The cold makes you feel miserable. The symptoms of fever, headaches, sore throat, cough, and body ache make it impossible to complete even the day to day chores. Viruses are the root cause of cold and flu, and that is why antibiotics don’t seem to work very well when you are down with a cold.
A cold or the flu is pretty common, and you catch around 3-4 colds every year. These generally harmless infections sometimes become too much to tolerate, especially when you have a very busy week. The symptoms usually subside in two weeks. In the meantime, here are a few effective home remedies for cold with proven benefits that you can try out easily.
Table of Contents
- Home remedies for cold
- What not to do
- When To See A Doctor
1. Ginger and Lemon water
Ginger has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties which makes it one of the most effective home remedies for cold. Its medicinal properties are being used for centuries to ease out the symptom of cold and cough. Various studies have shown that the antibacterial properties of ginger have a better effect than some antibiotics in treating cold and cough. It is used to reduce inflammation in the throat, reduce congestion, and ease out your cough. Additionally, lemon is a good source of Vitamin C and helps boost your immune system. It also reduces phlegm and helps your body fight the infection and viruses.
You can easily prepare ginger and lemon water at home. Add 1 cup of water to a pan and set it aside to boil. Cut thin slices of lemon and ginger, while your water is boiling. A 1-inch piece of ginger and a medium-sized lemon would be enough for one cup. Once the water has boiled, remove the pan from heat and add the lemon and ginger slices to the water and cover with a lid. Let it steep for a few minutes. Strain the water in a cup and add ½ teaspoon of honey. Stir the mixture and drink while it’s still warm. Drinking ginger and lemon water at least once a day would help reduce congestion in your chest and ease out your cold.
2. Lemon and Honey syrup
Lemon is one of the best sources of Vitamin C, which helps keep your body and immunity strong. Lemon works best for cough, congestion, and cold. It helps cut through the congestion and breaks down the mucus in your lungs. It also helps clear out phlegm from your system, thus leading to a quicker recovery from cold. Additionally, honey help relax a sore and a scratchy throat naturally. According to a study conducted by scientists at Oxford University, honey is much more effective than other cold remedies. It boosts your immune system, helps you recover faster, and reduces your chances of catching a cold in the future.
You can easily prepare lemon and honey syrup at home. Cut up ½ lemon and squeeze its juice in a small saucepan. Now add 1 teaspoon of honey to the saucepan and mix them with a spoon. Now warm this mixture on low heat for not more than 30 seconds. Empty the mixture in a small bowl and drink the syrup while warm. The honey and lemon syrup acts as a natural antibiotic and creates a shield against viruses and infections.
3. Thyme water
Thyme has been used in herbal medicines for decades, to relieve chest and respiratory disorders like cold, flu, cough, and bronchitis. It has antibiotic, anti-viral, and antimicrobial properties that strengthen your immune system. It also works as a decongestant and reduces congestion in your chest. These rejuvenating properties help fight off the cold and recover faster. When taken regularly, thyme can protect you from infections like cold, flu, or other respiratory diseases.
You can easily prepare thyme water at home. Take at least 20 small stems of thyme leaves, and rinse them in mineral water. Add these leaves to a saucepan. Now add 2 cups of water to the saucepan and 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds. Let the water boil for at least 3 minutes. Now remove the pan from the heat, cover the lid, and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain the water in a glass and drink while it is warm. Drinking thyme water at least twice a day would give you instant relief from the symptoms of cold or flu.
4. Turmeric and Ginger tea
Turmeric is one of the best home remedies for cold and cough. Its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties help your body to fight off infection. Turmeric works by increasing the mucus production in your body, which naturally flushes out the microbes blocking your respiratory tract. Its anti-inflammatory properties help relieve the inflammation in the tissues of your throat and ease up your cough and cold. Additionally fresh ginger also has antibacterial properties, that help soothe a sore throat. It has compounds that help enhance the immunity of your body, reduces chest congestion, and improve your recovery time.
You can easily prepare turmeric and ginger tea at home. Fill 1 cup of water in a kettle and set it aside to boil. Now add 1 teaspoon fresh ginger pieces and 1 teaspoon fresh turmeric pieces (you can also add turmeric powder) to this boiling water. Let it steep for at least 5 minutes. Now strain the water in a cup and add ½ teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to the cup. Stir the tea and sip it slowly. Drinking turmeric and ginger tea at least once a day, would help you fight off cold and flu, and would also prevent future infection.
