Cough and Cold Remedies

Cough and cold, though not serious in all cases, do disrupt our lives. While in some cases, it may be necessary to take some cough suppressing medicines but often, simple substances in your kitchen along with OTC medication can help you find an almost instant relief from cough.

1. Gargles
As soon as you feel soreness in your throat, make it a point to gargle with salt dissolved in warm water. The salt in the water can help drain excess fluid from inflamed areas in the throat reducing the symptoms. According to the Mayo clinic book of home remedies, the gargling also removes irritants in the throat and thins the mucus.

2. Drink Warm Liquids
Green Tea - A cough is best not neglected because it can lead to certain complications at times. Drinking warm water is a good way of soothing the inflammation in the throat*; but this does not have any taste and may be unappetizing for most people. A warm soup is a much better solution as is a glass of hot herbal tea.

3. Throat Lozenges
Throat Lozenges - A study conducted at Wayne State University, in Detroit, showed that patients who took zinc lozenges every two to three waking hours cut the duration of a cold by almost half. The irritation caused by constant coughing can also be overcome by using throat lozenges. They are also known to prevent the progression of a sore throat to a cough. While some lozenges are medicated and contain ingredients such as dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant) or benzocaine (an anesthetic), others contain natural soothing ingredients such as honey, menthol, peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil. In many homes, it is also quite common to make small children suck on the red-colored variety of rock candy (Mishri in Hindi) to stop cough.

4. Use Vaporubs
According to a study at the Penn State College of Medicine, children above 2 years of age had symptomatic relief and could sleep better after applying vaporubs.
While the exact reason how vaporubs work remains a mystery, the ingredients such as menthol, camphor and eucalyptus may have a role in relieving congestion.

5. Sleep With the Head Elevated
In some persons, a productive cough results when mucus drips from the back of the nose into the throat. This tends to grow worse at night when the body posture is conducive for such dripping. Sleeping with the head at a higher position helps to reduce such drainage and many people find this position helps reduce coughing at night and improves sleep.

6. Turmeric Remedies
Turmeric - A traditional remedy that most people swear by is the use of hot milk with turmeric. According to a study**, it is shown to even have antibacterial properties.
Heat a glass of milk, mix in half a teaspoon of turmeric powder and drink warm to find relief from cough. A turmeric gargle also gives good results. To one cup of hot water, add in half a teaspoon of turmeric powder and half a teaspoon table salt. Use this liquid as a throat gargle and you are sure to experience relief from cough.
For a dry cough, turmeric powder mixed with a teaspoon of honey taken three to four times a day is effective. You could also try preparing turmeric tea by adding one tablespoon of turmeric powder into 4 cups of boiling water. Keep for a few minutes, strain and mix in some lemon and honey to the liquid and drink.
7. Honey Remedies
Honey and Ginger Remedies Since ages, honey has been known to soothe the irritated throat linings and reduce cough
. A study conducted at the Penn State School of Medicine on children above the age of 2 years showed that honey helped them cough less and sleep better.
There are different ways of using honey besides the one mentioned in combination with turmeric. A dry cough responds to a mixture of honey with juice from grapes. A glass of hot milk with some honey added just before going to bed is effective at relieving night time cough. Mix in honey and lemon juice to a glass of warm water and drink this three times per day for relief from cough.
If you have a particularly nasty cough, try this remedy. Take about 3 tablespoons of Get rid of a sore throat with natural honey

