Indian Home Remedies for Cold & Cough

Sore throat, nasal congestion, sneezing and coughing--it's all part of the discomfort of having a cold. According to mayoclinic. com, most adults have between 2 and 4 colds a year. If you have a high fever, swollen glands, a cough with colored phlegm, or severe sinus pain, see your doctor. To reduce the misery of the common cold, natural Indian home remedies may provide you with some relief. Seek the approval from your physician first as herbs may have side effects that interfere with prescription medications.

Lemon and Black Pepper

According to the I Love India website, you can use lemon and pepper to soothe coughs. Cut a ripe lemon in half, hollow it out slightly, and put black pepper in the cavity. Suck on it as needed to control cough.

Honey and Ginger

Honey is a popular ingredient in Indian home cough remedies. Mix 1 tbsp. of honey with 2 tbsp. of water, then add 1/4 tsp. of red pepper, 1/4 tsp. of ground ginger, and 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar. Take once a day for cough. According to, honey has antimicrobial and antioxidant qualities

Tulsi (Basil)

Tulsi, botanically known as Ocimum sanctum, and also called holy basil--not to be confused with Ocimum basilicum, or kitchen basil--is revered in ayurvedic medicine for its healing qualities, and is commonly recommended for cough and colds. Add 2 tsps. of fresh holy basil to 8 oz. of water, bring to a boil, and steep for 5 minutes to make tulsi tea to sip for cough relief.

Marwa (marjoram)

Marwa, or marjoram, is also used as a cough suppressant in Indian home remedies. Steep 2 tsps. dried marjoram in 8 ounces of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drink for cough as needed.


According to the I Love India website, you can use raisins to quiet a cough. Grind up 3 ounces of raisins, adding water to make a paste. Add 3 ounces of white sugar, and heat the mixture until it forms a sauce. Allow to cool. Take half an ounce of the mixture every night at bedtime. According to, raisins have a demulcent--or soothing--effect on the throat.


Turmeric has antiseptic and antibacterial qualities, and is used both medicinally and cosmetically in Indian remedies and recipes. Traditional recipes advise combining 1/4 cup of warm milk with a teaspoon of powdered turmeric for a bitter-tasting, but cough-soothing, drink.

Aradraka (Ginger)

Ginger, ayurvedically known as aradraka, is a popular Indian home remedy for the common cold, and with good reason. According to, a study conducted at the Department of Applied Microbiology at Ebonyi State University and published in "The Internet Journal of Tropical Medicine" showed that extract of ginger had antibacterial effects, and inhibited the growth of staph bacteri. Mince fresh ginger and heat to boiling, then simmer for five minutes. Strain the mixture, add a teaspoon of sugar, let cool, and drink.

Fenugreek Ginger Tea

According to the Sanatan Society website, you can make a tea featuring fenugreek seeds to relieve cold symptoms. Add 1 tbsp. of the seeds, 7 black peppercorns, and 1 tsp. of fresh minced aradraka, or ginger, to 16 oz. of water. Boil the mixture until it reduces by half--leaving 8 oz. of water left--remove from heat, and cool. Drink the tea up to four times a day to relieve symptoms of the common cold.


Crush a peeled white onion and add 1 tsp. lemon juice, then 8 oz. of water and bring to mixture to a boil. Add 1 tbsp. honey, let the mixture cool, and drink. Onion is a popular ingredient in Indian home remedies for cough and cold. According to, a study conducted at the Department of Applied Microbiology at Ebonyi State University and published in "The Internet Journal of Tropical Medicine" showed that flavonoids in onion have antimicrobial effects against a wide array of microorganisms.

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