5. Orange and Honey juice
Vitamin C is the most beneficial when it comes to fighting a cold, and oranges are loaded with this vitamin. Oranges ensure that you have a strong immune system, and helps shorten the duration of your cold. They also work as a decongestant and clears off all the congestion from your chest. Additionally, honey is one of the most powerful home remedies for cold and soothes your sore throat. Its anti-viral and anti-microbial properties are known to suppress your cough naturally. The viscous nature of honey coats your throat, thus causing a soothing effect almost instantly. Both the ingredients together help you get rid of your cold quite effectively.
You can easily prepare orange and honey juice at home. Add 1 orange into a blender (without any seeds). Now add half a cup of water to the blender and blend until you get a smooth texture. Pour the juice into a cup and add ¼ teaspoon of honey to your orange juice. Stir your juice for a few minutes before drinking. Drinking orange juice regularly will protect you from the flu and cold.
6. Turmeric and Milk
Turmeric is the powerhouse of antioxidants. It is used for treating dry cough, by increasing the mucus production that naturally flushes out all the microbes clogging your respiratory tract. Turmeric has different anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties that help fight infection and relieves you of the symptoms of cold and cough. Mixing it with milk just adds up the benefits.
You can easily prepare your turmeric remedy at home. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder or freshly grated turmeric to a glass full of warm milk. You can also add one-fourth teaspoon of crushed black pepper to enhance the benefits of turmeric. The remedy is more effective if you drink it while it’s still warm. Drinking turmeric milk every day before sleeping, would help you ease your cough. If you don’t like the bland taste you can also add half a teaspoon of sugar or honey.
7. Eucalyptus vapor steam
Eucalyptus has several anti-viral and anti-microbial properties and has been used to treat the common cold for centuries. It is used to calm your cough and decongest your chest. Eucalyptus oil loosens and thins up the congested mucus, thus making it easier to cough up and expel from the body. It can be used to fight off viruses and bacteria and treat respiratory diseases like the flu, cold, or bronchitis.
You can easily prepare eucalyptus vapor steam at home. Boil 2 cups of water and set it aside in a bowl. Now add 7 drops of eucalyptus oil in the water. Drape a towel over your head and take deep breaths directly above water with your nose. Keep your eyes closed to prevent irritation. Inhaling eucalyptus steam at least 2 times a day would help you get rid of cough and congestion in just a few days.
8. Astragalus tea
Astragalus is a Chinese herb that has been used for centuries to strengthen the immunity system. It has anti-viral properties that act deep inside your body and stimulates your internal system. They are used to prevent and treat cold and upper respiratory infections. Astragalus also has anti-oxidant properties that protect your cells and help to neutralize harmful compounds. Its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe the inflamed tissues of your throat. It is often recommended to take astragalus regularly, and not just when you are sick.
You can easily prepare astragalus tea at home. Add 2 teaspoons of dried astragalus roots into a small pot. Now add 2 cups of water to the pot and set it aside to boil. Once the water has boiled, reduce the heat and cover with a lid. Let the water simmer for 20 minutes. Now remove the pot from heat and let it steep for another 30 minutes. Astragalus roots take a little coaxing to release their therapeutic properties. Now strain the water in a cup, and drink while it’s warm. Drinking astragalus tea once a day would help you prevent cold and flu.
9. Garlic and Honey paste
Garlic is one of the best home remedies for cold. It has compounds that boost your immune system, and fight off viruses that cause diseases like the common cold or flu. It has various anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that help soothe the irritation in your throat, and ease up the symptoms of the cold. Additionally, honey is a natural cough suppressant and relieves the inflammation in your throat.
You can easily prepare garlic and honey paste at home. Take 2 cloves of garlic and crush them with the back of your spoon. Let the minced garlic sit for about 15 minutes, to activate its enzymes. Now add 1 teaspoon of honey to the minced garlic and mix them well. Eat this paste all at once. You might not like its taste, but it proves as an instant relief for productive cough. It also helps to break down mucus in your lungs.