8. Ginger Remedies
Ginger has a number of amazing benefits, it is also great to treat a cough. For a dry cough, one of the easiest ways of finding relief is to cut a piece of fresh ginger, sprinkle some salt on it and chew on it for a few minutes. However, not everyone likes the strongly aromatic taste of ginger and in such cases, a tea made with ginger is equally good. Chop ginger into fine pieces, add into a vessel containing one cup of water. Keep boiling the liquid till the volume reduces to half the original quantity. Strain the liquid, add one teaspoon of honey and drink when warm to give a soothing effect against cough. How does it work? Dr Eccles, Director of Common Cold Centre at the Cardiff University, told that ginger seems to work by ‘promoting salivation and mucus secretion and will help relieve cough symptoms’.
Ginger in combination with tulsi is also an effective remedy for cough. Crush about 10 leaves of tulsi, mix with juice extracted from a small ginger piece. Add in an equal quantity of honey and mix; swallow about a single teaspoon of this about thrice a day to get relief from cough. Read more about the medicinal properties of tulsi or holy basil.
People who don’t mind the strong spicy flavour of pepper can also add in some black pepper powder and turmeric into a mixture of ginger juice with honey. When this paste is slowly licked for 10 to 15 minutes thrice a day, it helps reduce congestion in the throat and reduces cough. A simple ginger tea is easy to prepare by boiling ginger with water; then add tea leaves or tea powder, drop in some tulsi leaves and pepper powder, strain and drink for relief from cough.

9. Garlic Remedies
Garlic is an effective antimicrobial and expectorant and this makes it a valuable agent to fight cough. The University of Maryland Medical Center cites one study that suggested that garlic might help prevent colds and lessen their symptoms. People who took a garlic supplement for 12 weeks caught 63 percent fewer colds than people who took a placebo.
Lightly crush about 5 cloves of peeled garlic and sauté in a teaspoon of ghee; consume when still warm for relief from cough and cold. Include crushed garlic sautéed in ghee in other dishes where possible. Do this with rasam and you have a medicinal soup that soothes your throat and also helps liquefy the thick mucus, making it easier to cough out the phlegm. Read more about A clove of garlic a day keeps the doctor at bay

10. Jaggery Remedies to Get Rid of Sputum
Sputum buildup can lead to a feeling of congestion in the chest and the entire respiratory tract; expelling this sputum therefore provides relief from cough and congestion. Dr. Soumya Bhat, Ayurvedic doctor, recommends the following remedies for such relief. Make a decoction by boiling a few corns of pepper with water for about 20 minutes; mix in a little cumin and jaggery and drink. Cut a quarter part of an onion, keep a small bit of jaggery in the middle of it and chew on this for expelling sputum.

11. Over the Counter Medications
Relief from cough is even faster if you use over the counter (OTC) cough medications along with home remedies. Besides medicated lozenges, you could also try cough suppressants that contain ingredients like dextromethorphan. These are particularly useful if you have a hacking or dry cough. If you have productive cough, an OTC product with ingredients that have expectorant properties can help to clear out the mucus in the airways. Often, OTC products of both types – suppressants as well as expectorants – contain an antihistamine and this can help you sleep better at night.

Coughs are of different types, so are their solutions. Using home remedies or OTC products can help provide relief from cough. However, it is equally important to remember that if you find the cough persisting for an extended period of time, it is best to see a doctor to identify if there is any underlying serious problem that is causing the cough. more  

View all 11 comments Below 11 comments
I go with Anush ji for all other points except allopathic drugs for cough and cold! It is said, cold will last for one week if you take medicine and will go away in seven days if you don't take medicine !
One very good often tried formula for getting rid of phlem is to take half a spoon full of powder of white Harad either with honey or make pill mixing the powder with gur and taking with hot water. This will not only release the phlem from the respiratory track very fast but will also help in constipation. For very young toddlers, rub the husk of safed harad on a stone to a paste, add that to half/one spoon of honey and give to the child. The child will have a good motion through which all the phlem from the respiratory track will be thrown out. This has been tried several times in my house with many kids.
Any day for cough and cold, daadi ma ke nukes are the best and safe! more  
A wonderful ayurvedic medicine for all the cough, cold, chest and throat related problems. "Madhuvaani" available at all major chemists shop. Try it. more  
Aayurvedic medicine lakshmi vilas rus is good for cold. more  
Handy information pl. more  
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