It’s again winter, and, with the weather, comes the most common ailment of the season. Coughs and colds have started to attack people, and, though it’s not a serious disease at all, it may keep you down for some days for sure.
Many people would go first to the nearest clinics to get medicines for it. But we would suggest you look at how to cure cold and cough at home that have been used for generations in India. These herbs, in the form of home remedies, give you instant relief and help to cure coughs and colds as early as possible. All you need to do is believe and follow it religiously.
Understanding Cold and Cough
Cold and cough are two different ailments that are common when the temperature suddenly drops in the environment. As they are two different ailments, we better understand what they are and how they create problems for us.
‘Cold’ happens when our body comes in contact with a virus. There are hundreds of viruses that cause colds in adults and children. A healthy child gets affected by a cold six times per year. Sometimes a child can come into contact with another virus after getting treated for one. So it may look like the child will never get well.
Colds especially affect the throat, nose, and mouth. As children have ‘developing’ immune systems, they are the most easy targets for these viruses.
Coughing is a natural reflex of the human body to keep its airways clean. It happens when a cold attacks the airways of the body and causes a malfunction in them.
Cough has different types based on its sound, lasting period, and mucus.
A wet cough happens when you get mucus or phlegm on your throat walls. A dry cough happens when you cough but no mucus comes out of your mouth.
What are the primary causes of colds and coughs?
We have already discussed the very common viruses that cause colds and coughs. There are over 200 of them, but below we are discussing the very primary causes that create most of the cold and cough cases in the world. Check all of them, and don’t forget to read the home remedies to treat them.
Asthma is a common respiratory condition. It is caused by inflammation and narrowing of the airways in the body. People who are suffering from it go through coughing, wheezing, and breathlessness. It can also trigger allergies in your body that can provoke asthma symptoms, colds, and coughs.
Also Read: Lifestyle Habits to cure Asthma
Viruses can cause Cough
Colds and coughs are common ailments caused by viruses. The common flu or cold viruses are culprits. They infect your immune and respiratory systems and cause inflammation and irritation.
The inflammation uses the body’s reflex system to clear the airways. It is a defense mechanism of the human body against malfunction.
Smoking is one of the worst things you may ever inhale. It damages your respiratory system and compromises your ability to clear mucus. Altogether, it increases the risks of infections, irritation, and the immune system. Regular smoking is a major reason for persistent coughing and respiratory issues.
Urge to clear your throat
Many people have the urge to clear their throats all the time. This may cause post-nasal drip. This means mucus in your throat can drip down to the back of it. It causes irritation and a continuous need to clear it.
Over or Wrong Medications
Sometimes overuse of medication can give you the exact opposite side effects. Cough suppressants or antibiotics, when wrongly used or overused, can lead to ineffective treatment. They can cause you side effects or, worse, opposite effects.
Make sure you use medication as directed by healthcare professionals only.
Differentiating Between Cold and Cough
|Runny nose, mild fatigue, and mucus coughing.
|Persistent Cough with chest discomfort and throat irritation
|Fever comes only with infection
|Can stay up to 2–3 weeks.
|It depends on the severity
|It can cause a sore throat if there is an infection
|Asthmatic patients may feel some breathing difficulties.
|Smoking, infections, allergies, and environmental irritants
|Take a rest and stay hydrated.
|Cough drops, stay hydrated, and take the doctor’s appointment to get the underlying causes.
|Color of Discharge
|It depends on the underlying causes.
Natural Remedies to Cure Colds and Coughs
According to the 2020 studies, researchers found that consuming honey can treat coughing and upper respiratory system infections.
The researchers came to a point where they saw honey suppressing the cough and relieving the irritation. It also helped reduce the need for antibiotics.
Ayurveda always tells you to take honey for better immunity, a clear voice, and to treat any irritation and infection in the throat.
There are various ways to consume honey.
- Drink it directly with a spoon.
- Take it with any hot drink, like milk or herbal tea.
- Make kadha and mix honey in it to add taste.
Ancient healing methods around the world have used ginger for treating mucus and dry coughs. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve nausea, pain, and coughing.
Research in 2015 shows that 10 different natural products have used ginger as one of their ingredients. Traditional medicines have always included ginger and honey in drinks to make them more healthy.
While the research is still going on, we can still use our old treasure to cure colds and coughs at home. Here are the following ways to consume it:
- Add ginger to dishes.
- Make ginger tea and drink it every evening.
- Make a drink with black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and honey.
Note: In some cases, ginger may upset your stomach or cause heartburn.
Take Hot Water Steam
Taking a hot bath is a common home remedy to cure colds and coughs. However, there is not much evidence of its effectiveness. However, you can use it for instant relief.
A wet cough means you have mucus or phlegm in your throat. Steam showers and hot water steam can help you relieve the symptoms. Follow the below two ways to do it.
- Hot Shower:
- Take a hot shower and let the room be filled with steam.
- Stay in the steam for a few minutes until you feel some relief from your symptoms.
- Come out and drink a glass of water. This will help you cool down and hydrate.
- Large hot water bowl:
- Take a large bowl with hot water.
- Add some herbs to it.
- Take a towel off your head and lean over the bowl.
- Breathe for 10–15 minutes in that steam.
- Do it twice a day.
Try Saltwater gargle
Saltwater gargling is a traditional way to deal with sore throats and common cold symptoms. It helps you lose your cough mucus. It also gives you relief from some throat irritation and pain.
Note: It will not be helpful in treating any kind of infection.
It’s easy and offers no side effects on your health. So it’s better to start it on day 1. Here is how to do it:
- Take 1/2 teaspoon of salt and mix it with warm water.
- Shake the mixture until all the salt is dissolved.
- Start gargling and let all the salt settle on the back of the throat before spitting it out.
- Don’t drink it.
- Do it twice or three times a day until the cough is relieved.
Note: Patients with high blood pressure should not do this.
Probiotics help to improve your immune system by balancing the good bacteria in the gut. Though it doesn’t naturally cure colds and coughs, the improved immunity can itself fight against infections causing coughing.
Lactobacillus bacteria offer a modest benefit in helping relieve the common cold and cough. A study in 2016 shows that probiotics help reduce the number of times children get a cold or cough in a year. The best sources of probiotics are natural foods. Otherwise, you can also take it with health supplements. Here are some of the natural sources of probiotics:
- Miso Soup.
- Natural Yogurt.
However, you should take probiotics as supplements to maintain the doses and the intake quantity.
Sip warm liquids
Drinking warm liquids helps you cure colds and coughs and relieves the symptoms instantly. It helps with coughing, runny nose, continuous sneezing, sore throat, chills, and fatigue. Some hot drinks may provide relief from weakness and energize your body. The benefits stay for a long period and, most importantly, show immediate benefits.
You can drink the beverages below easily.
- Herbal tea.
- Ginger and honey drink
- Black tea
- Warm water
- Warm fruit juices.
- Warm coffee and ginger tea.
Right Time to Consult with a Doctor
Cold and cough are common ailments and you may not need to take a doctor’s appointment. However, be prepared for the worst-case scenarios.
Make an appointment with a doctor to cure cold and cough as soon as possible.
- You see foul-smelling green mucus.
- Having Chills
- Feel Dehydration
- Have a fever over 102°F.
- Feel weakness
- Suffering from a stubborn cough.
In this article, we have explained how to cure colds and coughs at home. All these home remedies are traditional. The books of Ayurveda suggest these remedies for instant benefit.
Here is one suggestion. Don’t go for all remedies at once. Start one by one. See what helps you and what does not. Also, be aware of any potential dangers you may face while using the natural remedies.