Herbs to treat colds

Cold and catarrh are two words denoting the same condition, with one difference. When the mucous membrane of the nose is inflamed, sneezing is frequent and the nose runs, the condition is known as cold. When the mucous membrane of the throat is inflamed and there is irritation and cough, the condition is called catarrh.

Causes and Symptoms:
Exposure to cold, humidity, excessive use of sour and cold things, dust, smoke may be the precipitating factors, but there are certain predisposing factors like a lowered resistance, weakness, constipation etc. There is a tendency to treat cold as a minor ailment, but it it persists for some time, it is likely to give rise to many complications like inflammation of the throat, cough, asthma and others.

Echinacea for colds


Bayberry, Butterbur root, Cassia, Chaparral, Cinnamon, pepper, Echinacea and E. angustifolia root are the most common herbs to treat colds.

 The moment cold takes hold of a person, he should avoid cold water and going out in the cold air. Even though the old adage is 'Starve the fever and feed the cold', it is better to miss a couple of meals at the beginning of a cold. Simple, bland and easily digestible food should be taken and fatty, fried substances avoided. If there is constipation present, it should be dealt with by taking a mild laxative. In the beginning of a cold, vermicellies cooked water should be taken with sugar added to them and the patient should rest in bed under a blanket. Seven grains of Gul Banafsha (Viola odorate) and seven grains of pepper should be boiled in water and the decoction sipped in bed. It will induce perspiration and the headache a common accompaniment of cold will disappear and the patient will feel relieved.

In case of a running cold, smoke from burning Turmeric should be inhaled: it will increase the discharge from the nose and quick relief will be obtained. For headache, a paste made of Nutmeg Uaiphala) a grain of opium and cow's milk should be applied to the forehead. If the nose is blocked, a powder of equal parts of Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Cardamom and seeds of black Cumin should be sniffed to induce sneezing.

Parched Gram tied in a piece of cloth should be sniffed and the forehead, temples and the nose fomented with it to get relief in the preliminary stages of a cold. Hot water with a few Cloves and a pinch of Salt should be sipped slowly. Ten grams of Husk of Wheat, five Cloves and some Salt should be boiled in water and a cupful of the decoction taken.