Ayurveda practitioners base their medical and nutritional recommendations on a complete analysis of the individual, rather than the specific malady. There are, however, some classic Ayurvedic medicines for coughs and colds frequently mentioned in ancient Indian practice. Always check with your doctor before attempting any self-treatment, and seek professional attention if the cough persists.
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Black pepper and ghee or honey
Bill Gottlieb's "New Choices in Natural Healing" lists ground black pepper as a crucial Ayurvedic ingredient for treating coughs with or without an accompanying hoarseness. When hoarseness comes with the cough, combine 14 tsp black pepper with 1 tsp ghee and swallow it. Black pepper helps rid the body of mucus, while the ghee soothes and coats scratchy throats. Do not take this treatment on an empty stomach. To create ghee, also known as clarified butter, buy unsalted butter. Melt the butter over medium heat. Lower the heat once the butter begins foaming. Simmer until the foam disappears and the butter turns golden. The butter is separating, with curds settling to the bottom. Examine the curds and wait for them to turn pale brown. Cool and strain this mixture, discarding the curds. The remaining liquid is ghee. Ghee is also widely available in Indian and Pakistani food speciality shops. Take the ghee and black pepper mixture up to five days, three times a day.
To treat a cough not accompanied by hoarseness, mix 14 tsp black powder with 1 tsp honey. The black pepper treats built up congestion, while honey provides a good delivery system for powdered spices like pepper. It also soothes and is considered antibacterial in Ayurvedic medicine. Do not take the pepper and honey on an empty stomach. Take the honey and black pepper mixture up to five days, three times a day.
For a dry cough, soak almonds overnight; the quantity is up to you but remember the extra nuts can go rancid without refrigeration. Remove the skins from the almonds and crush or blend them with enough sugar and butter or ghee to make a paste. Try a spoonful to determine if this soothes your dry cough. Unless you have nut or dairy allergies, you don't have to limit your dosage.
Milk and garlic
Boil three cloves of garlic in 240 ml milk. Bring the milk to a high boil until it foams, then lower to a slow boil for 5 to 10 minutes. Drink this garlic milk before bed. Garlic seems to kill the bacteria causing the cough. Milk is considered a tissue restorative and system balancer in Ayurvedic medicine, according to Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians. Some people tend to avoid dairy products during times of sickness because of their mucous-increasing properties. But boiling the milk and adding spices like garlic or turmeric makes it more digestible and cuts its potential for exacerbating congestion.
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