Home Remedies from south India: Colds

This is a continuation of the series which started with Hair Care. The information in this series is the knowledge of my grandmother, which I documented as part of a project on medicinal plants and home remedies.

  1. Vibuthi is rubbed on the topmost part of the head (uchanthalai), back of the neck, chest, back and sides of the thorax
  2. Steam inhalation with Tulasi or Omavalli leaves
  3. Charcoal is burnt with sambrani (dried cow dung), manja podi (Turmeric powder) –the smoke fumes is inhaled from a distance to relieve congestion
  4. Turmeric in tuber form is heated to soot. The smoke is inhaled for sour throat, cough and sinus problems
  5. To prevent cold after child-birth, Nallennai (sesame oil), Melagu (pepper), Inji (ginger), Molaga (chilli), Paruppu (dal/lentils), are all heated, slightly fried with water and applied on body and head of mother and child on the eleventh day after birth
  6. Garlic or dry ginger is crushed, covered with cotton and inserted slightly into the hole of the ear. This prevents and cures colds and is good for cold nights and travel
  7. Katti Karpuram (solid camphor) and Thenga Ennai (coconut oil) are mixed and applied all over the infant’s body to prevent cold
  8. For whooping-cough, or inability to breath in babies, a bunch of hair on the very top of the head (uchanthalai) is pulled slightly.
  9. Nallennai (sesame oil) is gargled for a few minutes twice a day for sinus problems
  10. Sunnambu (calcium oxide) and Karumbu vellam (cane jaggery) is mixed and applied on the neck for throat ache.
  11. Turmeric paste and Sunnambu paste (calcium oxide) is warmed on an iron ladle. This is applied in the forehead and nose to treat headache and phlegm in children.
  12. Warm salt water is gargled for sore throat.
  13. One teaspoon luke-warm honey with quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon powder is taken for three days. This will cure chronic cough, cold and clear sinuses.
  14. Powder Vaalmelagu is mixed with honey and consumed for chest congestion.
  15. Honey contains a natural ingredient which kills influenza germs and relieves symptoms of the flu
  16. A stuffy head is cleared with garlic


The pictures used in this series are inserted from other websites. I have used them only to illustrate the ingredients used in the remedies.

See also