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Ayurvedic Management of Common Cold


The common cold is a viral infection that affects the upper respiratory tract. It is characterized by symptoms such as a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, and mild body aches. While there is no cure for the common cold, Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, provides holistic approaches to manage its symptoms, boost the immune system, and promote overall well-being.

Ayurvedic View:

According to Ayurveda, the common cold is primarily caused by an imbalance in the Kapha and Vata doshas. Aggravated Kapha dosha leads to congestion and mucus production, while Vata dosha imbalance can result in dryness and irritation of the respiratory tract. Ayurvedic treatment aims to balance the doshas, alleviate symptoms, and support the body’s natural healing process.


The common cold is usually caused by various strains of viruses, most commonly the rhinovirus. Common factors contributing to the spread of the common cold include:

1. Direct contact with an infected person
2. Airborne droplets from coughs or sneezes
3. Touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the face


The symptoms of the common cold can vary, but common signs include:

1. Runny or stuffy nose
2. Sneezing
3. Coughing
4. Sore throat
5. Mild headache
6. Fatigue
7. Mild body aches
8. Low-grade fever (in some cases)

Ayurvedic Treatment Approach:

The Ayurvedic management of the common cold focuses on balancing the doshas, alleviating symptoms, and supporting the body’s natural healing process. The treatment approach includes:

  • Herbal Remedies: Ayurvedic herbs like Tulsi (Holy Basil), Ginger, Turmeric, Black Pepper, and Cinnamon are commonly used to alleviate symptoms, reduce congestion, and boost the immune system. These herbs can be taken in the form of teas, decoctions, or as prescribed by an Ayurvedic practitioner.
  • Nasal Irrigation: The practice of nasal irrigation with a saline solution, known as Neti, can help clear the nasal passages and relieve congestion. A Neti pot or a saline nasal spray can be used for this purpose.
  • Steam Inhalation: Inhaling steam infused with Ayurvedic herbs such as Eucalyptus, Mint, or Tulsi can provide relief from congestion and soothe the respiratory tract. It is advisable to cover the head with a towel while inhaling the steam from a bowl of hot water.
  • Warm Fluids: Consuming warm fluids such as herbal teas, soups, and warm water with honey and lemon can help soothe the throat, keep the body hydrated, and alleviate symptoms.
  • Rest and Hydration: Getting adequate rest and staying well-hydrated are important in supporting the body’s healing process and recovery from the common cold.

Home Remedies:

In addition to the above approaches, certain home remedies can complement the Ayurvedic management of the common cold. These include:

  1. Gargling with warm saltwater to soothe a sore throat and reduce inflammation.
  2. Consuming a mixture of honey, ginger juice, and turmeric powder for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.


The common cold is a viral infection that can cause discomfort and disrupt daily activities. While there is no cure for the common cold, Ayurveda provides holistic approaches to manage its symptoms and promote overall well-being. By balancing the doshas, using herbal remedies, practicing nasal irrigation, steam inhalation, and adopting home remedies, Ayurvedic management aims to alleviate symptoms, support the immune system, and promote a faster recovery. It is important to rest, stay well-hydrated, and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or persist for an extended period. Consulting with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner can provide personalized guidance and recommendations for managing the common cold.

Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari
Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari


Registered Member of AAA

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