Ayurveda Medicine for Cold: Home Remedies

ayurveda medicine for cold

Ayurveda Medicine for cold

When the temperatures fall, it’s time again: the cold season begins. Ayurveda offers several beneficial options for colds so that you can arm yourself against them. 

As a holistic art of healing, Ayurveda is primarily about strengthening the immune system through a balanced lifestyle. But if you catch a cold: The Ayurvedic teachings help eliminate the annoying cold and cough as quickly as possible. With some gentle household remedies, you will regain your well-being in no time.

How does a cold develop? Perspective in Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, colds are the result of an imbalance in our doshas. In the cold season, our Doshas weaken: The constant change between warm and cold temperatures brings the interaction of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha out of balance.

Woman Sleeping

The cold causes the doshas Vata and Kapha to increase, and the digestive fire (Agni) weakens. Thus, making us more susceptible to colds. Kapha and Vata types catch colds faster, but the Pitta types’ natural warmth has a preventive effect.

Blocking of the airways (Prana-Vaha-Srotas)

Coughs and rhinitis lead to a blockage of important body channels (srotas). The channels of the respiration and the life energy are the so-called “Prana-Vaha-Srotas.” A detoxifying diet and purifying steam baths help to release the blockages of the srotas.

Cold symptoms with an excess of Kapha- & Pitta-Doshas

Depending on which dosha dominates, we develop different symptoms. Excessive Vata or Kapha Dosha mainly causes colds. Which therapy is most suitable for you, therefore, also depends on the type of your cold.

An excess of Vata leads to:

  • dry mucous membranes
  • Hoarseness
  • thin secretions
  • dry, intensive cough

An excess of Kapha leads to:

  • a damp, productive cough
  • Tiredness and heaviness
  • viscous, stuck secretion
Recommendations for balancing the doshas

Analysis of Symptoms: Are these more likely to be due to too much Vata or too much Kapha? We recommend the following diet to balance doshas.

Vata: Prefer warm, soothing food with a sweet, salty, and only slightly spicy taste. For example, creamy carrot or pumpkin soup with spices like long pepper, rock salt, cumin, and sage.

Kapha: Prefer warm, stimulating dishes with a bitter, tart, and spicy taste. For example, Mung dal with kale and fiery spices like chili or garlic.

Healthy through diet: Eating when you have a cold

With the right nutrition, you activate your self-healing powers and help the immune system to recover. If you have a cold coming on, you should always eat warm, light food. Food that is difficult to digest places an additional burden on the digestive system (Agni).

So avoid fatty and animal foods (cheese, butter, meat, eggs, fish) and sweets. You should also avoid raw and cold foods. Warm, cooked foods such as vegetable soups without fat, stews, and lots of spiced tea are especially useful for you.

You should also avoid sour foods if you have a cold: From the Ayurveda point of view, acidic foods promote inflammation in the body. Ayurvedic teachings, therefore, instead advise against common household remedies such as hot lemon or orange juice.

Drink, drink, drink: sufficiently warm drinks

Person Holding Coffee Filled Mug

Support the healing process with sufficient fluid: This will flush pathogens from the body and compensate for fluid loss. We recommend taking a drink of hot water or tea once an hour. Especially warm drinks with medicinal herbs and spices, such as ginger tea or Ayurvedic herbal teas, are very beneficial. Sweeten the tea with honey, which has an antibacterial and expectorant effect.

With herbs and spices against the dripping nose

The Ayurvedic healing art knows numerous spices that work against colds and support our body in its natural regeneration. Pungent and tart substances stimulate metabolism and revive the inner fire (Agni).

Enrich soups and teas with these soothing spices:

  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Curcuma
  • Ginger
  • Long pepper
  • Carnations
  • Asafoetida
  • Galangal
  • Ajowan
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Pippali
ayurveda medicine for cold

Warming wonder root: Ginger for colds

Ginger is a well-known household medicine for cold and is of high importance in Ayurveda. Did you know that India is the largest ginger producer and plays a vital role in traditional Asian medicine? Ingredients like essential oils and aromatic substances give the root an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect.

In Ayurvedic medicine, ginger is valued above all for its stimulating and warming products. It is best to add ginger to curries and soups or prepare a soothing ginger tea.

