Cold is a very common health problem of kids. The common cold (sardi jukam) is a viral infectious disease. This is an infection of upper respiratory tract. It primarily affects the nose. Another affected part of body with cold is normally throat. The viruses of cold are typically transmitted through hand to hand or hand to surface to hand contact. The viruses of cold may survive for the prolonged period in the environment and as a result, picked up by the people through hand. Subsequently, these viruses go to home through one member and then spread among other family members. In the case of kids, transmission of these viruses goes through schools, daycare, or the affected family members. As far as new born baby is concerned, infection normally comes through mother.
Main symptoms of cold and cough (sardi khansi) are running nose, sneezing, coughing and sore throat. First and foremost symptom of cold is not feeling well. Another symptom is sore throat which is due to the build-up of mucus. Actually, when the mucus runs down from the back of the nose to throat, it causes sore throat. Sneezing, runny nose and coughing are other symptoms of cold and cough problem.
Causes of cold and cough in kids are normally occurrence of virus. There are many viruses which caused cold and cough. But the most common virus responsible for cold is rhinovirus.
Cold is a very common health problem of kids for which parents use medicines every time. Though this cold is not dangerous in healthy children and usually goes away in 4 to 10 days even without treatment. But in the case of new born and very small kids, its ignorance is not good because the common cold is an infection of upper respiratory tract. And if the viruses entered in the lower respiratory tract, it will cause bronchitis, pneumonia and other respiratory problems. Then the situation may be risky.
The conventional treatment for curing this cold infection is usually use of antibiotics. But these medicines have some side effects and are not good for kids’ immunity. There are some very simple and effective natural remedies that can cure this cold without any side effect. Therefore it is better to use these natural remedies to cure minor cold and cough problems of kids.
Natural Remedies of Cold among Kids (Bachchon me Sardi-Jukam):
1. Ginger juice and Basil (Tulsi) juice:
Ginger (adrak) and basil (tulsi) plant have mucus releasing properties. If your kids are suffering from cough and cold-
- Extract the juice of a small piece of ginger after cleaning.
- Similarly, take 8-10 leaves of tulsi and crush them to extract juice.
- Then, mix 4-5 drops of ginger juice and 4-5 drops of basil juice.
- Add one tea spoon of honey and ingest your child thrice a day.
- Ginger and basil leaves are natural antibiotics and also safe for small kids. You can give it to your child for 2-3 days.
If you give only 4-5 drops of ginger juice to your kid with honey at night, the cough and cold will be vanished naturally without any medicines. But the taste of ginger (adrak) is quite different; it is too bitter to give to small kids. So, it is better not to be used below three months of age group.
Method of Ginger/ Basil Juice:
- To make ginger juice (adrak ka ras), crush or grate a small piece of ginger after cleaning with water.
- Then extract the juice with the help of a sieve (Chhalni) or a thin cotton cloth. Or simply by pressing the grated ginger with the finger tips.
- Similarly, crush or grind 10-15 basil leaves and extract the juice by sieving with a cotton cloth like ginger.
2. Alum (Fitkari) for Cold:
- Firstly take some alum (fitkari) and grind it.
- After that keep it on gas in an iron pan to roast and heat till it melts.
- Let it to be cool and grind to make fine powder.
- Keep this powder into an air tight jar and use as per requirement.
- Give a pinch (ek chutki) of this powder to your child with honey (shahad) whenever he is suffering from cough. This natural remedy can be used for the kids of above 6 months age group.
3. Fig (Anjeer) for Cold:
To cure cold and cough (sardi khansi) of your kids naturally-
- First of all soak a dry fig (anjeer) in some water for 3-4 hours.
- After that remove the fig from water and make paste of it.
- Then ingest this paste to your child and repeat the same for 2-3 times a day.
- It is an excellent natural remedy to remove mucus (balgam) and also quite safe too. You can apply it even for a new born baby also, but the dose should be very small.
4. Carom Seeds & Dry Ginger Powder for Cold:
To control cough and cold of your kids, carom seeds and dry ginger (sonth) are most effective as natural remedy. These two spices are very common items of each and every Indian kitchen.
- Simply roast some carom seeds or ajwain on a pan (tava) slightly (for 2-3 minutes) and grind to make powder.
- Like wise, grind some dry ginger to make fine powder with the help of mixer grinder.
- Mix a pinch of carom seeds (ajwain) powder and a pinch of dry ginger powder (sonth).
- Add one tea spoon of honey (shahad) and ingest it to your child.
- It is quite safe remedy for small children but its taste is bitter, so it is good to use for the age group of 6 months and above.
5. Flax Seeds Decoction (Kadha):
Flax seeds (alsi) have so many health benefits and are able to prevent or treat many health problems naturally. You can give decoction of flax seeds for treating cold among kids. Flax seeds decoction (kadha) clears chest congestion and remove mucus (balgam) through stool. This is an effective and safe natural remedy that clears chest congestion and very effective in curing chronic cold of kids too.
Method of Preparing Decoction (Kadha):
First of all, take one tea spoon of flax seeds (alsi) and boil it in 200 ml of water for ten minutes. After that, sieve the decoction into a cup and give 2 table spoons of water to your child every two hours.
6. Swag of Carom (Ajwain) Seeds:
If your child is having cold and cough (sardi khansi), at first slightly roast the carom seeds (ajwain) on heat; tie these carom seeds in a soft cotton cloth. After that, give lukewarm fomentation (sake) of ajwain on the chest of the child. Also put this swag (potli) near the nose of the child so that he can smell carom seeds to get relief from blocked nose. Though it is a simple natural remedy but very effective to treat cold and cough problems.
7. Terminalia Chebula or Harad for curing Cold:
Harad or haritaki is a very good medicine of balancing ‘kapha’ for everyone. It can be given to small children also. If your child is suffering from cold and cough, give him powder of harad with honey.
Simply, grind some harad (terminalia chebula) after roasting slightly on a pan (tava). Keep it into a jar after making fine powder. Give 1-2 pinch of its powder with honey to small children twice a day for 2-3 days regularly.
(Note: There is no side effect of it; some children might vomit when they consume haritaki or harad for the first time, that is normal and one need not to worry about it. They will get used to it very soon.)
Dosage for Children:
A big pinch (around 2 gm) for children around 3 to 6 years. A small pinch (around 1 gm) for children between 1 to 3 years. This remedy will treat cough very effectively.
In case of cough, apply the paste of harad powder (mixing with warm water) on the chest of you child. It also helps to reduce the cough effectively.
Caution: Avoid to use of terminalia chebula or black chebulic myrobalan to small children continuously. If your child has tendency of repeated cough and cold, it is better to consult doctor.
All the above ingredients like- alum (fitkari), dry ginger, carom seeds, flax seeds (alsi), figs (anjeer) and honey remain available to purchase from any grocery shop or super market like big bazaar etc. Basil leaves are almost available in each and every house or neighbourhood. As far as Ginger (fresh) is concerned, you can purchase it from vegetable market.
All the above said remedies are quite safe and simple but if it does not suit your child stop it immediately. It is better to consult expert before use. The remedies given above is not substitute of doctor or medical treatment.