Plagued by the age old problem of cough and cold this season? Try these home remedies and manage your malady with easily available resources.

It is that time of the year when, the patter of the raindrops against the windows no longer feels that blissful. The humidity is at an all time high, the weather is whimsical and allergies seem to reign in with a vengeance. At such a time it is crucial to be ready with enough prescriptions to beat back the ailments with simple remedies.

Luckily in India most families have their own bunch of home remedies, which are still passed on from generation to generation. These are timeless treatments which utilise natural items for curing small, recurring ailments and have minimal or no side effects. Here are some tried and tested solutions for a running nose and blocked throat.

One can easily find all the required items in his/her kitchen or garden. And if those two places disappoint, then you can always get these things at the local grocery store.


– Hot water is your best friend in such a situation. Simply drinking hot or lukewarm water will help sooth your clogged throat and keep you hydrated.

– Wrap a towel over your head and carefully take steam from a container of boiling water. A hot water shower can also work wonders as inhaling steam will help clear out your nasal passages.

– Dissolve a tea spoon of salt in hot water. After checking if the temperature is tolerable, use the water for gargling at night. This will not only help with cough but also sooth your sinuses.

Note: These actions will create heat to tackle the illness, thus wait for at least 20 minutes and let your body adjust to normal temperature before sitting in an air conditioned room.

Herbal tea

There are so many varieties of herbal teas that one can experiment endlessly. When made with ingredients like ginger, lemon or tulsi (holy basil), tea can be extremely effective in curing cough and common cold.

– Lemon has vitamin C which helps reduce congestion and decrease the flu virus. To prepare lemon tea, just squeeze a lemon in the boiling water after adding tea leaves, use honey according to taste instead of sugar if possible, as it helps in soothing a sore throat, and serve hot.

– Since ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, which also helps in boosting the immune system, it can be the perfect ingredient for your tea. Drinking ginger tea will help you sweat out toxins and relieve the pain. Mixed with tulsi, which contains anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory components, the tea will prove to be even more effective. Simply add thoroughly washed tulsi leaves to boiling water along with tea leaves and ginger and let it simmer. Filter the concoction and serve hot.

Turmeric Milk

Turmeric has been one of the key ingredients used by Ayurveda to create medicines. Its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties make it exceptionally effective for nursing ailments like cold and cough swiftly. It can also stimulate the immune system and treat major problems like diabetes and high cholesterol.

– Add a teaspoon spoon of turmeric powder to a glass of lukewarm milk and sweeten it with honey according to taste. Drink this blend two times a day to see the result.

Mustard Oil

This oil can be beneficial in curing cold and clogged or sore throat due to its warming properties. When applied to the body, it helps in generating heat within, which in turn can reduce the symptoms of the flu. Also, mustard oil is super effective in boosting the immune system.


– Heat some mustard oil with ginger pieces (optional) on low flame. Use this warmed blend to massage your chest, palms, soles of your feet and neck region at night. Wrap yourself in a light blanket to retain the heat and allow it to seep into the bones. Do not sit in cool temperature after the massage.

-Applying some oil to the inside of your nasal passage will not only prevent harmful bacteria from entering your system, but also clear up the nasal cavity.


These are household concoctions prepared by blending natural medicinal plants and herbs in order to treat minor ailments. While there are multiple recipes for preparing these potions around different cultures, one of the popular one involves tulsi, black pepper, dry ginger powder and carom seeds. The carom seeds or ajwain, have antiseptic and germicide components, and black pepper helps in circulation and mucus flow.

– To prepare, boil one glass of water and add around 11 washed tulsi leaves, 2 black pepper, a pinch of salt, and 5 grams of ginger powder and carom seeds each. Let the mixture simmer till it gets reduced to around half a glass, and serve hot.

Note: If you are allergic to any of these components, skip that item while making the mixture.

Apart from all these tips, don’t forget to take proper measures to avoid being infected by bacteria and viruses, this rainy season. Wash your hands properly after coming back home and before eating. Also, steal 15 minutes from your busy schedules and involve yourself in any sort of physical activity. This will not only help you stay in shape but will also keep the body’s energy level high and the chances of getting ill, low.

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