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Home Remedies To Treat Cough & Cold During Pregnancy

It is common to have a weak immunity during pregnancy. The body remains in a lot of pain along with nausea, constipation, etc. In addition to that, constant coughing and runny nose can become pretty annoying and uncomfortable. Going overboard with consumption of medicines can not only be harmful to the mother but also for the baby, as it derives nutrition from whatever the mother feeds on. The medicines can also pose certain side effects.

Treating these symptoms naturally is the ideal measure to take. It is of utmost importance that the mother eats a healthy and balanced diet all the time to keep her symptoms in control.

Home Remedies For Cough & Cold During Pregnancy

1. Coconut oil

Coconut oil has amazing properties. It is antifungal which prevents any contagion within the body. It is also antibacterial and antiviral, which fights against harmful pathogens in the body. Also, lauric acid which is present in a concentrated form in this oil, acts effectively in dissolving the lipid coating surrounding the viruses, and thus increasing immunity against body infections.

Coconut oil is absolutely healthy to add to lifestyle, whether internally or externally. A spoon of oil can be added while cooking anything, or added to any beverage of choice to provide cold relief.

2. Garlic and ginger

Garlic creates heat within the body. Hence, it has also been known to reduce cholesterol levels. It has antiseptic, antiviral and antibacterial properties which are helpful to cure cough and cold in just a few days.[4] Garlic has also been known to lower and optimize blood flow levels during pregnancy. Allicin is the major constituent that gives these benefits.

Ginger is common in every kitchen. No dish feels complete without it. Just as garlic, even ginger exhibits warming properties. It regulates blood circulation and fights bacterial or viral infections[3] .Ginger tea made by boiling grated ginger, lemon juice and honey, along with holy basil leaves is an effective remedy for cough and cold. Ginger also soothes heartburns and acidity.

3. Chicken soup

Nothing is more comforting than a yummy, hot bowl of chicken soup during cough and cold. The perfect blend of spices and the heating properties of chicken go well to combat flu symptoms. Chicken soup is highly nutritious and contains anti-inflammatory properties too. Seasoning like ginger, garlic, pepper, thyme, rosemary, etc., can be added to make it more fragrant and tasty. All these ingredients in combination are a potent cure for cough and cold.

4. Onion

Onion, just like ginger and garlic, has heating tendencies. It has been used since ancient times in Ayurveda for its wonderful health benefits.[5] However, they should be eaten raw rather than cooked to extract its maximum advantages. Raw onions can be included as part of any salad. It can also be chopped and kept in the room to purge any harmful viral and bacterial colonies. Nevertheless, some women can find the smell very strong and nauseous, so they can switch to other home remedies.

5. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is not only good for cough and cold but also has other health benefits too. Two teaspoons of this vinegar mixed with warm water can be had every day. Its alkaline nature creates an environment difficult for bacteria or viruses to survive and eradicates them within a few days.

Apple cider vinegar can be consumed right at the onset of a cold. Even gargling with vinegar water can be effective to reduce tonsil inflammation.

6. Honey and lemon

Lemon has anti-inflammatory properties and honey soothes the irritation in the throat during cough and cold.[2] . A glass of warm water with lemon juice and a tablespoon of honey provide quick relief from clogged mucus in the chest. Vitamin C in lemon boosts the immunity system. This can be consumed 3 to 4 times a day to treat a sore throat.

7. Saltwater

Saltwater is truly helpful to cure cough and cold symptoms. It helps in removing harmful virus and bacteria from the system. A teaspoon of salt can be added to a glass of lukewarm water. It can be used to gargle frequently to relieve sore and itchy throat. A few drops of this solution inside the nose can also open blocked nostrils during cold.

8. Peppermint

Peppermint has antibacterial and antiviral properties that heal cough, cold and flu. Not only is it effective in combating infections, but it also reduces muscle pain, nausea and clogged nose pathways. Peppermint oil can be rubbed lightly on temples and wrists to reduce headaches caused due to cold; the oil has anti-inflammatory effects and cooling sensation.[6]

It can also be rubbed on the chest because of its antispasmodic traits. Peppermint tea made with freshly crushed leaves can be very appealing for the flu.

9. Water & herbal teas

Usually, people reduce drinking water during cough and cold because of the irritation it causes. A simple solution to that is to drink warm water all the time, which can ease the throat pain. Mothers especially need to keep themselves hydrated during infections, which is additionally essential during pregnancy. The body loses fluids during cough and cold and also becomes weak. Drinking herbal teas like lemon, ginger, honey, chamomile, tulsi tea, etc., can be very effective in the replenishment of lost fluids.

10. Sufficient rest

It is important to rest as much as possible during cough and cold. During sleep, the body is spared from working extra and focusses entirely on fixing the immunity. The body recuperates faster if the mother takes naps around 2-3 times a day. No stress should be taken.

11. Steam therapy

Steam is one of the best decongestants which drives off the mucus from the body and thins it down. It can either be taken through humidifier or directly from a pan of boiling water. A few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint oil create a greater impact to unblock nasal passages and sinuses. Even steam bath is a good option to ease a headache and tension in the body. It also cures sore throat.

12. Healthy diet

A mother's body needs more food during pregnancy, and food plays a major role in giving her body energy in the weakened state. It provides the strength to fight pathogens. Small meals timely distributed are much better than eating one big meal. Her diet must involve fruits, green vegetables, nuts, dairy, cereals, etc., to provide the necessary energy during cough and cold.

Medicines During Pregnancy

It is normally suggested not to take medicines during the first three months of pregnancy. However, if the mother feels that no herbal remedy is working on her body, she could take the advice of a doctor and get medicines accordingly. Usually, paracetamol is the most suggested medicine to reduce mild fever and pain. However, the flu vaccine is considered the utmost safe one during such times.

Sometimes flu can even lead to premature birth or less weight at the time of birth. Getting vaccines is considered safe during any stages of pregnancy. They also don't pose risks for both the mother and baby. It also does not affect breastfeeding.
There are plenty of remedies a pregnant woman can take to treat her cough and cold. Going patiently with the options are sure to cure it within a week. In extreme cases, a doctor can be consulted.

View Article References
  1. [1] 1. Arora, R., Chawla, R., Marwah, R., Arora, P., Sharma, R. K., Kaushik, V., Goel, R., Kaur, A., Silambarasan, M., Tripathi, R. P., … Bhardwaj, J. R. (2010). Potential of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Preventive Management of Novel H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Pandemic: Thwarting Potential Disasters in the Bud.Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine: eCAM,2011, 586506.
  2. [2] Barker S. J. (2016). Honey for acute cough in children.Paediatrics & child health,21(4), 199-200.
  3. [3] Herring. K. (2017, Nov 13). Three Natural Cancer Benefits of Ginger. Retrieved from
  4. [4] Lissiman, E., Bhasale, A. L., & Cohen, M. (2012). Garlic for the common cold.Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (3).
  5. [5] Griffiths, G., Trueman, L., Crowther, T., Thomas, B., & Smith, B. (2002). Onions—a global benefit to health.Phytotherapy research,16(7), 603-615.
  6. [6] Ben-Arye, E., Dudai, N., Eini, A., Torem, M., Schiff, E., & Rakover, Y. (2010). Treatment of upper respiratory tract infections in primary care: a randomized study using aromatic herbs.Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM,2011, 690346
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