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Does Ayurvedic Medicine Effectively Treat Cough, Sore Throat, and Other Cold Symptoms?

Does Ayurvedic Medicine Effectively Treat Cough, Sore Throat, and Other Cold Symptoms?


Ayurvedic medicine is one of the oldest medical systems in the world. The earliest accounts of Ayurveda come from a collection of Hindu religious texts called the Vedas, which were written more than 3,000 years agoTrusted Source.

It’s still practiced widely around the world today as a type of alternative medicine. Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine treat health issues using a holistic approach, which often includes herbal remedies, exercises, and lifestyle changes.

The Ayurvedic system of medicine is based on the belief that the universe is made up of five elements: air, space, fire, water, and earth. It’s thought that these five elements make up the three components (doshas) of your body and that illness develops when these components become imbalanced.


There’s little scientific evidenceTrusted Source that Ayurvedic medicine is an effective treatment for any health problems, including common illnesses like the common cold and flu.

However, some herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine may make healthy additions to your diet and help you manage common cold and flu symptoms.

Ayurvedic treatment for dry (unproductive) cough
A dry cough is one that doesn’t produce phlegm or mucus. It can be a symptom of the common cold or asthma. Pollution or allergens in the air can also cause a dry cough.

Tulsi, otherwise known as holy basil, is a common remedy for a dry cough. In Ayurveda, tulsi is also known as the “queen of herbsTrusted Source.”

Tulsi tea is often touted as a home remedy to get rid of a cough. At this time, there’s limited research on tulsi’s health benefits. However, a few small studies have found promising results.

ResearchTrusted Source has found that tulsi may help liquefy phlegm and improve cough symptoms caused by allergies, asthma, or lung disease.

One older study published in 2004 without a control group examined the potential benefit of tulsi tea for people with asthma. The researchers found that the 20 people in the study improved their lung compacity and had less labored breathing by the end of the study. More high-quality research needs to be performed before drawing conclusions from this study.

According to a 2017 review of studiesTrusted Source, holy basil seems to be relatively safe and may also help normalize your blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood lipid levels.

You can make tulsi tea at home by brewing four to six tulsi leaves with about 32 ounces of water and steeping it for about 15 minutes.

Ayurvedic medicine for cough with phlegm (productive cough)
Ginger is a widely used herb in Ayurvedic medicine. Modern researchTrusted Source has found that ginger contains several active compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

The first studyTrusted Source examining ginger’s potential benefits for coughing and respiratory infections in people was published in 2013. In the study, researchers looked at the effect of ginger on isolated human throat smooth muscle cells.

The researchers found that active ingredients in ginger — 6-gingerol, 8-gingerol, and 6-shogaol — may have the potential to relax the muscles in your throat. More research is needed to see if ginger can improve coughing caused by the common cold or flu.

You can make ginger tea by adding about 30 grams of ginger slices to hot water and letting it steep for at least 5 minutes.

Ayurvedic medicine for cough and sore throat

contains anti-inflammatory compounds. A 2019 review of studiesTrusted Source looked at the effectiveness of applying licorice topically to a sore throat caused by surgery. The researchers concluded that licorice could help manage throat pain.

In a 2013 studyTrusted Source, researchers examined the pain-relieving effect of a licorice gargle on 236 participants who needed thoracic surgery. The participants all required a double-lumen tube that’s known to cause throat irritation.

The participants either gargled 0.5 grams of licorice extract or 5 grams of sugar diluted in 30 milliliters of water. The researchers found that the number of post-operative sore throats was significantly reduced after gargling with licorice.

At this time, it isn’t clear if licorice can help you manage a sore throat caused by a cold or flu. If you would like to use licorice, you can try mixing 0.5 grams of licorice extract with water and gargle for about 30 seconds.

Ayurvedic medicine for cough and fever
Sudarshana powder is commonly used in Ayurveda to treat feverTrusted Source. It contains a mix of 53 herbal ingredients and has a bitter taste. It may help treat fever that’s associated with anorexia, fatigue, nausea, and an upset stomach.

However, more research needs to be performed to determine its effectiveness.


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