Best Home Remedies for Coughs and Colds

(Photo Credit: Thecelebritystone)
(Photo Credit: Thecelebritystone)

It’s the cold season again; coughs and colds are common and causing distress to a lot of us.  There are numerous items available over-the-counter which are supposedly helpful in treating coughs and colds even without doctor’s prescription.  But how about we try some natural home remedies which have been known to cure these nasty barks and drips?

Yes, there are natural home remedies which we can make in a flash and help prevent these seasonal colds or treat that annoying and distressful case of the flu.

For your dry cough:

  • You can try ivy leaf syrup to naturally cure a cough with just two (2) teaspoons twice a day.   Ivy leaf contains compounds which fight inflammation and bronchial spasms. . You can purchase ivy leaf syrup online or at a health food store

For a wet cough:

  • You can try taking thyme which helps loosen phlegm, thereby easing congestion.  Thymol, its most active ingredient,  is an antimicrobial which kills the virus or the bacteria that is causing our cough.  To make thyme tea, you may steep one teaspoon of dried herbs in a cup of boiling water and cover it for twenty minutes.   However, make sure the thyme herbs are fragrant and green.  Drinking thyme tea three times a day would be most ideal.

For most coughs:

  • Honey and lemon are natural cures for most coughs.  Add a medium-sized lemon into a pan filled with water and boil for ten to fifteen minutes.   Then you may extract the juice from the lemon. Filter the juice and then add the juice to a half cup of honey.  One tablespoon three times a day would do the trick.
  • Elderberry extract  has antioxidants which can stimulate our immune system and help to reduce inflammation in airways due to its anthocyanins.    Two teaspoonfuls four times a day would be sufficient intake.
For a smoker’s cough:

  • Put three tablespoons of whole  Flaxseed or linseed (Linum usitatissimum L.)   in three cups of water in a pan and bring to a boil.  Squeeze the juice from three lemons. Filter the juice and pour into pan.  Steep for three hours and then sweeten with honey. One tablespoon daily for smoker’s cough would be enough.

For our colds:

  •  Drink plenty of fluids (8 to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water daily) to keep your throat moist,  help break up your congestion and prevent dehydration.    You may include fluids such as   fruit drinks (pineapple is best),  herbal teas, or ginger ale.   Grandma’s chicken soup is also a big help.   Avoid or minimize intake of  cola, coffee, and other drinks with caffeine.
  • Blowing our nose often can’t be helped, right, but make sure to do it the proper way. Blowing our nose regularly is important when we have a cold instead of sniffling mucus back into our head.  AVOID  blowing hard because pressure can transport germ-carrying phlegm back into our ear passages and may cause earache or worse conditions. The best and proper way to blow our nose is by pressing a finger over one nostril while we blow gently to clear the other.
  •  Steam inhalation treatment to ease our congestion and drippy nose is one legacy that our grandma’s left us.   Make a tube out of a hard cardboard for easier inhalation; breathe through your nose slowly, but be careful not to burn your nose!  Other options include using a humidifier, saline nasal spray or moisture from a hot shower with the door closed (when all other options are not available).
  •  Gargling with warm salt water can bring  relief to a sore or itchy throat. Dissolve a half teaspoon of salt  in 8 ounces of warm water and try gargling four times daily. If you have a tickle in your throat,  an astringent gargle would be helpful to tighten the membranes. One  popular treatment in folk medicine,  a thick, viscous gargle made with honey has been tried by some people.  Steep one tablespoon of raspberry leaves or lemon juice in two cups of hot water and mix with one teaspoon of honey; allow it to cool to room temperature before gargling.
  • Drink hot liquids to relieve your nasal congestion, soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes inside our nose and throat and also to prevent dehydration.  You may want to try a cup of hot herbal tea, with one teaspoon of honey and/or one small shot (about 1 ounce) of whiskey or bourbon if you wish. (Just one, ok?  More than that may not be very helpful.)
  • A small dab of mentholated salve under our nose may help open breathing passages and help restore the irritated skin at the base of the nose. Menthol, eucalyptus, and camphor all have mild numbing ingredients that may help relieve the pain of a nose rubbed raw.
  • Apply hot packs around your congested sinuses. Make your own or purchase reusable hot packs from  a drugstore.
  • A steamy shower helps to moisturize our nasal passages and is very relaxing (but if you feel dizzy, you may take a sponge bath while sitting on a chair, but with the steamy shower running.)
  • Keep warm and rest  upon the first signs of a cold or the flu to help our body direct its energy toward the immune battle.  An extra pillow to create a more gradual slope under your head could help relieve congested nasal passages.

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