100 days of Homemaking Skills Series: Day 5 – Home Remedies for Cough & Cold

I hate the weather when it brings about coughs and cold. Once it attacks, it never leaves the back for a week. Imagine a week of coughing around. Huh! Coughs usually gets worse at nights. The reason being – gravity. When we lie down, the mucus gets collected in the throat. One of the best solution is to sleep with head elevated using a pillow.

Coughs are mainly of two types – dry and wet. Both are equally irritating. Dry cough is caused by an infection of the nose and throat (upper respiratory tract). When you feel itchiness in the throats and the more you cough the more you feel roughness inside your throat, then that’s a dry cough. Wet cough is caused by mucus and affects the windpipe and lungs ( lower respiratory tract). When you feel heaviness in your throats and you cough to expel the mucus ( thick fluids) then that’s a wet cough.

Cough syrups do provide relief to some people but for people like me, they never seem to work. I’ve tried many different ones but the results are the same. So I tried out some home remedies and I won’t say that they work like snap!! (magic) but yeah they do help to cure those annoying bouts of coughs. The moment you notice some symptoms of cough do start out with these simple home remedies and walk your way to finding relief.

1. Gargle with salt water
Salt water gargle is one of the best remedies for coughs. As soon as you feel your throat is sore, don’t wait for the rest of the infection to attack. Start gargling with salt water. Take a glass of warm water and add a tsp of salt. Stir till it is dissolved. Gargle with this solution. This will help to reduce inflammation of the tissues of the throat and fight the bacteria. Do this remedy 3 times a day preferably before meals.

2. Honey
Never ever underestimate the power of honey. This is used for a wide variety of cures , one of them being coughs. Having a tbsp of honey can do wonders on your respiratory tract. Have it 3 times a day. You can also add a tsp of freshly ground black pepper powder. This helps to heal coughs a lot faster.

3. Steam
I can’t say how underrated steam is when it comes to dealing with coughs and cold. It not only loosens the mucus but also provides healing benefits when essential oils are added. You will notice that it becomes easier to cough out the mucus when you inhale the warm vapors. Boil some water and add few drops of essential oil. You can add eucalyptus oil for extra relief from cold. Cover your head with a towel so that the vapors do not escape. Inhale. Do this for 10 mins at least twice a day. Alternatively, you can also use a vaporizer. Just fill the water up to the set mark and plug in the socket. In no time you will have vapors coming your way.

4. Drink warm liquids
Drinking warm soups, tea or even warm water soothes the inflammation in the throat. Have it a couple of times during the day. I usually indulge in Maggie soups or prepare my own Chicken Corn Soup. Here is a detailed explanation to prepare your own soup.

5. Turmeric milk ( Haldi doodh):
This is one of my dad’s favorite remedy. Whenever anyone is infected by coughs, his number one suggestion is to have haldi doodh followed by salt water gargle. I cannot stress this enough on what an excellent remedy this is. I actually start seeing benefit from the first cup. Having this twice a day will clear your respiratory tract sooner than ever. Turmeric has many medicinal and anti bacterial properties and helps to fight infections easily.

So the next time you or anyone in your family has a cough, put on your doctor coat and treat them to these remedies.
These are just a few home remedies that have worked for me and my family. If you have any other remedies that worked for you, I would love to hear them. Do let me know in the comments below.

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