Feb 18th 2012

13 Indian home remedies that fight the cold

If you are wondering what prompted this post then there are no points for guessing. The daughter and I are both down with a bad bout of cold, cough & fever and I just feel so blessed to be in India, a land of home remedies. If you think that home remedies don’t work or they are slow, I will not differ with you but I feel when done in conjunction with the medicines they only help you recover faster.

1. Turmeric & Honey: The kids love honey and it actually has healing and soothing properties so mix it with a pinch of turmeric powder which also has antispetic properties and can fight the infection in the throat well. Ask your kids to eat small doses of this with a  spoon.

2. Tulsi & Ginger with Honey: While Tulsi is not exactly basil and I am not sure if you get Tulsi as easily in any other country but India but its got excellent medicinal properties. Wiki calls it the Holy Basil. Again very good for fighting infections. Mix it in a grinder with some ginger and serve the paste with honey. Go easy on the ginger as it can be spicy for the children. The daughter didn’t take too well to this one so I added like 3 drops of the paste and 3/4 of honey on top. She couldn’t see the green paste.

3. Ajwain(Carom Seeds/Thymol seeds/Thyme leaves): If you can try and get your kids use to the taste of this one then there is nothing that has better medicinal properties than these tiny seeds.

Here are a few of them

  • Beneficial for a sore throat.
  • Provides relief from bronchitis as well as asthma.
  • Helps get rid of indigestion.
  • Enhances appetite.
  • One can massage one’s legs as well as knees with ajwain oil.
  • Manage vomiting.
  • Useful as a laxative.
  • Useful for abdominal pain.

Here is what you can do with it:

  • Add it to pan of boiling water and place a siever on top of the pan. Place a napkin on top of the siever and try placing the hot towel on the chest. Please check for the right temperature for your kids. The steam helps open up the congestion. Alternate between 2 napkins and this one is sure to get you some relief. Please make sure the room is well insulated and all windows, doors are shut and fans turned off.
  • Ajwain in her milk or wheat & jaggery drink.
  • Put ajwain in a small napkin and warm that over a pan. Place that on the childs chest to relive congestion. Please Please check for the right temperature before placing the napkin on the childs chest

4. Garlic, Onion & ajwain paste: Make a paste out of Garlic, Ajwain & Onion and warm it on the gas when it is lukewarm apply it on the chest, back & forehead & rest. If your kids dont let you do it while they are awake do it while they are asleep

5. Turmeric & salt warm water gargle: This one is easy and as Indians we must get our kids to like this one spice which is so therapeutic. And this one literally is. Do the warm water gargle and if the kids havent mastered the art to do it yet then just help them drink it.

6. Vicks Vaporub: This is what we grew up with and I must confess I still trust them. There is something about that smell that makes you feel like moms around and opens up that congestion instantly. Apply Vicks on the sole of the feet and rub it to get the heat out. Then quickly make your child wear socks. Apply generously on its own or with warm oil on the back, chest and forehead

7. Steam: This one is universal but the trick is to get your kids to do it. Our first encounter was fairly simple we were playing a game where we had to hide under a tent or in our secret house and someone had to find us. Even those 3 minutes that she sat in to take the steam covered with a blanket were good enough to open the congestion and the nose to get runny instead of being stuffy.

8. Drink hot liquids: Hot liquids relieve nasal congestion, prevent dehydration, and soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat. If you’re so congested you can’t sleep at night, try a hot beverage, an age-old remedy. Make a cup of hot herbal tea. Add one teaspoon of honey and one small shot (about 1 ounce) of whiskey or bourbon if you wish. Limit yourself to one. Too much alcohol inflames those membranes and is counterproductive.

9. Take a steamy shower: Steamy showers moisturize your nasal passages and relax you. If you’re dizzy from the flu, run a steamy shower while you sit on a chair nearby and take a sponge bath.

10. Use an extra Pillow: Sleep with an extra pillow under your head. This will help relieve congested nasal passages. If the angle is too awkward, try placing the pillows between the mattress and the box springs to create a more gradual slope.

11. Blow it away: Blow your nose often, but do it the proper way. It’s important to blow your nose regularly when you have a cold rather than sniffling mucus back into your head. But when you blow hard, pressure can carry germ-carrying phlegm back into your ear passages, causing earache. The best way to blow your nose is to press a finger over one nostril while you blow gently to clear the other.

12. Ginger Water: Coarsely pound ginger is boiled in a cup of water till the water reduces to half the original volume, add some honey and drink hot at bedtime.

 Stay warm and rested: Staying warm and resting when you first come down with a cold or the flu helps your body direct its energy toward the immune battle. This battle taxes the body. So give it a little help by lying down under a blanket to stay warm if necessary.

I hope you find this post useful just as much as I did and trust me like I said in all cases it may not work in isolation but it sure does help when you combine it with all your cough syrups and more.

Note: Kids Stop Press does not take responsibility for any accidents, mishaps and none of the remedies should be practiced without adult supervision. All temperatures must be checked before application. Plesae check for allergies if any

13 Comments on “13 Indian home remedies that fight the cold”

  1. Hi,
    Great tips. Just wanted to add on the steam part. I happened to buy a humidifier of CHICCO brand. Although its meant to be a room humidifier, I use it to give my daughter steam with it under a blanket. It works great for us because the steam that it puffs out is very mild and doesn’t give that burning sensation and no worries of spills or burns since it has a wide square shaped base.


    • Thank you Parika,

      We will try the humidifier and recommend it to our parents too. Do keep visiting Kids Stop Press

      Happy Parenting!
      Mansi Zaveri

  2. good post. very useful. just a causion….vicks is not an good option if ur kid is suffering from broncitis/astama. for such kids, anything which smells too much is not good.

  3. fanastic blog and amazing tips. We live in Kenya (east Africa) and my daughter has been getting sick quite a bit of late with a cold and soar throat especially since she started school. I hate giving her conventional meds so will definitely try the herbal remedies. She has a very poor appetite. I didnt know Ajwain increases appetite! Am going to try it to today!

  4. Namaste!
    How often to you give the honey and turmeric mixture? I just gave the first dose to my daughters.

  5. Hello , this is indeed helpful…but i have cold since last 2 months…i regularly take steam , gargle, cover my face and i have also taken medicines but these all did not work..even i have headache problem..i am just tired of this all…please help me if you can !

  6. meri baby ko summer mai b cough or flu rahta hai mujhe kuch samaj mai nahi ataa mai kiya karon plz koi tips batai ,

  7. i have started giving my kid(3.3yrs) Honey and turmeric but was wondering how many times should i give it in a day.

    • Dear Priya,

      Thanks for writing into Kidsstoppress! Home solutions work really well for cough and cold but always test if it suits your children, You can give it upto 3 – 4 times in a day.

      Spread the word and get your friends too to like us on Facebook here


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