Tulsi and ginger have known benefits balancing Kapha dosha and expelling phlegm.
By Dr Partap Chauhan
The common cold is more likely to occur in children than adults because their immunities are not fully developed. With the recent ban on hundreds of medicines, it is natural to worry about giving your child anything that has been marked “unsafe”.
Thankfully, people have been treating colds and coughs with Ayurveda millennia before chemical combinations were discovered. Next time your child is troubled by the common cold, try these natural treatments first.
Dalchini (cinnamon) and Mulethi (licorice) are both very effective in treating cold. Take half an inch long mulethi and boil in a cup of water until the water has reduced to half. Do not throw away the piece of mulethi; you can use it later too. Now in the half-cup mulethi extract, add two pinch of dalchini powder, let it cool down to room temperature. Spoon-feed this kwath to your child twice a day.
Amla and Giloy increase immunity and treat infection of the bronchioles. This combination can be bought at the market or you can buy both juices separately and mix it at home. If you cannot find amla juice easily, you can give raw amla to your child as well.
Tulsi and ginger have known benefits balancing Kapha dosha and expelling phlegm. Take a handful of Tulsi leaves and crush them well in a mortar and pestle. Now put this in a boiling pan with two cups of water and boil until the water has reduced. Add two pinches of ginger powder to it. Allow the mixture to cool down and give this to your child three to four times a day.
While these medicines work, here are some simple home remedies to provide relief from the discomfort.
Roast two-three bulbs of garlic with one teaspoon ajwain (carom seeds) on a pan without oil. Press garlic bulbs gently between your thumbs to release the juice before roasting. Place it in a muslin cloth and make a poultice. Test the warmth of the potali on the back of your hand and, if it is bearable, let your child inhale the potali. In winter, this will give the added advantage of warming your kid’s palm too.
Heat half a cup of sesame oil in a pan, crush four-five bulbs of garlic and drop it in the oil. Fry it until the bulbs are deep fried. Remove from heat, strain the oil and before it cools down completely, use it to massage the child’s back, scalp and soles. Dip two fingers in the oil, place them on the nostrils and ask your child to sharply inhale two-three times.
Take two to three drops of peppermint oil and add it to a large bowl of steaming water. Place it safely and conveniently for your child to inhale the steam. This will open up nasal congestion and relieve the knotted feeling between the brows.
Natural herbs and spices do not interfere with the course of nature. Let your child develop immunity gradually. Cough syrup and cold medication overtake the body’s natural defense mechanism and makes it dependent on medicines. Good diet, physical activities and good rest are the only three things your child needs to become immune to common colds.
Give your child immunity-boosting diets instead. Amla, turmeric milk, garlic, yogurt, leafy greens, citrus fruits, seeds and nuts are good for building immunity. Chyawanprasha is an excellent rejuvenator and immunity booster for adults and children alike. One teaspoon Chayawanprasha everyday will keep strengthen your child’s immunity and prevent common respiratory system disorders.
(The writer is director of Jiva Ayurveda, an author, public speaker, TV personality and Ayurved Acharya.)