After long months of scorching heat, finally monsoon is here and it is time to enjoy and splash some water. Although most of us are concerned about how to maintain our hair and skin during monsoon, rains work as the breeding ground for various kinds of viruses and bacteria that increases the occurrences of influenza, flu, colds and fever and taking over the counter pills and antibiotics is not always the best option as antibiotics often do more harm than good. Therefore, it is best to stick to age old grandmother’s home remedies that actually help in curing the diseases without taking a heavy toll on the body.
Common cold, flu and seasonal fever are all caused by viruses. In most cases, the common cold and flu is caused by rhinoviruses. It is highly contagious and can infect people through direct or indirect contact and the symptoms include runny nose, sore throat, body ache, low fever, watery eyes and sneezing. Infants and children are more susceptible to these viruses because of their immature immune system that is not capable of fighting the viruses
Most of the ingredients used in the natural remedies are easily available in the pantry or the kitchen and can be used effectively to treat colds and fever, and the best thing is unlike mainstream prescription medicines these remedies don’t have any harmful side effects.
When it comes to fighting cold and fevers the natural way, there is probably no better medicine than garlic. Well known for its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-protozoal properties, it helps in relieving stubborn coughs and clearing mucus that blocks the lungs. The anti-viral and anti-bacterial property of garlic is attributed to the compound “Allicin” found in it that also provides the hot and strong flavor. The best way to use garlic for treating colds is to crush 5-6 cloves and consume it raw. But it can also be consumed mixed with a cup of yogurt. In addition to all this, garlic also helps in lowering high blood pressure, cholesterol and reducing the chances of heart attack and stroke.
Ginger is one of the key medicines of Ayurveidic treatment and it has been used for centuries to treat various kinds of aliments. It helps in treating infections of the respiratory tract, persistent cough and bronchitis. The compound “Ajoene” present in garlic helps in controlling infections by bacteria, viruses and microbes. In addition, it also works as a natural preventive measure for cancer, more specifically colon cancer. It is also used for treating muscle cramps and muscle pain. Prepare delicious ginger tea by boiling water in a pan, grate one inch of fresh ginger and add it to the water along with 2 table spoon and lemon juice and one table spoon of honey and enjoy this soothing drink while relaxing in your bed.
Cinnamon is a highly flavorful spice that is widely used in Asian and Mediterranean cooking and was considered of great value in Ancient Egypt. The anti-bacterial and natural warming property of cinnamon helps in treating sore throat, colds and cough and a nice warm cup of cinnamon tea can heal throat irritation, itching and can prevent the approach of an impending cold effectively. It also acts as a natural cure for bloating and gas, arthritis and reduces the symptoms of PMS. The best way to use cinnamon for treating cold and sore throat is to mix one table spoon of honey with 1/2 table spoon of freshly ground cinnamon and take it 2-3 times a day for 3 days.
Honey is the greatest gift of Mother Nature that has been used by humans since the beginning of civilization and ancient Egyptians used it as an important anti-bacterial agent for treating wounds and cuts. The antioxidants and anti-microbal properties of honey helps in soothing cough and it helps in treating nigh time cough in infants and promotes undisturbed sleep. However, it is not recommended for children below 1 year due to the risk of botulism. Honey also helps in reducing sensitivity of the throat by coating it. In addition, it also provides naturally glowing skin and hair. The best way to use it for relieving cough is to mix 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 table spoon of lemon juice in a cup of warm water and sip it slowly.
Red hot cayenne pepper salsa are not only the perfect dip of chips and crackers it is also a great way of clearing nasal congestion and respiratory passages, sinuses and stimulating sweating to lower high body temperatures and fever. The source of this fiery heat lies in the compound “Capsaicin” found in majority of peppers. In addition, it is also an effective ingredient for natural weight loss, helps in lowering high blood pressure and reducing cholesterol in blood. The best way to use cayenne pepper for treating colds and fever is to mix it in tea with a table spoon of honey. Pour boiling water in a cup and dip a tea bag into it, mix a table spoon of honey and 1/2 tea spoon of dry cayenne pepper powder and sip slowly.
