Common Cold? Cough? Congestion? Flu? Try These Easy Concoctions and Home Remedies for Relief

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Common Cold Cough Congestion Flu Try These Concoctions and Home Remedies for Relief

Common Cold? Cough? Congestion? Flu? Try These Easy Concoctions and Home Remedies for Relief

The flu season has officially made its comeback. Most of us have gotten so used to quick fixes or dependence on antibiotics that we have forgotten the traditional methods and kadhas that our parents and grandparents gave us to relieve stubborn common cold, fever, cough, and congestion.

While medicines have their place and can be life-saving, when you pop them without a thought, there could be side effects in the long run. Many of these may suppress your symptoms but do not address the root cause.

To help you with immediate relief, our integrative experts have put together a list of our quick and easy concoctions and homemade remedies.

Common Cold Cough Congestion Flu Try These Concoctions and Home Remedies for Relief
Common cold, cough and flu can be a pain to deal with. Representational image only. Photo Credits: Freepik/Katemangostar

If you have a medical condition, keep your doctor in the loop before adding them. If you are allergic to any of these ingredients, avoid them. Make an informed decision.

Let it steam

Good old steaming is one of the most effective traditional methods to reduce discomfort. Maintain caution while doing this. Using a vessel instead of a steaming machine? Do not keep your head or your kid’s head too close. If the steam is too strong, it can scald your face. Handle the vessel with care. Do not drop it, as it can cause serious burns. With these concerns taken care of, steaming only has pros.

  • Fill a vessel with hot water.
  • Keep your face at a safe distance.
  • Cover your head with a towel to concentrate the steam.
  • Slowly and gently inhale the steam. As the steam enters your nasal passage and sinus linings, it reduces inflammation and clears up any blockage of mucus, allowing more oxygen to pass through the right way.
  • You can opt to add a pinch of turmeric. Some people even opt to add eucalyptus or Nilgiri oil to it. I prefer to add turmeric due to its anti-inflammatory nature. It has worked excellently for my patients and me.
  • Steaming may not take your common cold away, but it will give you the comfort you have been looking for. Do this a couple of times a day.

Blow it out

At this juncture, your nose may start dripping or running, which is fine. It is a sign that your body’s natural defense mechanism is working to get rid of the mucus. It could be yellow, a sign that it is infected. Don’t try to breathe it back in. Blow it out. It is not supposed to be inside your body.

Similarly, do not try to suppress a cough or take it lightly. When you produce yellow or green phlegm, it is infected. Your body produces a cough to expel it. Listen to its biofeedback. Steam to reduce the congestion and loosen that mucus.

Easy to make concoctions for cold, cough, flu, sore throat and more.

Hot liquids are magical. Now before you start overdoing tea and coffee with milk, stop right there. If you have a cold, cough, or congestion – stay off milk. Why? Because it is mucus-forming. Here are some quick concoctions you can try.

Common Cold Cough Congestion Flu Try These Concoctions and Home Remedies for Relief
Representational Image. Photo Credit: Freepik/8photo

Herbal Tea Infusion

It is a post-digestive drink that you can have 30 to 40 minutes after your meals. You can even add variations like green tea with spices.


  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 3 to 4 green cardamom/elaichi
  • ¼ tsp black peppercorns
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds/saunf
  • ¼ tsp coriander seeds/dhaniya
  • 1-inch Ceylon cinnamon/dalchini
  • A few strands of saffron/kesar and oolong tea
  • ½ tsp freshly grated turmeric
  • ½ tsp freshly grated ginger (optional)
  • A star anise


  • Add all the ingredients to 3 cups of water.
  • Bring it up to two to three boils.
  • Cover and let it steep. Sieve and serve hot.
  • You can also transfer it to a glass tumbler. Sip on it slowly.

Magic Lung Tea

This is one of the most effective concoctions that we suggest to our clients not just for cold and congestion but also to cleanse the lungs naturally.


  • 1-inch piece of ginger or 1 tsp dried ginger powder
  • 1 Ceylon cinnamon stick or ¼ Ceylon cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp basil/tulsi (fresh/dry)
  • 1 tsp oregano (dry/fresh)
  • 3 peppercorns
  • 2 crushed cardamom/elaichi
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds/saunf
  • A pinch of bishop’s weed/ajwain
  • ¼ tsp cumin/jeera
  • 1-2 cloves crushed garlic (optional)


  • Boil all the ingredients in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes.
  • Simmer, strain, and sip warm.
  • Once it cools a little, you can add pure raw honey or jaggery to sweeten it. This step is optional.

Turmeric Root Tea

Have this hot cup of turmeric root tea at the onset of a cold. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, loaded with antioxidants, and will keep you warm inside and out.


  • 2 cups of water
  • 1-inch fresh turmeric root
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp of raw honey to drizzle at the end


  • To 2 cups of boiling water, add an inch of fresh turmeric root and freshly ground pepper.
  • Reduce to half and turn off the heat.
  • Drizzle honey if required and sip hot.

Hot Toddy Black Tea

This magic brew combines the goodness of black tea and other power-boosting spices from your kitchen. It will keep you alert and boost your energy levels when cold, cough, and flu bring you down. Black tea is loaded with polyphenols and catechins and enhances your heart, metabolic, and gut health.