10. Echinacea tea
The native Americans have been using the root of the echinacea plant as a herb for more than 400 years. Research has shown that the herb boosts your immunity by increasing the number of white blood cells in your body. It is known to improve your recovery time from an infection like the cold or flu. Echinacea has anti-viral properties that are effective in fighting against flu viruses. They are also known to reduce the inflammation in your tissues and help relieve your throat from the pain and itchiness. A review conducted by the NCBI suggests that taking echinacea might lower the risk of catching infections like the common cold by more than 50%.
You can easily prepare echinacea tea at home. Add ¼ cup of dried echinacea root to a kettle. Add 1 teaspoon of dried lemongrass and 1 teaspoon of dried mint to the kettle. Mix all the three herbs, and add 1 cup of boiling water to the kettle. Close the lid and let the tea steep for 15 minutes. Strain it in a cup and drink while it’s warm. If you don’t like the bland taste you can also add half a teaspoon of honey. Drinking echinacea tea twice a day would help you ease out the symptoms of the cold. However, it is not recommended to continue for more than a week.
11. Tulsi and Black pepper
Tulsi, also known as the Indian Basil is an effective herb that is used to treat respiratory infections. Its antibacterial nature helps purify your blood and fight viruses and bacteria causing the common cold or flu. This immunomodulatory herb boosts your immune system and improves the fighting ability of your body. Tulsi has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties that relieve and prevent the inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane. On the other hand, its anti-microbial properties expel the excessive sputum from your body and prevent the recurrence of the common cold symptoms. Additionally, black pepper also helps cure the cough and cold, due to its antimicrobial properties.
You can easily prepare tulsi and black pepper remedy at home. Add one cup of water to a pot and set it aside to boil. Now add 15 leaves of fresh tulsi (or a teaspoon of tulsi powder) and 5 peppercorns to the pot. Cover the lid and let the water boil. Once it has reduced to half, strain the water in a cup and drink it while it’s warm. Drinking tulsi and black pepper water at least once every day would help you fight the symptoms of a cold, and improve your recovery time.
12. Herbal tea
Herbal tea is one of the most effective home remedies for cold. Ginger is the main ingredient that helps boost your immune system, soothe throat pain, and improve your recovery time from cold or flu. Another ingredient of the herbal tea, cinnamon offer flu-fighting properties due to its anti-bacterial and anti-viral nature. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that relieve the inflammation in the tissues of your throat. Herbal tea also consists of licorice which is good for throat irritation and sore throat. It also helps manage excess production of mucus in the respiratory tract.
You can easily prepare herbal tea at home. Add 1 cup of water to a pot and set it aside to boil. Add 1 teaspoon of ginger, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1½ teaspoon of licorice to the pot. Mix the ingredients, and cover the lid. Let the mixture steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain the tea in a cup and drink while it’s still warm. Drinking herbal tea 2-3 times a day would help you get rid of the cold and cough while soothing the irritation in your throat.
13. Cumin and Ginger water
Cumin seeds have anti-bacterial properties help fight off the viruses and bacteria that cause infections like the flu or cold. It also boosts your immunity. Cumin has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the inflamed muscles of your throat and relieving you of the pain and itchiness in your throat. Additionally, ginger has anti-viral properties that are beneficial against respiratory viruses. Antioxidants present in ginger help protect your cells from damage caused by inflammation. The spicy flavor and warming effect of ginger, along with its medicinal properties can help ease a sore throat or infection.
You can easily prepare cumin and ginger water at home. Take ½ teaspoon of cumin, ½ teaspoon of black pepper, and a small piece of ginger. Crush the three herbs to make a coarse paste. Now add 1 cup of water to a pot and set it aside to boil. Add the coarse paste to the pot and stir the water. Cover the lid and let it steep for 20 minutes. Now strain the water in a cup and drink while it’s still warm. You can also add half a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to enhance its taste.
What not to do
Cold and cough can last for weeks and can get quite irritating after a while. Popping cold medicines for a long period can worsen your body’s immunity and might have some severe side effects. There are several home remedies for cold that would soothe your throat and help you get rid of the congestion. However, do remember to not mix up different remedies with each other.
When to see a doctor
If your cold is accompanied by other symptoms like high fever, chills, or difficulty in breathing you should immediately consult your doctor. You should also take your doctor’s advice if the flu symptoms last longer than 10 days with no sign of improvement.
Are you tired of constant coughing and chest congestion? Read our 10 most effective home remedies for cough.