Winters are the time for comfort, good food, warmth, and those lovely long talks with family and friends beside the fire.

However, individuals with weak immune systems need extra care as the dropping temperature can affect their health and can cause problems such as the common cold.

The same is true for parents with young kids as the kids haven’t completely developed immunity against many of the implicated viruses.

Today we will have a look at some of the simplest and most common home remedies for cold and cough during winters. But before we proceed let us understand what is common cold.

What is common cold, how do I get it and how to get rid of it

Common cold refers to many different viruses which cause viral infection of the throat and nose. Of the many viruses, the most common virus is called rhinovirus.

The problem starts with a cold and progresses towards coughing, watery eyes, running nose, sneezing, fatigue, and body aches.

Cold symptoms last for about 7-10 days; however, the first 3 days are most crucial as during this period one can pass the infection to another person so it is highly recommended to stay at home and take proper rest.

Honestly speaking, it is impossible to completely prevent the spread of the common cold since the viruses travel in the air as soon as the infected person talks or laughs or sneezes. The tiny respiratory droplets spread through the air and whosoever inhales these particles can get the infection too.

So what can be done?

Here are some of the steps that one can take to protect oneself and one’s family from getting infected.

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid touching your face areas like nose, mouth and eyes.
  • Control stress.
  • Keep household surfaces clean.
  • If your child has a cold, wash his/her toys as well.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Keep your immune system strong.
  • Throw away the used tissue at the earliest.
  • Cover your nose and mouth whenever you sneeze or cough otherwise other people can get infected.

One can visit a doctor or take commonly available prescriptions too. However, instead of experimenting with antibiotics and purchasing cold and cough syrups, there are plenty of home remedies that are proven to be effective.

Here I have compiled a list of highly effective home remedies for cold and cough and the best part is that they are free from any side effects.

Let’s begin.

home remedies for cold and cough ginger tea citymom

1. Ginger Tea – home remedies for cold and cough

Ginger has been used for centuries to treat many conditions and has a long history as a herbal remedy for cold. Having a cup of ginger tea helps in drying the running nose, soothing the common cold, and speeding up the recovery process.

Consume this spiced tea to get great relief. Fresh ginger is also antibacterial and may protect against viruses.

home remedies for cold and cough honey citymom

2. Honey – home remedies for cold and cough

 Honey is truly the best home remedy for cold and cough. There are many things you can try alongside. For instance, you can create your own syrup by adding a few drops of lemon to it or you can add honey to your herbal tea or simply enjoy it with warm water. Honey can be taken as a single dose of 2.5ml before bedtime for children and adults. Also avoid honey for children under 1 year old.

3. Gargle with salt water – home remedies for cold and cough

This remedy seems relatively simple as you just have to add a pinch of salt to lukewarm water. This will help soothe your scratchy throat that causes you to cough.

Saltwater can draw excess mucus out of the inflamed throat and reduce swelling.

4. Gooseberries (Amla) – home remedies for cold and cough

Gooseberry or Amla is rich in Vitamin C and possesses anti-inflammatory properties which help in clearing out the cold and cough easily.

Eating one gooseberry daily provides many health benefits as it ensures proper functioning of the liver and improves blood circulation.

Note: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your doctor before consuming Amla.

home remedies for cold and cough turmeric milk citymom

5. Hot turmeric milk – home remedies for cold and cough

Turmeric not only has anti-inflammatory properties but also contains natural anti-bacterial agents which makes it a perfect spice.

Having turmeric mixed with milk helps in boosting immunity levels. Many doctors highly recommend taking this glass of warm turmeric milk every day before going to sleep to keep the common cold and cough at bay.

6. Holy basil (tulsi) and ginger mixture – home remedies for cold and cough

Holy basil (tulsi) is a wonderful herb. It is traditionally used in many Ayurvedic medicines also. It not only helps in boosting immunity but also improves digestion.

For best results, add some of the Holy basil leaves and ginger into 1.5 cups of water. Boil the mixture for 7-8 mins. Strain the mixture and enjoy it hot.

Nutrient values per cup

Energy   12 calories
Carbohydrates  3.1 g
Fiber 0.2g
Sodium  0.3mg

You can also add honey and sip this twice a day.

home remedies for cold and cough honey tea citymom

8. Honey and brandy – home remedies for cold and cough

Brandy has natural warming properties that increase body temperature. It has excellent anti-inflammatory properties which help in relieving respiratory issues such as sore throat and coughs. Simply add 1 teaspoon of brandy with half a teaspoon of honey and see the magic after having this mixture.

Nutritional value per shot

Energy100 Calories
Potassium0.8 mg
Carbohydrate<0.1 g

9. Jaggery – home remedies for cold and cough

Jaggery or Gur is highly beneficial for health as it consists of vital minerals and antioxidants. It provides immense relief from chest congestion. Eating small pieces of jaggery after a meal can help the body’s digestion and avoid gastro-related issues.

10. Garlic – home remedies for cold and cough

Garlic releases a compound called allicin that has antiviral properties which help in fighting against cold and the flu. All you have to do is take a few cloves of garlic, sauté them in ghee and consume then and there. This can be a bitter one but definitely, it will soothe your throat.

Note – Garlic can be irritating to the stomach for some people. Its good to consult a doctor before using it if someone has stomach ulcers or other digestive issues.

Special Tips for relief

In addition to the mentioned remedies, there are some special tips –

  • Avoid eating spicy food, processed food and fried foods
  • Some specific food such as dairy products must be avoided as they aggravate the situation and worsen the symptoms.
  • inhale steam
  • take rest as much as you can
  • stay away from caffeine
  • increase the intake of fluids.

A Few words from Citymom

All these home remedies for cold and cough are super powerful and can help in curing the health problems at the earliest. In addition to these remedies, one can also try yoga asanas that boost immunity.

Follow these highly effective home treatments which can alleviate your cough but if it worsens over time or doesn’t go away within 2 weeks then it’s time to visit your doctor.


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What is the fastest home remedy for cold and cough?

Although there are many home remedies you can try. However, ginger tea is proven to be fast and really effective.

How long do these home remedies typically take to work?

The effectiveness of these remedies can vary depending upon the severity of your cold and cough. It usually takes a few days in case of mild symptoms. However, if the symptoms persist, it is recommended to consult a doctor.

Are there any side effects to these home remedies?

Most of these remedies are general in nature and are considered safe and healthy. However some exceptions like its not recommended to give honey to children under 1 year of age. Also, if someone is allergic to any of these remedies, its best to avoid and consult a doctor instead.

Are there any preventive measures I can take to avoid getting a cold or cough?

Good habits like washing hands frequently, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, sound and proper sleep, avoiding stress etc. strengthens our immune system and makes us less susceptible to such cold and cough in winter.