Vitamin C is a universally accepted remedy for common colds and the best natural source of vitamin C is citrus fruits like oranges and lemons that are loaded with this health benefiting nutrient that improves the body’s natural defense mechanism and fight virus and bacteria. Lemon helps in thinning mucus, reducing phlegm and clearing the chocked respiratory system. Enjoy a glass of fresh homemade orange juice or a nice warm drink prepared by mixing 2 table spoon of lemon juice and 1 table spoon of honey in a glass of warm water. In addition, lemon also helps in improving digestion and acts as an effective natural remedy for removing sun tan.
Health benefits of green tea are innumerable and there is absolutely nothing like relaxing with a cup of tea when suffering from cold, sore throat and runny nose. Herbal teas like chamomile or ginger tea and green tea have a special anti-oxidant known as EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) that prevents the bacteria and viruses form replicating. The polyphenols and flavonoids present in green tea helps in increasing the resistance power of the body by strengthening the immune system that helps in fighting infectious agents. The best way to reap maximum benefits from green tea is to pour boiling water into a cup and dip a bag of green tea into it and let it soak for 10 minutes, enjoy with a tea spoon of honey.
Holy Basil or “Tulsi” is of great religious significance to the Hindus and has been used for ages as a medicine for relieving stress and anxiety in Ayurveda. The leaves of basil have powerful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties that work effectively for the treatment of fever, flu, swine flu, bronchitis, malaria, headache and sore throat. The herbs help in clearing phlegm and unclogging the respiratory system. It also works as an effective natural remedy for arthritis. The best way to sue holy basil for colds is to wash and boil 8-10 leaves with tea and sip it slowly.
The leaves or Night Jasmine or “Shiuli” are works as an effective natural remedy for colds, sore throat and chronic cough. The compounds Mannitol, Oleanolic acid and Tannic acid found in the leaves have powerful anti-viral properties that helps in fighting disease causing viruses and bacteria and treat bronchitis, sore throat and fever blisters. It also acts as a powerful natural remedy for hair growth and treatment for dengue, rheumatism and skin infections. The best way to use night jasmine leaves for treating colds is to crush 5-8 leaves, extract the juice and consume it mixed with a tea spoon of honey.
The powerful anti-viral property of apples makes it a power fruit that can really work in keeping cold and flu viruses at bay. Apple juice or apple cider vinegar also helps in fighting bacteria and relieving colds. The body becomes more susceptible to viruses and bacteria when it is in an overly acidic state, but the alkalizing property of apple cider vinegar balanced the pH of the body and fights the irritating symptoms of colds. Mix 2 table spoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 table spoon of honey and 1 table spoon of lemon juice in a glass of warm and say good bye to colds. Apple cider vinegar also helps in protecting the heart and lowers blood sugar levels.
Raisins are yummy and healthy snacks indeed but it can also be used to effectively treat colds and fevers. The phytonutrients present raisins have powerful antibiotic and antioxidant properties that help in treating viral fevers, soothing cough and sore throat. Raisins also helps in relieving constipation, improve bone and oral health and is an effective natural remedy for weight gain in a healthy way. The best way to use raisins for colds is to grind up a handful of raisins, add 2 tea spoons of sugar and water to it and heat the mixture till it forms a thick paste, consume 1 table spoon of this paste before going to bed.
Turmeric is well known for its antiseptic quality and is used widely to treat cuts and injuries. The compound “Curcumin” present in turmeric works as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that that unblocks chest congestion and soothes cough. It also works as an effective anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent that fights viral infections, cough and cold. The best way to use turmeric for treating cold is to consume 2 tea spoons of turmeric powder mixed with a glass of warm water.
Try out these simple and easy home remedies for treating colds and fever that comes straight form Grandmother’s remedy book and don’t forget to share your special natural cold remedies with us.
Deblina Biswas has an M.Sc degree in Nutrition from the University of Osmania and has tons of experience in Fitness and Nutrition. She loves everything about food and fitness and the fact that she has been able to follow her heart when it comes to her profession. When she is not working, she likes to rustle up delectable concoctions in the kitchen, of course keeping the health quotient intact. She says, everyone just loves her healthy biryani she makes for special occasions. She believes that most ailments can be cured with the right amalgamation of nutrition and fitness.