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Home remedies for the common cold

So as luck would have it, I came down with a cold on Tuesday night.

And with the Sunfeast around the corner, you can imagine how frustrating that is for me. Anyway, I thought I would ask for some home-made recipes to cure a common cold and I got some very interesting responses when I posted a request on Facebook which I thought of sharing with the wide world out there.

I mean, with all this valuable advice on my fingertips, how could I keep it all to myself, right? Another runner friend suggested I post these together so we can have a manual, a ready reckoner. Any time you think the sniffles are coming along, please do feel free to use these tips.

(And of course, the standard disclaimer that if none of these work – then it’s not MY fault – applies 🙂

Pavitra: “Try brandy with hot water, lemon, honey and a pinch of pepper. It also tastes like heaven!”
I usually have this concoction in the morning, but without the pepper.

Arundati says: “Make a decoction of 2 cups water, 1 tsp crushed pepper, 3-4 laung, 3-4 cinnamon sticks, 1 inch piece ginger, dry is better but fresh will also do. Boil till it reduces to 1 cup, mix with a little honey and sip warm 3-4 times a day… if you cant drink it plain, add a few tablespoons of honey…”
This is what I am going to try through the day tomorrow!

“Alternatively a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a spoon of sugar at night time is also good.”

Vidya suggests mulligatawny soup.
Sis made some yummy potato and leek soup the other day. I am not sure she’s making another soup anytime soon!

From Monica: “Try this Ayurvedic thing called Samahan that you get in medical stores – with hot water – 1 packet every 4 hours till saturday – if it doesn’t go down till Saturday evening, start using paracetamol to supress the cold, so you can run a bit more comfortably.”

Syed has a novel idea. “You could run with the cold for a cause like “raise awareness about local and homemade recipes for cure of cold!”
I might have to consider this, if I don’t recover in time!

Hasina says that after “many honey ginger hot teas she just began sucking on ‘limcee’ from the pharmacy. With Vit C supplement tabs.”
I have no idea what limcee is! Anyone?

Indrani suggests the Assamese remedy: “Rub hot mustard oil with garlic on your back and chest. Quick relief.”
Definitely trying that today. How could I forget our very own remedy?

Lalitha says rum works.
I like!

And Donna has the funniest remedy of them all: “Rub vicks to the soles of your feet – wear socks and sleep. swear it works! Well by the time you would have tried all the above 15 remedies, you would be cured of all ailments!”
I am tucking into bed with Vicks tonight 🙂

And of course, if you have any sure-fire recovery recipes to share, please do add them to the comments!

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21 Comments

  1. Its a good feeling to see lots of friends around willing to offer help (read: suggestions)

    I like Syed’s idea, but I hope you don’t get to implement that.

    So much of advance in the field of medicine and this one small thing we don’t have a cure.

    Wish you a speedy recovery.

  2. Basic: drink lots of water, get plenty of sleep, and insist on vitamin C (and make sure you eat well). That’ll put all your chances on your side.

    I usually drink herbal tea (thyme, mainly). Paracetamol or ibuprofen will relieve the symptoms.

    I do nasal irrigation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasal_irrigation) regularly because it helps with my allergies — when I’m falling in I do it more often, upto 5-6 times a day if I have a stuffy nose. I’ve found that in really bad cases, adding a few nose drops to the irrigation water helps a lot.

    And vicks on the chest and throat before going to bed, of course.

    Good luck!

  3. Oh, I am ready to believe Donna’s weird-sounding remedy because when I was first told that a drop of mustard oil rubbed into your navel can cure your dry skin, I laughed it off. So now, I know better.

  4. Archana says

    So it looks like u’ve got your hands on almost all the remedies (Syed’s was an exception though) :-)) How did you feel after that? Anyways,hope you feel much better so that you can run to the best of your ability in Sunfeast..Best of luck Anita 🙂

  5. Ah – am down with an awful cold as well. So am trying various things. And to be honest, am so tired that I don’t even feel like boiling some water. (wah.. wah wah.)

  6. Venky Krishnamoorthy says

    There is an old saying “Feed the cold and starve the fever”.

    Take lot’s of Vit C / Orange juice, plenty of rest and you should do allright.

  7. Limcee is a 500g Vit C chewable tablets..I use it regularly to boost up immunity against cold/cough etc..

    Nice set of tips! I’m definitely going to bookmark this page 🙂

  8. raahul says

    Hi Anita, I just feel like adding to the list 🙂

    Try crushing a ginger to extract its juice and then mix it with a tablespoon of honey…..have it first thing in the morning…..it works!! It cured me of my cold earlier this year 🙂

  9. What a time I saw this post. Last two days I was down with cold.
    I went to liquor shop, but didnt know which brand of brandy to pick up and came back. (Never tried brandy)
    I took the Tulsi tea which I had at home, alternatively, I pluck a few fresh tulsi leaves, and boil them with water and take that warm water frequently. and of course some paracetamol for symptomatic relief.
    Gargle warm salt water if you have sore throat.

  10. i suggest you visit a multi speciality hospital, and get the cold cured … couple of scannings, blood test, x rays, antibiotics …. and a lille geera water.., and you’ll be ok.

  11. Baap re that was quite a bunch full of remedy recipes and I am glad I landed in the nick of time. My swimming classes begin tomorrow and I still have a sore throat and little fever on top of that.
    Pavitra’s brandy blend looks like the most pick-able. Indrani’s recipe also works. Just that your bed will smell of garlic next one week.
    All the best Anita…Get well soon!

  12. Pingback: Just a little something » Another ready reckoner!

  13. Vit C tabs are good! What helps me a lot is a concoction of 2 cups of water, 1 inch of ginger, a dozen peppercorns and a few leaves of tulsi brewed together till it reduces by half. Add a spoon of ghee as a tarka and sip. It’s works really well for sore throats as well.

  14. Reg­u­larly because it helps with my aller­gies — when I’m falling in I do it more often, upto 5–6 times a day if I have a stuffy nose. I’ve found that in really bad cases, adding a few nose drops to the irri­ga­tion water helps a lot.

  15. 1. Please try OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT

    2. Mix a few drops of Eucalyptus oil with Olive oil and massage entire feet thoroughly with it, wear socks after.

  16. Oooh, my favorite — homemade chicken noodle soup. For a cold, I don’t think anything feels better than REAL homemade soup, the kind that takes hours to make with fresh ingredients. The only problem is getting someone to make it for you. For just such an emergency, I try keep a pint of homemade soup in the freezer, but my husband always swipes it!

    I also agree with Stephanie. Nasal irrigation is a great way to clear congestion. The only problem there is getting the guts to actually try a neti pot, and to avoid making common neti newbie mistakes — like omitting the salt. Ouch.

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