Desi Home Remedies for Colds

Thursday, October 23, 2008
Cold season is upon us, and with the new restrictions on giving children under six cold medicines, it’s going to be an even tougher one for devis with babies.

Fortunately, this is one of those areas where our heritage proves to be an asset. Indian home remedies, using all-natural ingredients, seem to exist for every ailment under the sun. Below are some simple ones I’ve tried that have worked. They’re not always the best-tasting, or best-smelling for that matter, but at least they’ll provide some relief for your little one (and for yourself). I've added honey to some of them to make them more palatable for children.

Also, don’t forget the tried-and-true-but-often-forgotten ways to give children with a cold better sleep:
-warm chicken or vegetable noodle soup before they sleep
-humidifier or vaporizer in their room at night
-a small amount of Vicks rubbed on their chest or blanket

Ginger tea: Shred an inch-long piece of ginger. Add the shredded ginger to a small pot. Add a tablespoon of lemon, honey to taste and 2 cups of water. Boil. Great for chest congestion and coughs.

Ginger juice: I wouldn’t have believed this unless I saw it work myself. It provides instant relief for chest congestion in children. First thing in the morning, before your child has had any food or water, shred a small piece of ginger. Squeeze it through a strainer so you get a small amount of ginger juice. Only a teaspoonful is needed. Put the juice in a dropper or oral syringe. Now for the tricky part: have your child swallow the juice. This is best achieved by putting the dropper fairly deep into their mouths. They will scream, cry and possible curse you, but shortly after that they will either cough or vomit up insane amounts of phlegm, and 2 minutes later they’ll be in the best mood ever. This is the best remedy for chest congestion I’ve seen.

Turmeric milk drink: Heat 1/2 cup of milk. Add ½ teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon melted butter or ghee, and a few sprinkles of salt. Stir and drink. Works wonders for sore throats and coughs.

Nasal drops: For excessive nasal congestion. Add 1/4 teaspoon of table salt to about 1 teaspoon of lukewarm water. Using a nasal syringe or dropper, put 1 to 2 drops in each nostril about 3 to 4 times daily. The salt loosens up the mucus inside, making it easier to breathe through the nose.

Tamarind-pepper rasam: Add 1/2 teaspoon of tamarind paste to 1/2 cup of hot water. Add 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of melted butter or ghee. Add honey to taste and drink. This will clear up nasal and chest congestion.

Got any of your own cold remedies to share, devis?
Anonymous said...

as a child i remember my mother making me drink karela juice to induce vomiting when i was ill. it's the nastiest thing i've ever had and worked like a miracle every time.

deepa said...

Lots of wine always works for me...! Kidding. I have become a convert to the ginger concoctions. And Monica is NOT kidding--you will not BELIEVE the amount your precious little angel will cough up after drinking one (causing you to wonder of course: where does all that gunk come from?? GROSS.)

Veena said...

Haldi remedy = disgusting. I drank so much of this when I was little. Don't do it to your kids.

Buster said...

Heat up one heaping tablespoon of honey in a small pan. Add one teaspoon of hing. Put on spoon and allow to cool (an important step my mother once skipped--though it's true that a burned mouth distracts a child from his/her cold). Force child to swallow this. Wash out hing flavor with ginger tea.

aisha said...

have the haldi drink, but with honey.. yum!

Meena said...

I just tried the turmeric milk drink and it's awesome. It leaves this coating on your throat that makes it feel much better. I put a little more water than the suggestion because I couldn't handle it so strong. Good stuff!

Desidoctor said...

nice blog

Anonymous said...

all of this is good advice, only if my 3 year old takes it so easily though...... she is a fighter with everything :(

Anonymous said...

i really like the lemon juice and honey remedy for chest congestion, hope it works for my little darling.

Viagra Online said...

I live in an area so cold my children all time get sick but I can recommend you Ginger tea that's the best way to combat that, now my children are healthy besides they can enjoy freely with their friends. Cheap Viagra Viagra Online

Home Remedies for Dark circles said...

Take the juice of a lemon and squeeze a few tablespoons into a cup. Add a tablespoon of raw, pure honey. Then cover with boiling water. Stir it and then sip it. There is a cure in honey and lemon is a cleanser and a purifier. This mixture is great for sore throats, colds, or just as a general pick me up. Enjoy!

Common Cold Remedies said...

Going to the doctor isn’t anybody’s idea of enjoyment. There are typically long waits involved both in the waiting room then once again in the exam room. Nobody wishes to deal with costly co-pays or a physician who cant recall your name without looking at your chart.

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