Seasonal cold and cough, is often a constant cause of worry for the mother of a young child. While we rely on modern medicine, there are certain home remedies which heal slowly but effectively and are completely safe for your little one.
Since prevention is always better than cure, let's first look at a few simple measures to help us avoid a cold:
1. Give hot and nourishing soups and plenty of fluids especially fruit juices to your child. (Above 6 months of age)
2. Increase Vitamin C intake such as orange juice. This will reduce the severity or duration of cold as it activates the antibodies in your body. (Above 6 months of age)
3. Give boiled and cooled water only.(Above 6 months of age)
4. Proper rest is needed see that your child gets enough sleep.
5. Try to keep yourself and your surrounding clean as much as you can. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. It is the best way to prevent the common cold or flu.
If your child has caught a cold already, here are the home remedies you could try for some relief:
1. Roast onion on a slow flame. Remove the juice and apply on the chest back and forehead.
2. Roast ajwain and salt on a pan, place a cloth over it or, make a 'potli' of ajwain and salt. Heat it on a pan, check for temperature and apply the heated cloth or potli on the chest, back or, forehead of the baby.
3. Add 5-10 drops of eucalyptus, peppermint, pine, lavender, thyme, tea tree oil to a bowl of steaming water. Keep it near your child or, apply the drops on the baby's clothes and pillow.
4. Take some mint and eucalyptus leaves and boil them together in water. Keep it near your child, it will help in relieving cough and cold. Whilst keeping the water near the baby, adequate care must be taken that it is not placed too close to the child, in order to avoid burns. The steam helps but exercise caution.
5. One of the natural ways to cure cold and cough is to add a few drops of cinnamon in the bath water. This too helps relieve congestion.
6. Another effective natural remedy for cough is to boil basil leaves and black pepper in water to make a concoction. Add a few drops of ginger juice to it. Give 1 tsp to your baby thrice a day. This can be given to babies only above 6 months of age.
7. Take 5ml of fresh tulsi and mix it in 10 ml of pure honey. Give this atleast twice daily.
8. Take ½ teaspoon of ginger juice with ½ teaspoon of honey, three times a day. Warm the mixture by mixing a teaspoon of warm water in it, especially during winter.
9. One of the most useful remedies for cough is to take 1-2 gms powder of dried turmeric mixed with honey, thrice a day. Kindly note HONEY must not be given before the child is a YEAR OLD.
10. Use saline drops to clear the nose. Clearing baby's blocked nose makes the baby comfortable.
Hope these remedies will prove useful for you and your baby.
If your child has acute body ache and high fever, you may also want to read the interview of a leading paediatrician on the Must-knows about Dengue.
Also read more about: Immunity of children against cold and cough#homeremedies