Ayurveda & Home Remedies

Herbal remedies to ward off common infections

Every season has its own beauty. But they also bring in a set of health issues. While few bacteria and viruses thrive in monsoons, summers have a whole new set and similarly winter, spring and autumn. With each season, people with low immunity are more susceptible to catching some common infections. The categories of people to watch out for are young children, old men and women, people with comorbid diseases and people born with some health issues.

India is known as the birthplace of Ayurveda and Yoga. While most westerners love to run to a physician at the drop of a hat, Indians believe in the age-old tried and tested grandma’s home remedies. It is important to understand that one should visit doctors or physicians when one falls sick. But, residing in the land of herbs and spices, there is no harm in using them either to prevent or to ward off some common ailments or infections. This article lists out a few common health issues that can be tackled at home.

Cold, Sore Throat, Cough

With the change in weather, the respiratory tract is the first to get affected. The most common ailments are cold with either a stuffy nose or a running one. Another associated ailment is sore throat and cough which can be dry or phlegm laden. Ginger, holy basil or tulsi, black pepper and honey are a few herbal remedies for common respiratory tract infections. A glass of warm water steeped with either a mixture of all or some would bring in the much-needed relief. One can also sip a strong ginger tea or black pepper tea for a sore throat or cold.

Cough can be controlled with a teaspoon of honey mixed with black pepper powder or dry ginger powder. Half a teaspoon of fresh turmeric paste can be steeped in milk. This golden magic if had warm at night can be a huge relief and can induce sleep, which is disturbed by a stuffy nose or cough. The new-age turmeric latte is the age-old “haldi doodh” that the grannies believed in. A stuffy nose can be tackled by the application of eucalyptus oil on the forehead and chest.


Fever is a result of the body’s defence mechanisms fighting against a foreign object like a bacteria or virus. Mostly, viral fever takes 5-7 days to cure completely. But these 5-7 days are uncomfortable, and a person suffering is unable to do his/her normal chores. Fever also brings in body aches, loss of appetite, nausea and headache. Ginger, giloy, neem, tulsi, black pepper and coriander seeds are helpful in combatting fever.

Giloy is a branch of a tree and is bitter. The branch is cut into small sticks, cleaned and put in water to boil. The antibiotic properties of the boiled and strained water help in fighting a fever. The same can be done with neem leaves. A mixture of tulsi, ginger and black pepper can be had to bring relief to nausea and headache. Boiling coriander seeds in water and then having the water can reduce nausea and loss of appetite. Grapes have a cooling property. Grapes can be pressed into juice along with black cumin and fennel seeds. This juice fights fever effectively.


Headaches can be due to various reasons. Stress and migraine are the common ones. A sure-shot way to ward off headaches is water. Cumin seeds steeped in water work well. It is the body’s signal to say that it has not received enough water. Having an apple early in the morning also brings relief. One can also sip a herbal tea with peppermint or chamomile leaves. Applying lavender on the sides of the forehead brings relief too.


Toothache can be because of any tooth and gum infection. Cloves are the best friends of the pearly whites. Chewing cloves or applying clove oil brings in much-needed relief. One can also chew the leaves of the guava trees. They have antibacterial properties to reduce pain.

Acidity, Gastroenteritis, Indigestion, Diarrhoea

Most digestive system-related issues can be solved by having lots of lemon water to flush out the toxins. Apart from diarrhoea, other stomach issues can be reduced by having fennel seeds or carom seeds. Chewing green cardamom or a piece of cinnamon or mint leaves helps. Coconut water is a go-to thing for diarrhoea.

The pandemic has taught us that what looks like a harmless cough and fever might not actually be so. It is extremely important to check for the symptoms and visit a doctor or a physician if anything seems unusual. Having said that, one has to realise that herbs are natural and do not have any side effects. They can act as immunity boosters, preventive remedies and curing medicines.

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