10 Incredible Ayurvedic Ways to Turn Up the Heat on Colds & Coughs
by Dr. Surya Bhagwati on Sep 13, 2019
Coughs and colds may be the most common of all ailments, but that doesn’t make them any easier to endure. They can leave you feeling weak and tired, making you desperate to find a quick fix. Unfortunately, most conventional medications for colds and coughs can cause side effects, especially when used frequently. Moreover, antibiotics have no effect against infections caused by viruses, as is often the case with a cold or cough. This makes natural cold and cough treatment the best strategy and Ayurved has plenty to offer. Here are some of the most effective Ayurvedic practices and herbs for cold and cough relief.
Ayurvedic Treatments for Colds & Coughs
1. Nasya Neti
Ayurved has a rich tradition of health care practices to support respiratory function and one of the most important of these is nasya and neti. These are nasal hygiene routines that cleanse and moisturize the nasal tracts, reducing congestion, whether caused by excess mucus or the accumulation of dust and pollen. Herbal oils are used for nasya, while neti requires a warm saline solution. Research now supports the benefits of this ancient practice, with recommendations for its use in dealing with colds, coughs, and sinusitis.
It’s an herb that you will find in every kitchen, and it’s also highly recommended in Ayurved for cold and cough relief as it strengthens pitta, while lowering vata and kapha, which are often linked to respiratory disorders. Ginger not only helps to reduce irritation and inflammation of the throat and respiratory tract, but studies show that it also works like a bronchodilator, relaxing the airway smooth muscle. This is why it is commonly used in almost every Ayurvedic medicine for colds and coughs.
One of the most revered plants in India, tulsi is highly valued for both its spiritual and medicinal power. It is believed to strengthen prana and ojas, which are affected by respiratory ailments. This helps improve energy levels and also boosts immunity to fight the underlying infection. It is a staple ingredient in herbal cough syrups and Ayurvedic medicines for coughs and colds. Researchers have found that the herb could help fight respiratory infections as it helps reduce immunological stress.
Turmeric is more than a useful flavoring ingredient; it’s also a natural antiseptic that is often used to treat wounds. These antimicrobial properties can also help in the treatment of respiratory tract infections. The main bioactive compound in turmeric, called curcumin, gives it these anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial powers, with research suggesting that may even help treat bronchial asthma.
An herb that is used in folk medicine across the world, pudinha or peppermint can provide near instant relief from coughs and colds, working as a natural decongestant. You can consume pudinha in almost any form and will find it as an ingredient in almost any effective Ayurvedic medicine for cold and cough. Studies suggest that the herb’s efficacy for natural cough relief could be linked to its antispasmodic properties.
Eucalyptus is regarded as an effective natural remedy for colds and coughs in Ayurved as it has a heating energy that strengthens pitta, but pacifies aggravated vata and kapha. It is regarded as a decongestant that can be used as an oil for inhalation or in Ayurvedic cold and cough medications. The herb’s efficacy is supported by studies that show strong immuno-modulatory and antimicrobial effects, making it useful in the treatment of most respiratory disorders.
Also referred to as amalaki, amla is one of the main ingredients in Ayurvedic medicines for colds, coughs, and immune support. The fruit can be used in its raw form, as a powder, juice, or supplement. With its high vitamin C and antioxidant content, the herb strengthens immune function, but studies also show strong antibacterial effects, making it a useful natural aid to fight respiratory infections like the common cold and coughs.
Elaichi is one of the most widely used spices, better known to most of the world as cardamom. The spice is often used in Ayurvedic remedies to treat gastrointestinal distress and infections, including those of the respiratory tract. Research shows it to be effective at fighting some common bacterial strains, including the Staphylococcus bacteria. You can increase your intake of cardamom by adding it as flavoring ingredient when cooking or by taking an Ayurvedic medicine for cold and cough that contains the spice.
Nagarmotha or nutgrass is commonly used for its fragrance in incense sticks, but it can also be used as a cooking spice or natural medication. The herb has proven antispasmodic properties, which is why it is often used to treat gastric ailments, but this property also reduces coughing spasms when dealing with respiratory infections. In addition to reducing spasms, the herb also has antimicrobial properties that could help treat a cold and cough.
