An awful lot of people have been coughing and snotting the past few months. Our family especially! Here are some remedies that my ayurvedic doctor gave me. They work really well and have kept the sickness from escalating into something severe, and also provide so much relief. If you’re familiar with ayurveda, I’m pitta kapha, but I think these remedies would be good for anyone. Although, take care if you have asthma with breathing the steam or the fumes!
Some people have fancy face steamers, that are probably safer to use. I just use hot water (around 80C) in a pot or bowl, with a few drops of eucalyptus oil. Stick a towel over my head and inhale… Be careful not to knock the hot water on you! My ayurvedic doctor also told me steaming is good for your immune system. The steam loosens up the mucus. I like to massage my sinuses during the steam. I’ve also found this steam helps me if I have a sore throat. Afterwards, blow your nose and a lot of snot should come out!
Inhaling Tumeric Fumes
I like to do this after the steam. I feel like first the steam gets the snot loose, then the tumeric dries it up and reduces the inflammation. Tumeric is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. So, breathing in the fumes helps reduce inflammation of the sinus and air passages, while fighting whatever bug or infection you may have. This was another one my ayurvedic doctor told me about that I really love when I feel all chesty and infected.
Method: Put about a teaspoon of tumeric powder in the middle of a dry pot or pan, over medium/high heat. Inhale the grey fumes and turn your head to exhale (otherwise, you’ll exhale and blow the tumeric powder all over). I tend to stop when my nostrils start to sting a little, maybe 10 or 15 breathes (sometimes less, depending on how smokey it is). And, don’t keep inhaling the smoke if it the tumeric starts to burn, or turn black.
You can buy Tulsi tea in most health food shops. It’s a really good immune system booster. I drink a cup or two every day when I’m feeling icky.
Home Made Cough ‘Syrup’
This is a two part recipe my ayurvedic doctor gave me and it actually takes like some crazy Indian sweet! It does have sugar in it, but in ayurveda, sugar isn’t necessary ‘bad’ the way some health nuts view it. Anyway, you should use rapadura sugar (jaggary), or even brown sugar. These sugars have a higher molasses content, and still have their nutrients in there.
Take once in the morning, once before bed, not with meals.
(The following will be a dry mixture that you can use for a few days, add the honey as noted below, each time you take it).
Part 1: The dry mixture:
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
5 tsp sugar (I use rapadura)
Mix these all together, store the extra in a container.
Part 2: The Cough ‘Syrup’
Take 1 tsp of the mixture and ADD 1 TSP HONEY. Stir and eat, twice a day, once in the morning, once at night. I just wing all my measurements, so these photos may not look accurate.
The Post Nasal Drip Recipe
This one is for clogged sinuses and post nasal drip. Take once in the morning before you eat, and again at night on an empty stomach.
1 tsp ginger juice (grate some ginger, squeeze the pulp with your hands and keep the juice. wash your hands immediately after, as ginger can really sting if you get it into a cut or in your eyes)
1 tsp tumeric powder
1 tsp honey (I usually use 1 tablespoon because I have a sweet tooth)
Mix together and eat it.
Some general rules when you’re coughing and snotting
Avoid cold foods. Especially cold dairy and even bananas (they’re sticky, just like snot)
Avoid being in the cold and the wind.
Eat lots of warm soupy food.
Eat lots of warming food, with lots of ginger and black pepper.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor am I an expert in ayurveda. The remedies above are natural remedies meant for alleviating symptoms of a cough or cold. If your symptoms are severe and persistent, please see a doctor.