Home Remedies for Flu, Common Cold, Indigestion

Common cold is often caused by viral infection due to change of place, season and diet can also by decreased immunity. Ayurveda offers a variety of remedies for flu, cold and weak digestion strength with herbs like Tulsi (Holy basil), turmeric, black pepper, long pepper, ginger etc.

cold infection

Cold from Ice Cream

It is an annoying complaint of many, catching cold and coughing soon after enjoying a delicious cup of ice cream. often associated with cough and sore throat among the people who consume ice cream. The incidence remains higher among people who take ice cream at night, as Kapha Dosha is more dominant at that time.

The incidence of cough and cold after ice cream is seen more during the rainy season and during winter.

As per Ayurveda, season, individuals Dosha constitution (Kapha), time of intake of ice cream too contribute in manifestation of cold as well as sore throat.

With more and more restrictions being laid over the use of antibiotics, it is high time to look at home remedies and Ayurvedic medicines to treat coughs and colds.

Home remedies

1. Betel leaf juice – 1 teaspoon is mixed with 1 teaspoon of honey and licked. This prevents the chances of getting cold and also pacifies the complaint once if cold and cough manifests.

2. Tulsi leaf juice is extracted. 1 teaspoon of this is added with a teaspoon of honey and a pinch of pepper powder. This mix is consumed in half – 1 teaspoon dose once or twice a day after food.

3. Dry ginger is taken along with little salt and chewed immediately after ice cream intake. This pacifies sore throat immediately.
Warm water intake soon after ice cream reduces the intensity of cold.
If you are observing that particular brand of ice cream is causing the cough and cold, then try to avoid those brands.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy

Flu, Cold due to winter

Include ginger, turmeric and pepper in minute quantities in your diet. Soon after you are home, make sure you dry your hairs.
Try replacing cold water with warm water. As per Ayurveda, warm water helps to relieve Kapha Dosha. Imbalance of Kapha Dosha is the main reason for cold and cough.
Ginger tea is better than normal tea.
Take raw guggulu from the market, add a bit of turmeric and neem powder to it, burn it and inhale the fumes from a distance of one meter for a couple of minutes, soon after you return home.
Or, put turmeric powder in a hot pan and inhale the fumes. It helps to relieve cold and allergy.

Ginger, Haritaki, Guduchi

A simple home remedy for fever and cold can be prepared with three easily available herbs. This  home remedy  for cold and fever is prepared in the form of Ayurvedic kashayam. This home remedy is especially beneficial if the fever is of viral origin. Here is the detailed method of how it is prepared.


This kashayam home remedy is prepared using three ingredients –
Dry Ginger – 10 grams,
Hareetaki (Harad)– Terminalia chebula – 20 grams and
Guduchi – Indian Tinospora (giloya) – 30 grams.

Method of preparation

How to prepare home remedy for fever and cold?
Coarse powder of these three herbs is taken in a clean wide mouthed vessel.
Add 800 ml of water to the vessel, leave it for 2 – 3 hours.
Boil this mixture of herbs and water over mild fire till the total water in the vessel is reduced to approximately 200 ml.
Note that this is the usual method of making kashayam.

After heating till only 200 ml of water remains in the vessel, put off the stove, take the vessel out and filter the contents.
The filtered liquid is the home remedy.


All the general precautions and rules of kashayam making should be strictly followed.
It is better to try this home remedy only after seeking professional advise.

Dose, Benefits

Dose: 10 – 15 ml once or twice in a day, half an hour before food.

Benefits –
This kashayam is traditionally used in the treatment of fever and cold.
It increases immunity.
It improves digestion capacity by correcting the enzymes in stomach and intestines.
It is effective against cold associated with fever.
Ginger and giloya have potent antiviral properties. Hence this can be used in viral diseases.
Daily intake of this kashayam for a period of one month is very helpful in people suffering from recurrent fever and cold.

Long pepper, Amla, Haritaki, Chitraka

Let us learn a simple and easy to prepare home remedy for flu and cold. It is also useful to relieve  excess phlegm and cough. It is good for eyes as well. It has only four ingredients. 

home remedy for flu and cold


Long pepper powder (Pippali) – 10 grams
Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) – 10 grams
Amla (Indian Gooseberry, Amalaki) – dry fruit powder – 10 grams
Chitraka (Lead wort – Plumbago zeylanica) – 10 grams.

