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Common Cold

Common cold, a routine complaint is of viral origin. It can be caused by anyone of more than 200 viruses. Normally it is confined to the nose and throat although the virus can infect the larynx and lungs. It is communicable during the first 24 hours.


  • Cold can occur due to 200 or more viri. That is why we cannot take pills that would prevent colds by increasing immunity to the specific ones.

  • These viri are passed on in droplets when one coughs or sneezes.

Signs & Symptoms

These symptoms vary according to the virus involved. However general symptoms are:

  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Cough and hoarseness
  • Runny nose

In some individuals there may be unpleasant nasal discharge, headache and a slight temperature.

Herbal Medicines

There is no cure or prevention for cold. It is relieved naturally within a week. The cold is treated by attempting to relieve its symptoms such as headache, stuffy nose and congestion. Paracetamol tablets are generally taken to get relief from these symptoms.

These playa key role in the management of cold. These are:

  1. Black tea prepared with black pepper powder, dry ginger powder and tulsi leaves. This tea can be taken 3 to 4 times a day to get relief from runny nose, 'headache, and sore throat. It is as good as aspirin or paracetamol tablets.
  2. Eat one amla twice a day. It is a rich source of vitamin C and strengthens the respiratory immunity.
  3. Another simple home remedy is milk + turmeric. Add ½ tsp pure turmeric powder to a cup of hot milk, add some sugar and drink thrice a day to have relief. Inhalation of turmeric powder added to water and boiled is also a good remedy for cold.

Ayurvedic Remedies

  1. If amla is not available, its readymade preparation Amlaki rasayan in powder form is available in Ayurvedic stores. Take 3 gm of the powder along with warm milk twice a day.
  2. Luxmivilas Ras (Nardia) is a drug of choice. It should be taken in the dose of 1 tablet thrice daily after meals with water.
  3. Septilin tablet - one tab twice daily.
Do's & Don'ts
  1. Chicken soup reduces the reproduction of viri that cause cold. If this is taken, cold may not be as intense.
  2. Drink plenty of fluids like water, fruit juices, etc.
  3. Most colds clear up on their own after one week, after which the infection spreads to the sinuses, ears, lungs etc., which is when you must consult your doctor.
  4. Finally keep yourself warm and take plenty of rest.


Potatoes, brinjal, curd, and cold water should be avoided.

Supportive measures like hot fomentation, gentle massage and warm water baths should be practised to derive maximum benefit.


Suitable yoga asanas in the condition are shavasana and bhujangasana.

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