. Vapor Rub
Yep, the plain old vapor rub still has its uses. Vapor rub is the perfect remedy for cold. This is what it is made for. Vapor rub can open up clogged nose, relieve chest congestion, relieve the sinuses and promote the phlegm to come out. Just apply it once before sleeping. By the next morning, cold should subside a bit. Follow up each night before sleeping. Vapor rub is also fine for kids.
8. 3 Ways to boost immunity
To beat cold, our immune system should perform at its best. In fact, the immune system starts producing more of virus fighting blood cells. This production capacity depends on a person’s age and how strong the immune system is. We can do certain things to boost this production of killer cells. Here are 3 ways to achieve it while you are resting.
- Olive leaf tea – Prepare a tea using olive leaves, or use tea bags. Olive leaf is a powerful immune booster.
- Echinacea tea – You can easily get echinacea tea bags in your nearby health store. Prepare a tea using just 1 teabag for a cup. Drink it warm.
- Astragalus root – It is a popular Chinese herb used for many health conditions. It is well known for its immune boosting functions. You can take it either as extract or as herbal tea.
9. Mustard Paste
Ground 1/4 cup of mustard seeds. Add a little water so that it turns into paste. Apply it on your throat and upper chest region. The aroma from mustard seeds soothes a cold. You can use any kind of mustard, however the more aromatic the variety, the better its effect.
10. Essential Oils
Essential oils have great power. Even their smell has immense therapeutic value. You can use the following essential oils to help with cold, cough, sinus troubles and any congestion issues.
- How to use an essential oil ?
You can use it in many ways, like inhaling steam by adding a few drops of the oil to boiling water, adding it to your humidifier, massaging it on skin in combo with a carrier oil ( like olive oil ) and many more. However, for common cold, you need not do any of these hassles, as there is a simple way out.
- Handkerchief method
Take a large cotton handkerchief. Add 5 – 8 drops of essential oil on it, undiluted. Then inhale from this handkerchief. The pleasing aroma of an essential oil mixes with the air and enters the nose. The virus causing cold do not like these essential oils. They are strong anti-bacterial, anti-viral and decongestants.
Use these essential oils for cold.
- Peppermint essential oil
- Eucalyptus essential oil
- Clove essential oil
- Rosemary essential oil
- Peppermint tea
- Eucalyptus tea, often blended with some other tea, like green tea
- Juniper berry tea – It has got a mild peppery flavor, which promotes elimination of phlegm.
- Lemongrass tea – You can prepare a delicious lemongrass tea by mixing lemongrass, lemons, little bit of ginger and regular black tea. I drink this tea when I suffer from cold.
- Regular green tea – Just by drinking green tea 5 cups a day, you can kill the cold causing virus. Green tea also boosts the immune system slowly.
Eat garlic with whatever you can, like in vegetable, with bread and something. Just take a few cloves only. If you are not liking garlic in vegetables or in sauteed form, then you take 1 garlic clove straight down with water. It has the same effect has many boiled garlic cloves. Garlic is a potent antibiotic. It kills virus, fungi, bacteria, protozoa and even parasites. Almost no pathogen likes garlic. It is a powerful medicine right from home.
Some of the essence of cloves comes into the water. Drink it for relief from cold. If the water feels too stingy, then avoid this remedy.
Ground some cinnamon sticks or directly use cinnamon powder. Add some honey to it and lick this mixture. This is a simple and very effective remedy for cold.
Honey ( prefer organic and unfiltered honey )
- Directions / How to use
Add 1 tablespoon cinnamon to 3 tablespoon honey. That should be the ratio 1 : 3. This way, cinnamon blends well with honey, and honey is dominant. Lick 1 – 2 tablespoon of this mixture 3 times a day.
- Why it works ?
The benefits of honey for cold are already evident in front of us. Cinnamon has anti-viral properties which helps our body to kill the virus.
Some people experience relief from using cold things, like jumping into really cold water or eating ice creams. However, it can also make your cold worse. One can try this cold against cold method and see how it goes.You’ve just got to experiment once. If it works for you, then you can use it later on when you suffer from cold. Every person is different and a remedy that works for one, may not work for someone else.
Put some carom seeds in water and boil it. Strain the liquid and drink it. This can relieve common cold to some extent. This water is also good for alleviating fever.
- Clean the nose regularly. Phlegm is continuously released by the throat. Learn to expel phlegm using a variety of techniques.
- Take enough rest. Sleep under a blanket if you can bear the sweat and heat. This can really work great to relieve cold and runny nose.
- Eat a healthy diet even though one may be low on appetite. Eat things that you love to eat. But, cut the dairy products because they increase phlegm production and would eventually lead to slower healing of cold.
2. Zinc for the common cold.Singh M, Das RR
3. Chapter 7The Amazing and Mighty Ginger. Ann M. Bode and Zigang Dong. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition