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Nature cure for Cough & Cold / Indian Home Remedy for Cough & Cold

March 24, 2015

Starting a new series today with this Grandma’s homecure for common cold & persistent cough.

I am labeling the category:


* Saves you time, doctor fees.

* Ease of convenience with administering the home preparation at home with domestically available ingredients.

* Absolutely no side-effects

* Saves money

* Tried and tested methods


Natural Home Remedy for Cough & Cold

Indian Home Remedy for Cold & Cough

Tamil Medicine for Cold and Cough and Sore Throat

Ever since I stopped working turning into a full-time housewife over 17 years back, I am challenged by a strange and bothersome health problem. DUST ALLERGY PROGRESSIVE WITH AGE.

In my working days in the ’90s, first I commuted by bus. Since buses have ‘height’ I was spared the exhaust smokes from passing vehicles.

When I started riding my own 2-wheeler to work, I experienced my first bout of severe dust allergy. Mine was a tiny 50 cc mobike – Bajaj ‘Sunny’ light one made for ladies. Very low height. So whenever I waited in traffic signals, the bus and auto fumes would be directly into my face triggering a severe cough that would last well over 30 min.

Mostly I try to abstain from antibiotics/any prescription allopathic medication. My BIL was our family doc and he always insisted on bearing with ‘mild inconveniences’ that would exit our system on their own accord in due time.

When I left my job, my cough had disappeared totally for a while may be because I had suddenly confined myself to home, a very protective environment. It came back with a vengeance when I returned to the city after 4 years abroad. By this time, my hometown had record cars and bikes on the streets.

In last 5-7 years I am experiencing unrelenting cough everytime I step out of my home for which I can cite quite a few reasons:

1. High level of pollution with mind boggling increase in vehicular traffic in the city. If I travel in car its okay. But mostly I take the 3 wheeler-auto which is worst.

2. Low immunity on my part – since I am mostly a home bird, my defences have been going down steadily I guess; work gave me the strength and resistance somewhat. The immunity I got with sheer labour and practice, I am losing staying at home most of the time.

3. Hypersensitivity to dust – may be this is by birth and it is surfacing more as I age.

4. Mosquito repellents (I plug the liquid one) are a big no-no. Agarbathis (incense sticks), strong perfumes and even kitchen smoke start my coughing hysteria at times.

5. Air-conditioners beyond a point and at the start of summer season. Even if serviced, the first 1 week is horrible.

6. Pine-apple and Sugarcane Juice I loved as a kid. I avoid. Chilled fruits or drinks with extreme cooling.

7. Smoking atmosphere immediately triggers my condition. No relief until the smoker quits the scene! Highest levels of intolerance!

8. Pungent chemical odour like that of paints, varnish, camphor etc.

9. Synthetics like cheap plastics, nylon clothes, rubber tubes, burnt tyres etc.

So dust allergy is the main reason I get periodical cycles of cough in Chennai whereas carpets and finest desert sand particles in the air brought in by sandstorms in Doha worsen my throat. No amount of vacuuming helps. How the fine dust finds its way into my nostrils is astonishing! I am fine when the weather is cool or if its raining, when the dust lies low!

All rolled into one last week giving me an unforgiving fit of cough & cold. and the sudden change in climate and water doesn’t help either…

First 2 days, let it go willing the symptoms to fade away. When that did not happen, resorted to familiar grandma’s home remedies from 3rd day. Handed down over by word of mouth through generations.

This process works slow but is better than any antibiotic.



Ingredients: Betel leaf, 5-6 peppercorns, a small piece of palm jaggery (or substitute with plain jaggery or palm sugar in case of non availability.)

Rinse the betel leaf with warm water and place the peppercorn and the palm jaggery piece at the center. Pluck the ends of the betel leaf. Fold the entire thing into a small package and chew it slowly and thoroughly.

The palm jaggery will soften the peppercorn effect. As the betel leaf pack courses slowly through your throat, experience a welcoming spread of warmth.

Stops cough abruptly for next 30  min- 1 hour, Taken thrice a day, cold will be out in a day or 2.

Important: to let the contents best work, do not eat anything for atleast 30 minutes on taking the betel leaf.


Ingredients: Water 1 cup, Cinnamon stick – 1, cloves – 5 or 6, Peppercorn 5-6

Optional: basil (tulsi) leaves and Patta ajwain (called Karpooravalli in tamil) and Pudina (Mint) leaves

Optional: Honey

Boil all ingredients together in a cup of water. Let the water reduce to 1/3rd of the cup. Filter, mix in a tsp of wild honey and drink the cough decoction hot.Thrice a day. Honey is a kind soother and balances the spices.

Do not take anything for atleast half an hour on having the decoction. Better to take on empty stomach first thing in the morning.


Ingredients: A cup of milk, 1/2 tsp turmeric (haldi) powder and 1/2 tsp black pepper powder

Bring the ingredients to a boil. Strain. Have a hot cup before going to bed and nothing after that. Cough will completely subside and you will get a night’s worthy sleep. Haldi (turmeric) is a natural germ-killer and no bacteria can stand a chance against it.

A combination of methods 1, 2 & 3 advised for intense and persisting cough & cold. Quickest relief for cold whatever running nose you may have or chest congestion. Cough will take 3-5 days to subside and more than a week to completely disappear. But will visibly go down day by day. If you can avoid the causes that may aggravate existing conditions, then expect a cure in matter of 1-2 days.

Natural remedies like these temporarily give me a great relief and I am able to carry on with normal life. However I am powerless over foreign agents that threaten me with yet another coughing bout. NO Tuberculosis or Asthma, believe me, lungs are clear!

No serious respiratory problem but I can see how environmental pollution is affecting my health. What will be the effect on kids growing up.

I am adamant about not taking antibiotics unless its absolutely necessary. If antibiotics are to give me a permanent solution, I am willing to consider them. A relative doc even suggested steroids pitying my condition.And then the rare use of puff (inhaler) was also a suggested quick-relief remedy. Ruled out both options and decided to instead endure the inconvenience. But I am aware how much of nuisance I must be to those around me!

But I have seen, our internal system obeys certain natural instincts of ours. Like for instance, cough (touchwood) stops for me at home and never bothers me in my flights. Catches me back the moment I reach home! May be there is also a bit of psychology involved! I will myself not to cough if I attend, say a wedding reception, likewise and I am able to have a pleasant and cough-free evening, only to be hounded by the coughing fit for hours later on!

Would like to add more remedies to this page as I remember.

How to temporarily avoid cough/ How to holdback a persisting cough in public

Cough could be of 2 kinds: Dry cough and Cough with cold 

You may not want to take a cough syrup as it can make you feel drowsy. Especially if you have to drive. So there is a quick and efficient natural solution to handle/hold back cough in public.

* Go out with a cardamom or clove under your tongue – but remember not to swallow it. Can last 2-3 hours resisting both vomit and cough this way. Time-tested method. Besides, both cardomom and clove are nature’s best breath and mouth fresheners. Serves double purpose.

* Always carry 4-5 cloves and cardamoms in your purse/wallet.

Preventive measures against cough & cold:

If you are prone to frequent attacks of cough (like me!), you may:

* Daily go to bed with a cup of hot (not warm) milk boiled with 1/2 tsp of black pepper powder. Soothes your throat.

* Chew basil (tulsi) and/or Karpooravalli (patta ajwain in hindi) leaves 1-2 everyday. Juices are medicated.

* Add cloves to tea.

* Take Masala chai (Spiced Tea) in winters

* Have Ginger Tea twice a day, first thing in the morning

* Take Mint Green Tea, spoon in honey if you wish.

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