Quick Fixes for the Common Cold
Got the sniffles? Try these home remedies for an all-natural cure
Many plant-based remedies help alleviate cold symptoms. Ginger contains gingerol—an anti-inflammatory and antiviral. It boosts immunity and gives instant relief from cough and sore throat. For best results, try two teaspoons of ginger juice with one teaspoon of honey.
Indian gooseberry (amla), one of the richest sources of vitamin C, is a potent antioxidant and inflammation cure. Its polyphenols assist in recovery from cold symptoms and fight asthma-related issues as well. Have it raw or as freshly prepared juice (30 ml) mixed with a glass of coconut water, which takes the sourness away and won’t etch the throat.
Teas and infusions
Apart from regular black or green tea, make your own soothing infusion by adding 8 to 10 black peppercorns—a mild antibiotic that stimulates mucus flow and works wonders for wet cough—to boiling water. Let it steep for two to three minutes and consume warm with a teaspoon of honey.
Holy basil (tulsi) is another option. Naturally antibacterial, tulsi helps in purifying your blood and fighting infections—a must-have to fight flu, colds and pollution-related respiratory disorders. Never chew the leaves as they contain high levels of mercury, which can cause teeth discoloration. Instead take five to six leaves and boil in water to make a tea for relief.
An inch of liquorice (mulethi)—a powerful antimicrobial—boiled in a cup of water can ease congestion and relieve a dry, itchy throat.
Warm water in different forms does wonders for most cold-related issues. Gargle with lukewarm water, with some salt to relieve a sore throat. Add a few drops of peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils to boiling water and inhale the steam to clear out a blocked nose and sinuses.
Lovneet Batra is a clinical nutritionist and natural remedies expert. She is based in New Delhi.