This Month’s Special > Topic of the Month
Cough & Cold

It is a catarrhal and inflammatory condition of upper respiratory tract due to viral, allergic or mixed infection. In Ayurveda it is known as PRATISHYAYA mainly due to vitiation of DOSHAS (Vata, Pitta & Kapha).

Symptoms & Causes

Due to vitiation of Kapha upper Respiratory tract is inflamed and congested. Sneezing, coughing, running nose, heaviness of head followed by inflammation of mucus membrane of nose, body aches, chill and loss of appetite. Allergens, Virus. Bacteria are the common causative factors of this disease. A cough may be caused by the inflammation of the larynx or the pharynx and develop in the chest due to change in weather. The real cause of this disorder is clogging of the bronchial tubes with waste matters.. The reason for higher incident of cough during winter than other seasons due to intake of catarrh - forming foods such as white bread, meat, sugar, porridge, puddings, and pies .Hay fever, flu, sinusitis etc are the associated causes of this disease. According to Ayurveda Pratishyaya is classified in to VATAJ, PITTAJ, KAPHAJ and TRIDOSHAJ types. In Vataj type there is pain in sinus cavity with sneezing, pittaj type is with fever and in kaphaj type there are whitish secretion and dull headache.


Herbs which is useful :

Amla (Phyllanthus emblica)

Amla , or Indian gooseberry, is a popular fruit that has long been valued for its rejuvenating properties, according to traditional Ayurveda. Amla is used for all Pitta diseases. Preliminary evidence suggests that amla may help boost the immune response, presumably due to its vitamin C content.

It also helps increase red blood cell count and helps regulate blood sugar.

Alma is a good Cardio Tonic and its mild stimulant action on heart helps to control blood pressure. Phyllanthus Emblica is a very good hair tonic.

Elaichi (Amomum subulatum) :

Elaichi is an effective remedy for cold & cough caused due to throat irritation. Three peepers sucked with a pinch of caraway seeds and crystal of common salt with Elaichi powder helps dilution of thick cough and its allied problems like bronchial congestion providing a demulcent and soothing effect on respiratory tract. It prevents reflex coughing and stimulates normal mucous secretion.

Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) :

Apart from the religious significance, it also has substantial medical significance and is used in Ayurvedic treatment. Tulsi has antimicrobal properties since it is also anti - inflammatory. It is useful in respiratory tract infection. Ursolic acid, present in tulsi, has anti-allergic properties. The plant can play a role in the management of immunological disorders such as allergies and asthma. Holy basil was brought to this country by Indian immigrants. The juice of the leaves are used against fever and as an antidote for snake and scorpion bites. It's anti-spasmodic properties, relieves abdominal pains and it helps in lowering the blood sugar level.

Vasaka (Justicia adhatoda) :

The leaves of the plant contain the alkaloid vasicine (C11H12N2O), which is responsible for the small but persistent bronchodilatation, and an essential oil which is chiefly responsible for the expectorant action. The leaves and roots contain other alkaloids, vasicinone, vasicinolone and vasicol, which may contribute to the bronchodilatory effect through anticholinergic action on the vagal innervation of the bronchii. The bronchodilation effect is considerably increased after atropine administration. Studies have also shown vasa to be effective in the treatment of amlapitta (dyspepsia) and pyorrhea .

The juice expressed from the leaves and the decoction of the leaves and roots are useful in asthma, bronchitis, and other chronic coughs. Dried leaves are used in dhoomapana (smoking) in the treatment of bronchial asthma. The leaf decoction is an excellent expectorant when decocted with punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa) and then combined with ginger juice and black pepper. Another effective preparation for the treatment of asthma is the decoction of vasa, guduci (Tinospora cordifolia), and kantakari (Solanum surratense) mixed with honey.

Garlic (Allium Sativum)

Garlic has proved effective in certain diseases of the chest. It reduces foetidity or stinking of the breath in pulmonary gangrene. Garlic is also useful in the treatment of tuberculosis.

In Ayurveda a decoction of garlic boiled in milk is considered a wonderful drug for tuberculosis. One gram of garlic , 250ml of milk and a liter of water are boiled together till it reduces to one fourth of the decoction.

It should be taken thrice a day. Taken in sufficient quantities, it is marvelous remedy for pneumonia.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale ) :

Ginger is other excellent remedy for cold and cough. Ginger tea is good for fever, cough and cold. Dried ginger powder 1/2 tsp, 2-3 black pepper cones, 2-3 cloves, 2-3 cardamom, 1/2 tsp Cummins seeds should be boiled and add little tea leaves and sugar or honey and can be had hot. It gives good relief of the throat pain, cold and cough. It can be taken two to three times in a day.

Diet :

*A limited quantity of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
*A liberal amount of alkali-forming foods – fresh fruits, green vegetables, sprouted seeds and grains.
*Avoid foods which tend to produce phlegm – rice, sugar, lentils and curd.
*Avoid difficult-to-digest foods – strong tea, coffee, alcoholic beverages, condiments, pickles, sauces and all refined and processed foods.

Life Style :

*Avoid excess humidity
*Avoid exposure to dust, fumes & pollen grains
*Check your allergens