20 Best Natural Home Remedies for Cough and Cold for Babies and Kids

Indian home remedies for cough and cold or Gharelu Nuskhe have been proven to cure a variety of ailments, including cold and cough. Science has brought us many wonders, medicine and healthcare included. Long before chemical and preservative based medicines took over our lives, we had our very own effective and homegrown healthcare system – Ayurveda.

In this article we will cover natural home remedies for cough and cold for kids who are one year plus. In case your little one is less than a year old do have a look at our special post on home remedies for cough and cold in infants. It also includes home remedies for dry cough in babies and kids.

Natural Home remedies for cold and cough in babies (1 year old plus)

#1. Honey

Now that your kid is one year plus, you can use this liquid gold to cure your child’s cold and cough. One spoon of honey with lukewarm water is good enough. Don’t heat up honey directly on the flame as it will destroy all its antibacterial properties.

honey for cough and cold

A word on the purity of honey- Somehow I have never been able to trust even the best brands when it comes to honey. Even Dabur and Patanjali sell processed honey, not raw honey which has the maximum antibacterial properties.

Also Read: Home Remedies For Loose Motions and Diarrhea in Babies

A sure shot way to know if honey is pure, is that it crystallizes when kept in the fridge, or when the weather is cold. I usually get a year’s quota of honey and beewax from a local bee farm in Varanasi, whenever I visit my parents. Now-a-days some very good brands have come up with raw unprocessed honey which you can buy online.

Honey along with ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, garlic and lemon juice also helps to cure cold and cough faster. It is the most common Gharelu Nuskhe used at home.

  • Ginger & Honey Extract few drops of juice from a medium sized piece of ginger. Dissolve with a tablespoon of honey and warm water.
  • Garlic & Honey Garlic is popular for its antibacterial properties, making it a very powerful medicine for cold and cough.  Crush 2-3 cloves of garlic making a paste like mixture. Add half a tablespoon of honey to sweeten it.
  • Lemon Juice & Honey Mix half a teaspoon of lemon juice with one teaspoon of honey. In a glass of lukewarm water dissolve this mixture and have your little one drink it at throughout the day.
  • Cinnamon and Honey Cinnamon or Dalchini too has great healing properties, according to Ayurveda. Adding a little bit of cinnamon in your little one’s food like porridge will help him develop immunity. In case of cold and cough add a pinch of cinnamon in one tablespoon of honey.

#2. Kada

Kada is every mom’s go to home remedy when her child is suffering from cold and cough. It can be prepared in with many different ingredients so in case you are a few short, don’t worry you can mix and match.

  • Cumin, Black Pepper and Jaggery Kada: Take one glass (330mls or so) of water and boil one tablespoon of cumin seeds (jeera and ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper. Stir in half a tablespoon of jaggery or gur for sweetness. Let the mixture reduce to half, and then cool. This can be given 2-3 tablespoons at a time, throughout the day.
  • Tulsi, Ginger, Ajwain and Pepper Kada: Peel and cut some ginger into small pieces. Along with a glass of water boil ginger with 4-5 Tulsi leaves, a teaspoon of ajwain and a pinch of pepper. Let reduce to half. When lukewarm, give 2-3 tablespoons at a time, throughout the day to your toddler to cure his cold and cough.

#3. Roasted Turmeric powder

Turmeric plant too has many healing properties according to Ayurveda. Turmeric is especially useful in treating dry cough of kids. Roast a piece of turmeric root and then grind it. Add one tablespoon of honey with a pinch of this turmeric powder twice a day to reduce cough and cold.


#4. Turmeric Milk aka Haldi Dhoodh

I have fond memories of my mother making me drink this golden milk whenever I was not feeling well. Turmeric has many antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Mix half a 1/4 teaspoon of haldi into boiling milk and let it cool down. Feed your child, this before bedtime. Golden milk or Turmeric Lattes have become a rage on Pinterest as people are slowly becoming aware of benefits of Ayurveda and Indian Healing.

Also Read: Home Remedies For Constipation in Babies

#5. Kesar Doodh or Saffron Milk

Kesariya Doodh has many benefits. Adding 3-4 flakes of saffron in milk and boiling for 5-7 minutes, will do the trick. Though expensive, kesar is extremely effective in case of cold.