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 piece star anise
  • ½ tablespoon black tea
  • 1 tsp unpasteurized raw honey (optional)
  • A lemon wedge


  • Combine the spices with 2 cups of water in a pot.
  • Bring water to just below boiling and remove from the burner.
  • Add tea leaves and let it steep for 4 minutes. Add honey (optional) and serve hot with a lemon wedge.

Ginger, honey, lemon, turmeric, and black pepper concoction

  • Add a teaspoon of raw unpasteurized honey, a bit of grated ginger, and lemon juice to a cup of hot water.
  • Add a pinch of turmeric to it. Add a dash of black pepper next to let the piperine increase the bioavailability of the curcumin in turmeric.
  • Sip this liquid hot.
  • It will soothe your throat lining, open your passages, and help your body fight the virus.

Ginger, garlic, and honey concoction

  • Add a one-inch piece of mashed ginger to 2 cups of water.
  • Add 2 to 3 smashed cloves of garlic exposed to air for about 5 to 10 seconds to activate the allicin. Boil it.
  • Let the concoction simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • Once it cools a little, add a teaspoon of raw unpasteurized honey.
  • Sip slowly.

Immunity Boosting Lemongrass Tea


  • 2-3 stalks of lemongrass (fresh/dried)
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 3 to 4 green cardamom/elaichi
  • ¼ tsp black peppercorns
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds/saunf
  • 1-inch Ceylon cinnamon/dalchini
  • A few strands of saffron and oolong tea/green tea/black tea
  • ½ tsp fresh grated turmeric
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger grated (optional)
  • A star anise


  • Boil all the ingredients in 4 cups of water.
  • Reduce it to half.
  • Strain and serve.
  • You can also add raw honey and a slice of lemon while serving.

Disclaimer: Moderation is the key. Don’t overdo it. If you are allergic to certain ingredients, avoid them.

Cold, cough, fever, low immunity, sore throat? Try this onion water!

  • Chop a small onion finely and soak it in clean drinking water for 6 to 8 hours.
  • Consume 2 to 3 tbsp of it. You don’t have to eat the onion. But if you want to, you can eat it.

Other home remedies for relief from cold, cough, and congestion:

  1. You cannot go wrong with a bowl of hot chicken soup made with your mother’s recipe. Add several veggies of your choice and spices to the broth but keep it low in salt. This is loaded with the protein you need to fight the virus that has attacked your cells.
  2. If you are vegetarian, you can have a warm bowl of tomato soup with basil leaves, cloves, ginger garlic, and onion. Keep it very low salt.
  3. Your doctor may prescribe you Vitamin C supplements. You can take those or even eat foods loaded with them like oranges, sweet limes, lemons, and so on. Amla or Indian gooseberry is a powerhouse of Vitamin C. A single amla fruit has 8x more Vitamin C than a large orange. You can have a teaspoon of amla powder mixed with a glass of water. It is a great immunity booster.
  4. When you have a cold and flu, ensure you are on good probiotics. If you don’t want to take a supplement, you can have sauerkraut, kimchi, beetroot kanji, or even rice kanji. Check out what I call the great Indian probiotic here.
  5. Have fresh carrot juice with 1 tbsp of pure coconut oil.
  6. Add 1 tbsp of ajwain or bishop’s weed to hot water and steam for 5 minutes to break down mucus.
  7. Take a warm shower and breathe in the steam.
  8. Stay hydrated to thin out your mucus.
  9. Use a nasal saline spray.
  10. Use a warm and wet towel on your face to ease discomfort.
  11. Stack a couple of pillows and keep your head elevated to ease breathing at night.
  12. Gargle with salt water regularly. Add a tablespoon of rock salt to a mug of warm water. Gargle with it twice or thrice a day for relief.
  13. Use vapor rubs. They create heat when applied to our forehead, throat, chest, and back, allowing us to sweat.

Keep the socks on!

If you have the flu or fever, no matter how many blankets or jackets you bundle yourself in, you need to keep those socks on to keep your feet warm. Your fingers, palms, toes, and feet release and absorb heat. When you do this, you will start sweating. It is a good sign of your fever breaking. Apply some vapor rub to the soles of your feet. If you do not want to use vapor rubs, you can also opt to apply some warm pure ghee on the soles of your feet before wearing your socks and going to sleep.

Disclaimer: None of what is mentioned in this blog is a replacement for your doctor’s advice. If the symptoms continue to persist, contact your healthcare expert.

Need more help to boost your immunity? We help you find a way with a personalized plan.
Join our You Care Wellness Program by connecting with us on WhatsApp here.
Write to us at or call 18001020253 to book a one-on-one consultation.


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Comments (4)

  • Nasreen Reply

    Tried your decoctions and has helped me to a great extent,and love the natural ways of healing.
    Thankyou Luke.

    November 27, 2022 at 11:41 am
  • Dr Gunjan Agarwal Reply

    Wow! Such good tips…. We know so many of these but tend to forget. And I tried one of the concoctions, it really helped. Thank you so much.

    November 27, 2022 at 5:16 pm

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