9 Top Home Remedies For Common Cold


The common cold, also known as acute coryza, is an inflammation of upper respiratory tract. It is caused by infection with virus. It occurs in children more often than all other diseases. A cold usually lasts from three to seven days. The patient feels miserable for the first three days or so.

Children are especially susceptible to this disease when they start attending playgroup or school and mix with large numbers of people in confined spaces. On an average, each child develops 9 colds per year and adults, 7 colds per year. This is an essential part of growing-up. The child gains immunity to the common bacteria and viruses only by meeting, and overcoming these infections. Because of the great number of viruses that can cause a cold, the body never builds up resistance against all of them. For this reason, colds are a frequent and recurring problem.

 Common Cold Symptoms

The first sign of a cold are a feeling of soreness of the throat and congestion of the nasal passage. Although the disease normally begins in the nose and throat, it affects all parts of the body. The usual symptoms of common cold are :-

  • nasal stuffiness.
  • sneezing.
  • a rise in temperature.
  • headache.
  • sore throat and cough.
  • aches and pains in the body and loss of appetite.
  • The skin around the nostrils may become sore.

Many people with a cold feel tired and achy. These symptoms typically last from 3-10 days.

In very young babies, if there is pronounced nasal congestion, the infant may experience difficulty in breathing. Breast-fed babies have diffIculty in feeding due to the blockade and this may lead to vomiting. In older children, there may be recurrent case of cold, which usually sets in after six months of age and the child experiences feverish condition together with bouts of cold.

Allergic rhinitis, which usually sets in after the age of two or three years, denotes a sufficient period of exposure to allergens, In this case, the child has frequent bouts of sneezing and a profuse discharge of a rather clear fluid from the nose. Allergic rhinitis can again be of perennial or seasonal type. The former occurs to a slight degree throughout the year in the child. It gets severe in the winter and arises on exposure to dust. Seasonal allergic rhinitis is rampant only in certain adverse conditions of climate, like winters of extreme cold or seasons when there is a surfeit of pollen and floral odour in the child’s environment.

Common Cold Causes

Viral or bacterial infections no doubt make way for onsets of common cold. But conditions like constipation and the resultant putrefaction together with the accumulating toxins provide the germs a suitable atmosphere for their existence and growth. Cold in children in reality is therefore, nature’s simplest form of eliminating waste matter from the system.The viral infection occurs in the upper respiratory tract-the nose, throat and lungs. Over one hundred viral strains cause cold and flu symptoms, and several strains circulate at any one time during a cold season. A virus is a disease-producing agent so small that it goes right through very fine filters that stop bacteria. One of the problems is that colds can be caused by so many different viruses. Protection against one gives no protection against the others. And the protection, like the immunity you develop from a cold itself, may last only a month or so. Meanwhile, you are still subject to other cold viruses people may spread.

Treatment for common cold

No drug has so far been invented to cure cold. Doctors may prescribe the drugs for the complications the secondary, bacterial infections but not for the cold itself. Moreover, drugs have no effect on the duration of the cold, It has been aptly said that a cold can be cured in a week by taking medicines, otherwise it will subside in seven days.

Natural home remedies to cure the common cold

1. Garlic

Garlic juice made by adding few drops of garlic oil to a teaspoonful of onion juice and diluting it in a cup of water is helpful for common cold.

2. Turmeric

Turmeric Powder

Turmeric with it antiseptic properties, is an effective remedy for colds and throat irritations. A quarter teaspoon of fresh turmeric powder mixed in 15 ml. of warm milk is a useful prescription for these conditions in children. Turmeric powder should be put into a hot ladle. Milk should then be poured in it and boiled over a slow fire. In case of a running cold, smoke from the burning turmeric should be inhaled. It will increase the discharge from the nose and will bring quick relief to common cold.

3. Saline Water

For dry and stuffy nose, try normal saline or salt water nasal drops made by adding 1/4 teaspoon of table salt to about 4 ml lukewarm water. Make a fresh solution every few days keeping it in refrigerator. Use a clean dropper to instill 1 to 2 drops in each nostril about 3 to 4 times daily for common cold.

4. Lady’s Finger

Lady's fingers

Lady’s fingers are valuable in treating irritant conditions of the throat and persistent dry coughs. This vegetable is rich in mucilage and acts as a drug to allay irritation of the skin and alleviate swelling and pain. About 50 grams of lady’s fingers should be cut into pieces, and boiled in 250 ml. of water to get a decoctions. The steam issuing from this decoction should be inhaled to relieve throat irritation and dry cough.

5. Steam


Fomentation of the sinuses of the nose with cloth dipped in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes will relive the inflammation of the sinuses. This treatment is helpful in opening the blocked nasal passages. Steam inhalation, two or three times every day, will reduce the irritating condition of the mucous lining, facilitate the expulsion of mucus and keep the child’s nasal passages clean. Hot foot bath is also beneficial. It reduces congestion by drawing blood from the upper part of the body. The procedure-for this bath has been explained in the Appendix. Wet packs to the throat and chest, applied two or three times a day, will relieve congestion in these areas and help in eliminating the accumulated mucus. Helps to cur the common cold.

6. Menthol

A menthol rub or capsules containing a decongestant liquid, can put on to a piece of cloth which may help your child breathe more freely, specially at night. You can buy them from the pharmacist. Don’t use menthol products for babies under three months without asking your doctor, and be careful not to let your baby swallow a menthol capsule.

7. Ginger

Ginger Juice with Honey

Ginger tea or a teaspoonful of ginger juice taken with equal quantity of honey brings relief from common cold.

8. Fenugreek

Fenugreek Seeds

Take three or four times daily at the most a tea made from one tablespoon of fenugreek seeds, seven black peppercorns and one teaspoon of fresh minced ginger, which were boiled in two cups of water until one cup remains. Black tea may be added, as may sugar.

9. Lime


Lime is the most important among the many home remedies for common cold. It is beneficial in all types of cold and fevers. Vitamins C rich lime juice increases resistance, decreases toxicity and reduces the duration of illness. Half a lime should be squeezed in a glass of warm water, and a teaspoon of honey should be added to it and given to the common cold patient daily. Helps to cure common cold rapidly.

Useful References

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