Home Remedies for the Common Cold (that may be new to you)

One of the down sides of the changing seasons in the return of the dreaded cold. As I write this, I have been struck by one, and I’m pretty grumpy about it. Of course I’m drinking a lot of water and chicken broth but I’m also trying some Ayurveda-inspired remedies, and I think they may be working better than the normal strategies!

But first, what is Ayurveda? Ayurveda is one of the oldest holistic healing systems, developed over 3000 years ago in India. It believes strongly in the mind-body connection (daily meditation is considered a baseline for good health) and also believes that food is medicine. While I’ve been on sabbatical, I’ve been exploring Ayurveda more, and there are a few philosophies and practices that I’ve started to adopt. However, I’ve been highly irregular lately, which is part of the reasons I’ve ended up with this cold.

Tongue scraping: Ayurveda believes that our body rejuvenates itself and eliminates toxins while we sleep. You know that gross white stuff you see on your tongue when you wake up? In Ayurveda, that’s a form of Ama (toxin) and should be removed. Using a copper, gold or silver tongue scraper helps you remove the gross stuff that accumulates overnight, improving overall health. As an added bonus, it improves your sense of taste and eliminates bad breath.

This is the exact tongue scraper I use every morning.

Turmeric: Turmeric has long been a part of Indian diets, and is one of the essential spices in everyday cooking. Long before turmeric lattes and golden milk were a thing here, Indian used to drink Haldi Doodh when feeling under the weather, or as part of a daily routine. Several members of my family start their mornings off with turmeric stirred in water - frankly that is way too gross for me. Instead, I started taking organic turmeric pills daily (until I missed like 10 days and got sick) and have started feeling better as soon as I resumed them. If you’re not comfortable with this, check with your doctor before you start a regimen, but a pill a day has helped keep my immune system healthy!

Hot water: When you do find yourself suffering with a cold, Ayurveda recommends drinking hot water every 15-20 minutes as a way to stay hydrated, hydrate your nasal passages and generally feel better. I take this one step further by drinking Tulsi tea all day when I’m sick. Tulsi is also known as Holy Basil, an herb found widely in India, and related to basil. Tusli has several benefits, including helping relieve the symptoms of colds, coughs and flu. My favorite Tulsi tea is organic and includes rose petals, for an extra delicious flavor (I also drink this when I’m not sick and just looking for a pick-me-up).

What unconventional remedies have you tried when you have a cold? Let me know in the comments!!

It goes without saying that I’m not a medical professional. These recommendations are based solely on my own research and person experience. If you are on medication or have any concerns, please talk to your doctor before starting any of these recommended home remedies.