Indian Home Remedies For Cold And Cough In Infants
Cold, cough is the most common ailment in children, especially in winters and seasonal change. The major causes of cough are upper respiratory system infection, common cold, asthma sinusitis, and acid reflux. Coughs generally are of two types: wet and dry.
What is the difference between a wet and dry cough?
A wet cough is due to the presence of phlegm in the throat and nasal area. On the other hand, in a dry cough, there is no phlegm. We can’t be totally immune to cough and the common cold, among children it is quite common even though you would take the maximum precaution possible. Babies do get infected with cold and cough.
Over the counter medicine is not at all advisable for babies without a doctor prescription and even toddlers but we can always apply some homemade medicine for quick relief, the following few suggestions would help your babies to soothe around until you go for a doctor’s appointment. These are safe and can be easily administered at home.
Top 7 Indian home remedies for cold and cough in infants, babies, and toddlers
1. Homemade Nasal Drops (Saline Drop)
Cold often creates a blocked nose; the homemade nasal drop is the ideal quick fix nasal passage. Saline water drops are easy to prepare at home, all you need is 8tsp of filtered boiling water and add ½ tsp of salt to it while preparing the salt water solution, take care of hygiene and use sterilized utensils.
Store the solution and apply it with the help of a dropper in the nostrils of the baby. There are no restrictions in the number of times it may be used until your babies don’t feel irritated. Try to keep the baby’s head tilted as you drop the solution so that the saline does not ooze out.
Do not store the saline drop solution for more than a day as it increases the risk of bacterial contamination, use freshly made solution daily. In addition, you can also use a bulb syringe to extract any loosened mucus from the nostrils, restrict use if you are not confident enough to use it or your child doesn’t enjoy it.
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Honey is a trusted medicine in the field of Ayurveda and has been used for ages to administer cough for people of all ages. Honey coats and soothes the cough and has strong evidence in curing cough.
When mixed with ginger, basil, or lemon juice which is a good source of vitamin c and honey provides better results and can be taken at any time of the day preferably in the morning with lukewarm water which helps in sore throat, but if taken at night it also provides good sleep to your babies by opening up chest congestion.
Care should be taken that honey as a form of sugar can be harmful to the teeth, hence if taken at night should be followed by brushing of teeth. Children below the age of 12 months should not be given honey as it may cause botulism in them.
3. Steamy Air
Breathing in moist or humid air helps loosen the mucus in the nasal cavity. The best way is to use a humidifier, which can be kept at the side of the bed with some essential oil added in it and the baby will feel relaxed as the air gets humid, she can breathe smoothly from the chest congestion.
Humidifiers need to be cleaned on a regular basis as they can develop mold. If you are unable to acquire a humidifier or steamer a steam bath or hot water bath will be equally effective.
The only care to be taken for steam inhalation is the temp of the vapor which should not be too high as the baby skin is too delicate to withstand high temperature. For better results pine oil or eucalyptus oil may be used in the humidifier or steamer but don’t forget to cross-check whether the baby is allergic to these oils.
4. Coconut Oil Massage
Coconut oil is perfect for baby skin safe, natural, and light. Coconut oil has loads of remedial and relaxing effects on the skin. It has a tendency to cure, re-hydrate, and moisturize the skin while being fast absorbent as well.
To get rid of cold, warm coconut oil can be applied on the chest of an infant with gentle strokes and rubbing the oil evenly on the skin. To prepare the oil you need to heat coconut oil in a pan along with Carom seeds (ajwain) which are known for making the body hot, garlic pods may also be used for better results as garlic contains immunity-boosting properties.
Researches have shown that warm liquids are soothing and relieving in cold symptoms. Drinking water helps prevent dehydration and flushes and thins the child’s nasal mucus from a blocked nose.
Infants don’t need extra fluids, breast milk will suffice, babies on formula feed need not take other fluids instead can dilute the food by adding more water either warm or at the room temperature to it. Toddlers may be given vegetable warm soup, chicken soups, tomato soup, or freshly prepared juice.
Concoctions made up of basil leaves, ginger honey and pepper can also be used at regular intervals. Avoid carbonated drinks and juices as fluids they dehydrate the body instead of hydrating.
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6. Mustard Oil Massage
Mustard oil is a proven technique of clear congestion and cold, to make it effective heat mustard oil add a pinch of garlic clove and ajwain powder, and massage your baby’s chest, back, and neck part it will give instant relief from nasal congestion and chest pain. (Before applying warm mustard oil do check it’s not too warm that burn child skin )
7. Ajwain Potli (popular home remedies)
Ajwain potli is best when the infant is having a stuffy nose or a blocked nose, All you have to do is heat up the Ajwain seed and place it in a cotton cloth and rub it over the chest and nose, you can also place that ajwain potli near toddler’s nose it will help open up nose instantly.
With growth children build up their immune system hence remedies discussed above vary with the age of the children. An infant and a toddler don’t happen to have the same cure for a common disease, so care is needed while applying natural remedies. Moreover, these are guidelines and should not be taken as alternative advice for a medicinal practitioner.