A cough and cold are caused by infections, sinusitis, bronchitis, and exposure to dust. Ayurveda recommends not just medications to treat a cough and cold. It also insists on incorporating certain dietary and lifestyle changes for complete cure. A cough is a way that the human body uses to blow off foreign bodies from the respiratory airways. However, when someone coughs for long, it can lead to dizziness, hoarseness of voice, and wheezing. In case of a chronic cough, fatigue and aches in the joints are experienced.
In Ayurveda, cold is also known as Vata-Kaphaja Pratishaya. According to Ayurveda, Virudh ahar (incorrect combination of foods), Ama (toxins), and Asatmya (change in environment) lead to allergic reactions, and cold is one such example. Toxins may accumulate in the body of an individual due to impaired metabolism and digestion. On the other hand, intolerance towards specific food items may lead to an allergy.
Vamana Panchakarma, followed by Virechana can be administered for the treatment of a chronic cough and cold. This helps correct the balance between the three doshas and to eliminate toxins. In some individuals, nasal drops therapy or Nasya treatment can be administered to clear congestion. This is done by pouring herbal oils such as Shadbindu or Anu taila in the nostrils. Ayurvedic medications can also be administered to strengthen the immune system and the respiratory tract.
The following sections explain some of the other Ayurvedic remedies that a person can try out to relieve cough and cold.
Home remedies: Ayurveda points the kitchen to get relief from a cough and cold. Ingredients from the kitchen shelf can help a lot, along with medications. Ginger juice is an effective way to treat a cold and cough. This helps in ejecting mucus. To try out this remedy, an individual can prepare fresh ginger juice and add turmeric (one-fourth teaspoon), tulsi leaves juice and honey (half teaspoon each) and a pinch of black pepper powder to it. Mix everything together. If you want to use it multiple times, you can increase the quantities in the same ratio and refrigerate it. Consume one and a half teaspoon of the mixture at least three to four times a day to get relief from a cough. For children, give half the quantity thrice a day. This is an excellent remedy to relieve a cough and cold without leading to any side-effects.
Gargling also helps. Mix a spoon of salt to warm water. Gargle twice a day with this. Chewing cardamom buds and cloves also help in eliminating cough. You can also take four black raisins and add a pinch of rock salt and black pepper powder to them. Dry roast and take this three times a day. You need to eat this for at least for 15 days.
Otherwise, take a glass of water. Boil with licorice powder and black pepper powder (half teaspoon each). Grate fresh ginger and add one spoon of it to the mixture. Add 10 basil leaves, and make a decoction of everything. The water should turn half the quantity. Palm candy can be added to sweeten the decoction. Try this instead of coffee or tea in the morning and evening to relieve cold and cough.
Dietary changes: Take lots of fresh pulses with grains. Taking pulses with grains help in gaining all the goodness of the pulses. Green gram, yellow lentils, and red lentils can offer nutrients that are required and are easy to digest. Vegetables such as pumpkin, marrow, squashes, ivy gourd, ridge gourd, snake gourd, smooth gourd, onions, beetroot, celery, carrots, and parsnips can be consumed as well. However, consume cooked vegetables only. Grains such as rice, oats, and millets are good choices. You should refrain from taking wheat and processed flour. Almonds, apricots, figs, dates, and hazel nuts are beneficial. Limit your consumption of fish, chicken, and turkey. Red meat can be taken twice a week. Avoid dairy milk. You can take soy milk or oat milk as a replacement.
Lifestyle changes: Quit smoking. The health of the lungs can be damaged to the core with smoking and this can also lead to cancer. When you suffer from chronic cold and cough, immediately consult a doctor, if you smoke. Avoid exposure to pollens, dust, and pollutants. Use a mask while driving, and cover ears and nose exposed to cold.
Talk less: This gives enough rest to vocal cords. Taking warm water instead of plain water is a good option. Take tea made of herbs. Tulsi, mint leaves, and ginger can be added to the herbal tea. Do not mix milk with tea. Take a balanced diet and keep yourself away from processed and junk foods.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!