I am very sure every one of us has suffered from cough sometime or other. It is a common condition in cold weather. In this article, I highlight what basically is a cough and how turmeric can be used to treat it (home remedies / ayurvedic remedies).
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Benefits of Turmeric in Cough
Cough is a medical condition that develops due to hidden disease such as allergic rhinitis, a bacterial infection of upper respiratory tract, sinusitis, asthma, pneumonia or reflex of stomach contents.
A cough can be acute or chronic. Cough initiated by allergic reactions or by a bacterial infection can result in a myriad of symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea, sore throat and post nasal drip all of which cause discomfort. Hence, cough should be treated without delay by identifying the exact cause.
Generally, use of conventional medicine demands you to use multiple drugs to treat different symptoms associated with a cough.
Some of these drugs cause weakness and other side effects. How would it be to replace all these drugs with one single herb? Wonderful right! Turmeric is one such herb that treats cough initiated by any of the listed hidden medical conditions.
Turmeric scientifically named as Curcuma longa is a rhizome belonging to zingiberaceae family. It is a yellow colored herb with medicinal properties. Curcuma longa is cultivated and used widely in India.
Traditional Chinese medicine and the Ayurvedic medicine use turmeric for treatment of various ailments. Use of turmeric for cough is one of popular home remedies for cough. The antibacterial and anti-viral action of turmeric makes it the best remedy to treat cough and cold naturally.
How turmeric treats a cough?
Medicinal value of turmeric is due to the compound curcumin.
There are three different curcuminoids present in turmeric they are diferuloylmethane, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin.
Of the three diferuloylmethane is present in higher amounts and is responsible for the color and medicinal value of the herb. Curcumin serves as an anti-inflammatory agent and also possess anti-bacterial and anti-viral action.
These properties of turmeric aid in the treatment of bacterial and viral in the actions such as cough and cold. The anti-inflammatory action of curcumin aids in relieving the chest congestion that develops in people suffering with chronic cough.
Use of volatile oil extracted from turmeric for cough is also very promising in relieving cough by getting rid of phlegm.
Using turmeric for cough
- Cough associated with running nose can be relieved by drinking hot water mixed with turmeric.
- Smoke emitting from burnt turmeric serves as a strong expectorant.
- Chronic cold and cough can be relieved by keeping a small piece of turmeric in mouth all-night.
- Roast the turmeric root and ground it in to powder. Take about 1-2 gm of this roasted turmeric powder along with honey thrice a day to obtain relief from dry persistent cough.
- Mix 1-2 tsp of pure curcumin powder in warm milk, mix thoroughly. Using this concoction twice a day offers relief from cough in just two days. This remedy works better for cough caused by bacteria.
- Add pure turmeric powder to boiling water and inhale the vapors. This relieves cough as well as sinus congestion. Covering you with blanket while inhaling vapors aids in easy inhalation of the vapors.
Turmeric for chronic cough
If cough problems are not treated for a long time, they become chronic. Chronic cough is a difficult situation for the patient as there is no relief from the coughing, even a sound sleep is not possible in this case. It also leads to tiredness and stressing for the patient.
Turmeric can be useful in treating chronic cough too. Here is how you can prepare a turmeric cough remedy at home:
- Take 1 gm of roasted turmeric powder and keep it within betel leaf and 0.25 gms of Javakhar (Potassii carbons). Keep this in patients mouth and ask him to keep sucking it gradually. This should be done twice a day – one in morning and another after dinner.
- Apart from the above, the patient should be given goat milk along with turmeric. The way to prepare this milk is – add turmeric powder to milk and then boil it. Allow it to cool down and then drink it. Note: turmeric should be added while boiling the milk and not after it.
One very important part of Ayurveda is diet related restrictions based on the disease. In case of chronic cough the patient should avoid oily and spicy food. Also he should not overeat. Foods such as dates, papaya, wheat flour based food, etc. should be taken.
Tricks to improve curcumin absorption
Curcumin is not absorbed properly. Curcumin can be made available to the body cells to best utilize its therapeutic benefits by following these techniques.
- Make a microemulsion by blending together a tablespoon of curcumin powder, 1-2 egg yolks and one or two teaspoons of coconut oil.
- Add one tablespoon of curcumin powder to a cup of boiling water and allow it to boil for another ten minutes. This makes a concentrated solution of turmeric. Drink the solution within four hours to obtain all its therapeutic benefits.
Precautions to be followed while using turmeric for cough
- Make sure that turmeric does not fall down as it discolors the surfaces permanently.
- Avoid using curry powder for turmeric as it contains very little amount of turmeric.
- Choose curcumin powder from reputed manufactures to avoid adulterated products. If you have an option of buying raw turmeric do that. It is not tough to make a powder out of it.
- Use organic turmeric if that is available
How to remain away from cough and cold naturally
In my childhood days, I always used to have cough and cold. Not only that there were other issues related to it which really caused lot of trouble to me.
Due to blockage of my nose, I used to have sticky water coming out of my eyes and whenever I used to wake up in morning, I had to spend so much of time to just open my eyelashes which use to stick to each other – I used to splash water and use cotton to remove clogging.
We consulted an Ayurvedic doctor and he suggested that I start taking turmeric and milk daily and continue for about an year. I used to hate turmeric milk but I took it.
Today, thanks to that I rarely have cold and related issues. I think what natural remedies do is that they develop immunity in the body rather than just killing the bacteria or virus responsible for it.
Now, I have developed taste for turmeric milk and take it anytime without putting even sugar in the milk. Today, the moment I the get cough and cold, the first thing I do is to take turmeric milk!
Who should avoid turmeric ?
Turmeric as a spice is very safe but if you plan to take turmeric supplements be careful. Supplements are not recommended when you are pregnant.
Those with gall bladder problems, diabetes or are to undergo surgery must avoid turmeric. Turmeric could slow blood clotting. Hence, those taking blood thinners must be careful.