15 Indian Home Remedies For Cold & Cough In Kids

When the kids fall ill with a cold or cough its very tempting to start them off on medication immediately. There are some Indian home remedies that are not as strong but equally potent and can help with the conditions.

If you are wondering what prompted this post then there are no points for guessing. The daughter and I are both down with a bad bout of cold, cough & fever and I just feel so blessed to be in India, a land of home remedies. If you think that home remedies don’t work or they are slow, I will not differ with you but I feel when done in conjunction with the medicines they only help you recover faster.

Seeing your child unwell is every parent’s nightmare. But did you know that kids catch a cold at least 4-6 times a year and that is considered normal? Kids have an immune system that is still developing and it could be the reason they tend to fall ill more often.

Most colds are due to viruses hence they can’t be treated with antibiotics. Dadi ke nuske work brilliantly especially since we don’t really want to dose the little ones with medicines. When there are natural ways to make them feel better, try those first.

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We’ve listed some home remedies that have been tried and tested by moms here at KSP. Believe us, they do work wonders! 

Turmeric, Black Pepper & Honey:

The kids love honey and it actually has healing and soothing properties so mix it with a pinch of turmeric powder & black pepper which also has antiseptic properties and can fight the infection in the throat well. Ask your kids to eat small doses of this with a  spoon.

Tulsi & Ginger with Honey:

Tulsi or Holy Basil has excellent medicinal & antibacterial properties. Mix it in a grinder with some ginger and serve the paste with honey. Go easy on the ginger as it can be spicy for the children. The daughter didn’t take too well to this one so I added about 3 drops of the paste and 3/4 tsp of honey on top. She couldn’t see the green paste and gulped it down. 

Ajwain(Carom Seeds/Thymol seeds/Thyme leaves):

Try and get your kids used to the taste of this one. There is nothing that has better medicinal properties than these tiny seeds. From being beneficial for a sore throat, providing relief from bronchitis as well as asthma to indigestion, nausea and abdominal pain. 

Add it to a pan of boiling water and place a siever on top of the pan. Place a napkin on top of the sieve and heat it. Place the hot napkin on the chest. Please check for the right temperature for your kids. The steam helps open up the congestion. Alternate between 2 napkins and this one is sure to get you some relief. Ensure the room is well insulated and all windows, and doors are shut and fans turned off.

You should give this Ajwain Immunity Booster to everyone when the viral season starts

Garlic, Onion & Ajwain Paste:

Make a paste out of garlic, ajwain & onion and warm it on the gas when it is lukewarm apply it on the chest, back & forehead & rest. If your kids don’t let you do it while they are awake do it while they are asleep.

Turmeric & Salt Warm Water Gargle:

This one is easy and we must get our kids to like this one spice which is so therapeutic. Do the warm water gargle and if the kids haven’t mastered the art to do it yet, then just let them sip it.

Ginger Water:

Coarsely pound ginger is boiled in a cup of water till the water reduces to half the original volume, add some honey and drink hot at bedtime. You can also try this ginger, lemon, honey immunity booster recipe.

Sonth Ladoo

This ladoo is just what my dadi recommended. Made with gursonth and ghee, it helps relieve congestion and boost immunity.


As much as some of us detest it, our parents were right. Chyawanprash does have some great medicinal value. This Ayurvedic mixture is made with amla and other spices and is rich in Vitamin C. 

Tomato Shorba

We got this special recipe from the Atmantan Wellness Spa. It is packed with the goodness of Indian spices. Must try!

Amla immunity Booster

Amla is packed with protein, carbohydrates, fibre, minerals and vitamins like Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron and vitamin B. This is my mother in laws recipe and we start having it religiously when the weather changes and the sniffles start.

Haldi Doodh

Vicks Vaporub:

This is what we grew up with and I must confess I still trust them. There is something about that smell that makes you feel like mom’s around and opens up that congestion instantly. Apply Vicks on the soles of the feet and rub it. Then quickly make your child wear socks. Apply generously on the back, chest and forehead as well. 


This one is universal but the trick is to get your kids to do it. Our first encounter was fairly simple. We pretended to play a game where we had to hide in our secret house and someone had to find us. Even those 3 minutes that she sat in to take the steam covered with a blanket were good enough to open the congestion and the nose to get runny instead of being stuffy. For small babies, put it in the bedroom and let the baby breathe. Alternatively, you can rub some Vicks on the shower floor and turn the hot water on. Once the bathroom has steamed up, take the baby in for a few minutes. This way he/she will breathe in the steam without the heat.

Drink Hot Liquids:

Hot liquids relieve nasal congestion, prevent dehydration, and soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat. If you’re so congested you can’t sleep at night, try a hot beverage or a cup of hot herbal tea. Add one teaspoon of honey and one small shot (about 1 ounce) of whiskey or bourbon if you wish. Limit yourself to one. Too much alcohol inflames those membranes and is counterproductive. You can try this excellent chicken & barley soup recipe to help you tide over the sniffles.

Take A Steamy Shower:

Steamy showers moisturize your nasal passages and relax you. If you’re dizzy from the flu, run a steamy shower while you sit on a chair nearby and take a sponge bath.

Use An Extra Pillow: 

Sleep with an extra pillow under your head. This will help relieve congested nasal passages. If the angle is too awkward, try placing the pillows between the mattress and the box springs to create a more gradual slope.

Blow it away: 

Blow your nose often, but do it the proper way. It’s important to blow your nose regularly when you have a cold rather than sniffling mucus back into your head. But when you blow hard, pressure can carry germ-carrying phlegm back into your ear passages, causing earache. The best way to blow your nose is to press a finger over one nostril while you blow gently to clear the other.

Stay warm and rested:

Staying warm and resting when you first come down with a cold or the flu helps your body direct its energy toward the immune battle. This battle taxes the body. So give it a little help by lying down under a blanket to stay warm if necessary.

I hope you find this post useful just as much as I did. If you have other home remedies that work and could help out a fellow mom, then talk to us in the comments below and we will definitely add it to our list. 

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