Ayurveda medicine recipes for cold

If you feel a cold coming on, the best thing to do right away is to use Ayurveda medicine to fight the cold. With a few tasty Ayurvedic recipes, you can not only do something good for your doshas but also your palate. Here are our favorites:

Ginger-cinnamon tea for colds


  • One thumb-long ginger root
  • One cinnamon stick
  • honey or possibly other spices

Chop or grate the ginger. Put the ginger and cinnamon stick in a pot and pour boiling water over it. Leave the tea to brew for 10 minutes and then remove the ginger and cinnamon sticks. Your refreshing cold drink is ready!

Tip: Add more flavor to your tea with black pepper, cloves, and honey. Just try out what is right for you!

Easily digestible rice soup


  • 50 grams of rice
  • soothing vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, or similar
  • salt, spices, and herbs to taste

Boil 50 grams of rice with one liter of water until the rice is completely soft (for about one hour). You can add Kapha-soothing vegetables in the last 15 minutes, such as carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, or spinach. Salt very sparingly. Refine with spices and herbs to your taste!

Ayurvedic gargle solution: Get rid of sore throats quickly


  • One teaspoon turmeric powder

Mix the turmeric powder well with a cup of hot water. Then let the water cool down until it has a pleasant drinking temperature. Then gargle with the liquid for 1-2 minutes and swallow. Turmeric has an anti-inflammatory effect, so this gargle is good for sore throats.

The power of the steam bath: inhale when you have a cold

To clean and regulate our respiratory channels, the Prana-Vana-Srotas, we recommend a head steam bath. Inhaling steam has an expectorant and calming effect on colds. Fill a large bowl with steaming hot water, hold your head over it and breathe deeply. It would help if you had a towel over your head to create a “mini steam bath.”

Attention: Be careful not to burn yourself on the steam! Do not use boiling hot water and keep some distance from the water surface.

ayurveda medicine for cold

If you enrich the steam bath with certain spices and essential oils, you will achieve an additional healing effect. Approximately five drops of mint or eucalyptus oil are well suited. Also, 1-2 tablespoons of crushed ajwain seeds are a significant addition to the inhalation broth.

Ajowan seeds (available in every Asian store) have a Kapha and Vata-reducing, disinfecting, and antispasmodic effects.

Healthy through the winter: Preventing the common cold

The holistic teaching of Ayurveda focuses on a balanced lifestyle and mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. That means, ideally, you can prevent colds with the help of Ayurveda already through your lifestyle. With the following measures, you can protect yourself from the annoying cold nose in winter.

Oil extraction for daily detoxification

The daily oil extraction (Gandusha) cleans the oral cavity and ensures healthy gums. The oil dissolves bacteria and toxins, so oil extraction reduces plaque, caries, and inflammation. A healthy mouth also makes the rest of the body less susceptible to disease and positively affects general well-being.

Therefore, make oil extraction part of your daily morning routine: Put one tablespoon of sesame or coconut oil in your mouth and move it back and forth for a few minutes. Then spit the oil into a handkerchief and dispose of it in the residual waste

The best therapy: a harmonious lifestyle

Especially in winter, make sure you have a balanced lifestyle that enhances your well-being. Try to take regular breaks – adequate sleep is incredibly important! Reflect on what is right for you: for example, meditation walks in the open air, digestible food.

Breathing exercises (Pranayama) or Ayurvedic massage (Abhyanga) will also help you maintain inner harmony. With warm food that corresponds to your Dosha type, you strengthen your natural resistance.

Coming down with Ayurveda medicine for cold

In winter, Kapha and Vata increase, making us more susceptible to coughs, colds, and sore throats. Now it is especially important to pay attention to a balanced lifestyle. Are you already lying in bed, coughing and snorting? Then you can support the natural healing process with Ayurvedic home remedies: With warm, light food, healing spices, lots of refreshing ginger tea, and a cleansing steam bath, you will undoubtedly be fit again soon!

One crucial piece of advice to conclude is that a cold is always a signal from the body that it needs rest. Therefore, allow yourself the necessary rest and listen to what your body tells you.

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