8 Effective Herbs That Fight Cold

Herbs for Cold

Fever, chills, headaches, runny nose, cough are some of the common symptoms of a cold. Antibiotics are not of much help in curing a cold because the leading cause for the common cold is more than 200 virus which can be dealt with best with home remedies.

Every adult is prone to catch a cold at least two-four times a year, and the number goes up to five-ten times per year for children as their immune system is not very strong.

There is no need to shell a fortune on over-the-counter medicines which can have some severe side effects, and still, show no result. Instead, use natural, and herbal treatments which have proven to give positive results.  We will discuss here the most recommended herbs for cold.

Herbal Remedies for Cold

1. Astragalus for Cold

Astragalus Herb
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Why Take It?

Astragalus is recommended for cold as it stimulates the immune system, and has an antioxidant property that breaks down the virus inside the body.

How to Take It?

Astragalus is available in most of the herbal food stores in the form of drops, and tablets. You can visit a Chinese food store to get the roots of astragalus. Boil these roots in water to make tea or soup, and drink this to get relief from the annoying cold- mix ginseng with your tea for better results.

How Much to Take?

If you are preparing astragalus tea, then boil 6-12 gm of dried root in 12 ounces of water, and have this tea at least thrice a day. You can have 500-100 mg of astragalus powder three to four times a day. For children, the dosage will be different. A child with a  50 lbs weight should take only 1/3 of the adult dosage.

[Also Read: Natural Remedies for Cold]

2. Elderberry For Cold

Elderberry
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Why Take It?

Over hundreds of years, elderberry(1) has been used by people to cure a cold. The main component which makes elderberry the go-to herb for cold is antioxidants present in it. Antioxidant acts on the virus by strengthening the immune system of the body.

How to Take It?

Elderberry can be taken in juice syrup form to ease cold symptoms, and lessen the length of time the cold lasts. This syrup or juice should be taken within 48 hours of the occurrence of the first symptoms. You can even take elderberry lozenges within 24 hours of the occurrence of early signs of a cold. This will help cure a cold within 2-4 days of taking a regular dosage of elderberry.

How Much to Take?

Dosage of elderberry is not standard, and it depends from person to person. Usually, it is advised to take one tablespoon on elderberry extract four times a day for a common cold. The lozenge is another form in which elderberry can be taken, and you can keep taking it throughout the day till your cold subsides.

3. Garlic For Cold.

garlic befits
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Why Take It?

Having garlic regularly may help avoid the cold or the flu. Garlic reduces the severity of cold symptoms and helps you recover faster. Allin compound found in whole garlic(2)  helps to strengthen the immune system.  Allin changes to allicin when you crush or chew garlic. Allicin contains sulfur which gives garlic a peculiar taste and also has medicinal properties fighting the virus inside the body.

How to Take It?

Garlic can be had in various forms like powdered garlic, garlic oil, and aged garlic. The best and most effective form is aged garlic. If you have garlic cloves as a whole make sure to crush the clove at least 10 minutes before having.

How Much to Use?

For garlic to be effective on cold, it is advised to have one clove two to three times a day. If you are going ahead with aged garlic powder, then 600-1200 mg dosage per day is good enough. Too much intake of garlic can be toxic; therefore stay within the prescribed dosage.

[Also Read: Benefits Garlic for Sore Throat]

4. Ginger Tea For Cold

Ginger tea in a cup
Image:ShutterStock

Why Take It?

Ginger is the most successful treatment for cold. It acts quickly on the symptoms. Whether you are going through cough, blocked nostrils, sore throat, headache or inflammation,  ginger can fix it all in no time. This is a wonder root which offers instant relief by producing heat in the body and cutting down the virus. Chinese have used ginger since ages to treat cold, and flu.

How to Use?

Prepare a comforting ginger tea by adding 20–40 grams of fresh ginger to a cup of hot water. Allow ginger slices to sit in warm water for a few minutes before drinking.  You can add honey or lemon juice to enhance the taste of this tea. If you can get ginger in powder form, then you can mix it with a teaspoon of honey, and have.