Yoga may seem like a strange recommendation when you’re feeling ill and can barely breathe, but the practice offers proven benefits for the lungs. This can help to reduce the risk of infections if practiced regularly and it will also help speed up recovery. Part of the reason for yogas efficacy is its unique feature of pranayama or breathing exercises, unlike other exercise programs. These practices have even been recommended for more serious respiratory disorders like asthma and bronchitis.
Keep in mind that no single remedy or Ayurvedic medicine for cold and cough relief will cure your condition instantly, but they can provide relief and hasten recovery time. If your condition does not improve with Ayurvedic treatment and you experience difficulty breathing, consult your doctor as it could be the result of a more serious underlying condition.
Dr. Vaidya’s has more than 150 years of knowledge, and research on Ayurvedic Health Products. We strictly follow the principles of Ayurvedic philosophy and have helped thousands of customers who are looking for traditional Ayurvedic medicines for ailments and treatments. We are providing ayurvedic medicines for these symptoms –
- Abidi, A., Gupta, S., Agarwal, M., Bhalla, H. L., & Saluja, M. (2014). Evaluation of Efficacy of Curcumin as an Add-on therapy in Patients of Bronchial Asthma. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research : JCDR, 8(8), HC19–HC24. https://doi.org/10.7860/JCDR/2014/9273.4705
- Jamshidi, N., & Cohen, M. M. (2017). The Clinical Efficacy and Safety of Tulsi in Humans: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM, 2017, 9217567. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/9217567
- Townsend, E. A., Siviski, M. E., Zhang, Y., Xu, C., Hoonjan, B., & Emala, C. W. (2013). Effects of Ginger and Its Constituents on Airway Smooth Muscle Relaxation and Calcium Regulation. American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, 48(2), 157–163. https://doi.org/10.1165/rcmb.2012-0231OC
- Little, Paul, et al. “Effectiveness of Steam Inhalation and Nasal Irrigation for Chronic or Recurrent Sinus Symptoms in Primary Care: a Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial.” Canadian Medical Association Journal, vol. 188, no. 13, 2016, pp. 940–949., doi:10.1503/cmaj.160362
- Sousa, A. A., Soares, P. M., Almeida, A. N., Maia, A. R., Souza, E. P., & Assreuy, A. M. (2010). Antispasmodic effect of Mentha piperita essential oil on tracheal smooth muscle of rats [Abstract]. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 130(2), 433-436. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2010.05.012
- Elaissi, A., Rouis, Z., Salem, N. A. B., Mabrouk, S., ben Salem, Y., Salah, K. B. H., … Khouja, M. L. (2012). Chemical composition of 8 eucalyptus species’ essential oils and the evaluation of their antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activities. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 12, 81. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-12-81
- Ramanuj, Krupali, et al. “In Vitro Antibacterial Activity of Emblica Officinalis and Tamarindus Indica Seed Extracts against Multidrug Resistant Acinetobacter Baumannii.” International Journal of Epidemiology & Infection, vol. 2, no. 1, Jan. 2014, p. 1., doi:10.12966/ijei.02.01.2014
- Agnihotri, Supriya, and S Wakode. “Antimicrobial activity of essential oil and various extracts of fruits of greater cardamom.” Indian journal of pharmaceutical sciences vol. 72,5 (2010): 657-9. doi:10.4103/0250-474X.78542
- Imam, Hashmat, et al. “The Incredible Benefits of Nagarmotha (Cyperus Rotundus).” International Journal of Nutrition, Pharmacology, Neurological Diseases, vol. 4, no. 1, Jan. 2014, pp. 23–27., doi:10.4103/2231-0738.124611
- Saxena, T., & Saxena, M. (2009). The effect of various breathing exercises (pranayama) in patients with bronchial asthma of mild to moderate severity. International Journal of Yoga, 2(1), 22–25. https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-6131.53838