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Ayurveda for Colds & Ayurvedic Home Remedies

World of European Ayurveda




When the temperatures drop, it’s that time of year again: the cold season sets in.

Ayurveda offers a number of beneficial options to help you arm yourself against colds.

As a holistic healing art, Ayurveda is primarily concerned with strengthening the body’s defenses through a balanced lifestyle.

However, if you do catch a cold, Ayurvedic teachings have some advice on how to get rid of the annoying cold and cough as quickly as possible.

With a few gentle home remedies, you will regain your well-being in no time.

How does a cold develop? Ayurvedic view

According to Ayurveda, colds are related to an imbalance in our doshas.

In the cold season, our doshas are particularly challenged: The constant change between warm and cold temperatures unbalances the interplay of Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

In addition, the cold causes the doshas Vata and Kapha to increase and the digestive fire (Agni) to weaken.

This makes us more susceptible to colds.

Basically, Kapha and Vata types catch colds more quickly, whereas the natural warmth of the Pitta types has a preventive effect.

Blockage of the airways (Prana-Vaha-Srotas)

Coughs and colds lead to a blockage of important body channels (srotas).

The channels of respiration and life energy are the so-called “Prana-Vaha-Srotas”.

When metabolic waste products (ama) accumulate in the prana-vaha-srotas, the body’s balance is disturbed and we develop the familiar symptoms.

A detoxifying diet and cleansing steam baths help to release the blockages of the srotas.

Cold symptoms with excess of kapha & pitta doshas

Depending on which dosha is dominant, we develop different symptoms.

Colds are mainly caused by excessive Vata or Kapha dosha.

Which therapy is best for you therefore also depends on the type of cold you have.


An excess of Vata leads to:

  • dry mucous membranes
  • hoarseness
  • thin secretions
  • dry, intense cough

An excess of Kapha manifests itself in:

  • moist, productive cough
  • tiredness and heaviness
  • viscous, persistent secretion

Recommendations for balancing the doshas

So first consider what symptoms you have: Are they more due to too much Vata or too much Kapha?

To calm the doshas, the following foods are recommended:

  • Against Vata symptoms: Warm, soothing food with sweet, salty and only slightly spicy taste. For example, creamy carrot or pumpkin soup with spices such as long pepper, rock salt, cumin, and sage.
  • Against Kapha symptoms: Warm, stimulating dishes with bitter, tart and spicy flavours. For example, mungdal with kale and fiery spices such as chilli or garlic.

Healthy through nutrition: Eating with a cold

With the right diet, you activate your self-healing powers and help the immune system get going.

If you have a cold coming on, you should eat mainly warm, light foods.

Hard-to-digest foods put additional strain on the digestive system (Agni).

So leave out fatty and animal foods (cheese, butter, meat, eggs, fish) and sweets.

You should also avoid raw and cold foods.

On the other hand, warm, cooked foods such as vegetable soups without fat, stews and lots of spiced tea are particularly good for you.

You should also avoid acidic foods when you have a cold.

From the Ayurvedic point of view, acidic foods promote inflammation in the body.

Ayurvedic teachings therefore advise against common household remedies such as …

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