How Much to Use?

Clinical trials have suggested using 170 mg to 1 gm of ginger three-four times a day. Essential oils of ginger once in a day can be used for aromatherapy to recover from blocked nose.

5. Lemon Balm For Cold

lemon balm benefits
Image:ShutterStock

Why Use It?

Lemongrass is very useful in curing the infectious state of cold. Lemongrass is a natural substitute for usual anti-biotics like Roxithromycin, Ciprofloxacin, Doxycycline or other medicines used in the treatment of Cold.

How to Use?

Boil finely chopped Lemongrass in a cup of water for at least 30 minutes to allow complete extraction of the active components. Strain, and drink this Lemongrass tea regularly to cure a cold. You can also take lemongrass essential oil steam to get rid of cold and open blocked nose. Mix a few drops of essential oil to boiling water, and inhale the steam which comes out.

How Much to Use?

Use 50 gm of lemongrass to make around 60 ml of lemongrass tea. Have this tea three times a day for a week, and you would feel relieved from cold.

6. Rose Hip For Cold

Rose Hip
Image:ShutterStock

Why Use It?

Antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acids like linoleic acid are present in rosehip oil. These acids are vital for curing the breakdown of cell membranes in the skin. Strong and healthy cells act as a wall to prevent the virus from entering the body, which can lead to cold and congestion.

How to Use it?

Rosehip fruit blooms at the time of fall. The inner hairy seeds are brought to use by using their pulp to make jellies, syrups or had as tea in dried form.

How Much to Use?

Rosehip oil does not have any side effects as it is an excellent booster for Vitamin C. Having rose hip oil twice a day in any form is best suited to beat cold.

See Also
Benefits of Lavender oil

7. Echinacea For Cold

Echinacea Benefits
Image:ShutterStock

Why Use It?

Echinacea is one herb that reduces the intensity and duration of the cold. To get the best results, it is advised to have fresh Echinacea.

How to Use it?

Echinacea should not be had an empty stomach as it may react. You can make tea out of Echinacea roots or have it in powder form along with water.

How Much to Use?

Taking Echinacea 2-4 times every day continuously for seven to fourteen days would show results by reducing the severity of cold, and also shortening the timeline of illness.

8. Thyme For Cold

Thyme
Image:ShutterStock

Why Take It?

Thyme has antiviral, antimicrobial, antibiotic,  decongestant, properties. These properties help in reducing the time you are stuck up with a cold and rejuvenates your system.

[Also Read: Benefits of Thyme Essential Oil]

How to Take It?

Experts suggest that thyme works very well in opening chest congestions, and treating cold. You can make tea with thyme extracts or mix it with peppermint, and have it. Thyme leaves can be boiled and inhaled as steam to cure a cold.

How Much to Take?

Use a ½ spoon of thyme to make steam, four times a day. If you are taking thyme steam, then add 1 drop of thyme oil with ½ teaspoon olive oil in boiling water.

Usually cold runs for about five-seven days but you can get relief in lesser time by using the herbal remedies as mentioned above. Try and build a strong immune system by eating right so that the virus does not catch you easily. Also, children are highly prone to catching a cold hence keep a check that they do not come in close contact of any person carrying cold. Avoid antibiotics for curing a cold as they would just enhance congestion, and make you feel dizzy. In severe cases, it advisable you consult a physician.


FAQs

1. What Are the Symptoms of a Cold?

Symptoms can vary from one person to another, but most common ones are running nose, sneezing, low fever, sore throat, cough, mild headache, congestion, and so on.

2. What Are the Most Common Herbs Used for Cold?

Herbs like thyme, elderberry, rosehip, Echinacea, garlic, ginger, and astragalus work best to cure a cold and can be used for treating cold.

3. What Other Home Remedies That Can Be Used for Cold?

Other home remedies for cold that you can try are being hydrated, having warm drinks like tea, and soup, bringing down congestion by taking steam, gargling with salt water to relieve sore throat, and taking a right amount of rest.

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