#6. Ginger and Tulsi Paste

Whenever my mom used to try to force this down my throat I always tried to puke it all out! And now I try to force feed my toddler the same! Life has come a full circle, no?! J

Make a coarse paste of 5-6 Tulsi leaves and Ginger. If you have a “sil”, work will be easier. Remove any large pieces, and ensure that paste is somewhat smooth. Add little warm water and force feed it to your toddler, because he is not going to like it! 😛

cold and cough in kids

#7. Betel and Tulsi Leaves Syrup

In a glass of water boil 4-5 betel and tulsi leaves for 5 minutes. Reduce to half, cool and give this syrup to your child 2 to 3 times a day.

#8. Clove Honey Mix

Dry roast 4-5 cloves on a tawa and grind to make a powder, in your elachi mortar.  In a tablespoon of honey add a just a pinch of powder and feed to your kid for relief.

Since cloves cause the stomach to heat up, please use with caution for your little one.

Also Read: Best oils to massage your baby

#9. White Onion Juice

Like garlic, onion also has numerous anti-bacterial properties. Extract the juice of an onion and add some honey to make it less bitter.

#10. Bhindi or Ladyfinger Soup

Cut up one one bhindi (lady finger) into small pieces and boil in a cup of water (230mls) for 5 minutes. When you start to see a thick soup beginning to form, then switch off gas. Though I have never tried this remedy, I have heard a few friends mentioning that it works.

#11. Cumin Powder

Grind some roasted cumin seeds, add honey and give it to your toddler with a tablespoon of warm water. This can reduce cold, cough as well as stomach related problems.

#12. Dry Ginger Powder or Sookhi Adrak

Ginger powder is available in the market, but I prefer to make it at home. It is quite simple, if you have time. All you need to do it cut ginger into thin slices and sun dry. Grind and and store in air tight container.

Just add two pinches of dry ginger powder with warm water and feed your toddler. You can also add a little bit of cumin powder and honey.

#13. Dates

Two or three dates per day can be given to toddlers in case of cold and cough. This remedy is especially effective in winters.

#14. Ghee with Black Pepper

Heat one spoon of homemade ghee and add a pinch of black pepper powder. This remedy is simple yet very, very effective.

Natural Home remedies for cold and cough for Kids (more than 3 years)

Dadima ke Gharelu Nuskhe are not always pleasant to taste, but they are highly effective.

#15. Keeping a piece of ginger in mouth

Cut and peel a medium piece of and coax your kid to keep it in his mouth for as long as he can. Dipping it in honey, or rubbing a pinch of salt can make it tastier for him.

#16. Yummy Jaggery Balls

Mash some ghee, turmeric powder and jaggery to make dough like mixture. Roll into small balls and have your kiddo nibble on them to reduce cough and cold.

#17. Steam with Herbal Vapors

Boil some Tulsi tea in a big pot of water. When steam begins to rise, carefully let your little one inhale them. The Herbal vapors will help to ease breathing and give relief from stuffy nose.

Also Read: Home Remedies For Indigestion in Babies

#18. Gargling

Children over 3 years can learn how to gargle. Make sure that they don’t swallow the water! Well, in case they do swallow it, don’t fret for that could help too! J

  • Honey and Lime water gargling

Mix two spoons of honey with a few drops of lemon in warm water. Get your Kiddo to gargle with it. Good luck! You will need it!

  • Salt and Turmeric water gargling

Mix a pinch of salt and turmeric with warm water. This will relief to sore throat and soothe your kiddos cough.

#19. Tulsi Tea

Tulsi tea is very good for sore throat. If you don’t have some on hand than just add half a teaspoon of tea leaves, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper in a cup of water. Boil for some time. Since this tea is quite unpleasant try adding some honey and coax your child to drink it.

#20. DIY Natural Cough Syrup

It is always easy to reach for the bottle of Benadryl. Try to restrain yourself from Honitus also. Personally I would recommend making your own homemade cough syrup –which would be completely free of preservatives.

In a pot of water add two glasses of water. Add saunf (Fennel seeds), mulethi (Liquorice) and badi elaichi (Big Cardamom). Let it simmer on low for atleast 10 minutes. Once lukewarm, add a tablespoon of honey. Feed your child 3-4 tablespoons to drink this 3 to 4 times a day to get relief from cough, cold and congestion.

As a mommy myself, I know how troubling it must be to see your young one unwell. Giving medicine is always the easy way out. In some case medicines are essential and can be avoided. However, one should live with the principle of trying to avoid medicines as far as possible. Always try home remedies or Gharelu Nuskhe first, and if there is no relief then trust your mommy instinct and get your little one to a doctor!

In your mommy career, have you come across an amazing home remedies for cold and cough or Gharelu Nuskhe? Please do share your secret! I would love to hear about it!