How to make?

Take 10 grams of fine power of all these and mix it.

How to use?

1 – 3 grams of this powder mixed with honey or lukewarm water is taken.


Very useful to relieve flu symptoms, relieves cough, cold, indigestion and anorexia.
It is also good to use in case of eye infections.

How it works?

Chitraka (lead wort) is a very powerful antipyretic (anti-fever) herb.
Amla brings down temperature, being a coolant.
Amla and Haritaki are part of Triphala. They improve eye power and also fight infection.
Pippali is again a powerful anti inflammatory and anit-viral spice.

How long to take?

It can be taken up to two weeks, based on your doctor’s advice.

Side effects

Any side effects?
Overdose may cause burning sensation in stomach and mild diarrhoea.

Is it safe during pregnancy and lactation?
Nope. Avoid it.

Home remedy video

Ayurvedic Medicines

Trikatu Churna – It is a simple combination of three spices – pepper, long pepper and ginger. It helps to improve digestion strength and relieves cold and rhinitis. However, it is not suitable for people with sensitive stomach or gastritis.

Vyoshadi vataka  – contains ginger pepper, long pepper etc. It is good for cold and viral fever.

Panchanimbadi Gulika – Contains Neem as the main ingredient. It is excellent antiviral and antibacterial, keeps repeated allergies and infections at bay on long term usage.

Vilwadi Gulika – One of the most common antiviral and antibacterial medicine used in Ayurvedic treatment.

Amrutottaram kashayam tablet – It contains Indian Tinospora (Giloy, Guduchi) as the main ingredient. It is an excellent ayurvedic remedy for fever. Tinospora’s immune-modulator and anti-fever activity have been scientifically established.

Sitopaladi Churna – It is yet another simple combination of five herbs. It acts as mucolytic and expectorant. 

Ayurvedic tablets for chewing-
Khadiradi vati – 
soothes throat and nose, expectorant of phlegm (expels out phlegm)
Lavangadi vati – Anti tussive, expectorant
Vyoshadi vati -Expectorant, carminative, digestive,anti-tussive

Ayurvedic medicines for oral intake:
Pippalyasava – immuno modulator, expectoarant, broncho dilator, anti histaminic
Draksharishtha – soothener, rejuvinative, expectorant
Kanakasava – digestive, anti histaminic, broncho-dilator
Dashamoolakatutrayadi kashaya -expectorant,broncho dilator
Vasakarishtha – soothener of the throat and buccal cavity,expectorant
Sitopaladi choorna – anti tussive, expectorant
Talisadi choorna-anti tussive
Eladi lehya-rejuvinative
Eladashamoola lehya – broncho dilator
Chyavanaprash -tonic, immuno-modulator, expectorant
Agasthya rasayana-expectorant, rejuvinative
Haridra khanda – anti histaminic, immune modulator etc

Taleesapatra vatakam – 1/2 tablespoonful of granules after food morning and evening with hot water. Haridra Khanda (best for allergy) – method of taking is the same as above but with milk.

Vyoshadi vatakam dosage same as taleesapatra vatakam.

Patent Ayurvedic medicines –
Eosiniphal (imis)
Nilsin (Phytopharma)
Sushwas (Alvas)
Kasoril (Acharya sushruta)
Pulmotone (Kitts)
Bresol Syrup (Himalaya) etc

5 comments on “Home Remedies for Flu, Common Cold, Indigestion

  • Jyothir

    08/02/2013 - 2:55 pm

    Will you be able tell us how many times a day we need to take this?

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      08/02/2013 - 4:24 pm

      Hi, It can be taken for up to 1 – 2 weeks.

      Reply to comment
      • Jyothir

        14/02/2013 - 3:54 pm

        I mean how many times a ‘day’ – one time or twice – before food or after food?

        Reply to comment
        • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

          26/02/2013 - 6:29 pm

          sorry. It can be taken once or twice a day, after food.

          Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    14/06/2013 - 9:44 pm

    Hi, there are very effective ayurvedic medicines which prevent frequent attacks of cold and fever in children. Please consult an Ayurveda doctor directly. Her immunity needs a boost. Do not try this remedy on her.

    Reply to comment

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