Is ginger for colds and coughs effective?
Can ginger be used as a home remedy for babies and toddlers?
How to use ginger to relieve cough and cold?
This is the hard season change time when your babies and kids are more prone to get infected by cold and cough.
Cold and cough makes the babies cranky and increases their discomfort. They may find it difficult to sleep or to engage in any activities due to cold and congested chest and helpless babies thus turn cranky. As parents we tend to take utmost care of children especially during their discomfort.
In most of the cases cold and cough can be treated with home remedies as there are many home remedies available for these common infections in babies/ kids. Most common and popular one is the use of ginger.
Ginger is often used for medicinal purposes especially for soothing sore throat, cold and cough caused by common cold.
This article will give you detailed information on how and why you should use ginger for colds and coughs remedy.
What is so special about ginger?
Ginger is a flowering plant with leafy stems. It is closely related to turmeric and cardamom. It is also called inji or adrak.
The rhizome, that is the underground root of the ginger plant, is used widely as a spice in various cuisines and for medicinal purposes and is called ginger root or simply ginger. It is pungent, aromatic and spicy.
Ginger root is a powerhouse of nutrients and bioactive compounds that are beneficial for your physical and mental health.
Ginger root can be used raw, dried, powdered or can be even pickled. The juice extracted from the root is also used in many recipes, both food and medicine.
The unique flavor and fragrance of ginger root is attributed to the natural oils present in ginger. One of the important natural oil is gingerol. The presence of gingerol gives ginger its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties making it an apt ingredient in many medicines and home remedies.
How can ginger help to treat cold and cough?
- Ginger has anti microbial properties, which help to cure cold and fight against infections.
- Anti oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help in boosting immunity.
- Ginger contains aromatic chemicals called phenyl alkyl ketones (a gingerol), which have medicinal properties.
- Dried rhizomes of ginger are proved to have anti-rhino-viral activity. Rhinoviruses are the major reason for common cold in humans.
- It acts as a antihistamine and decongestant that helps to reduce cold symptoms.
- Ginger contains essential oils that help in reducing cold and cough symptoms
- Natural sedative in ginger comforts the babies/ toddlers from the cold and congestion symptoms.
Now you know how is ginger good for colds. Yes due to the above properties it is very commonly used to treat flu symptoms.
Is ginger effective only for relieving cough and cold symptoms?
Nope, the powers of this wonder rhizome are not restricted to treating common cold and cough only. The medicinal properties of ginger can be utilized and is effective for a wide range of ailments. The benefits of eating ginger are many.
- Ginger is used for enhancing digestion and absorption
- It is good for nausea and morning sickness
- Ginger can fight bacterial diarrhea
- Ginger can reduce vomiting and motion sickness
- Ginger has anti-tumor activities that can help fight certain type of cancer
- Ginger can reduce muscle pain and soreness
- Ginger helps improve the health of your heart
Even after having knowledge of benefits of this wonder spice, many don’t know how to use and give it to kids/ babies.
Is ginger safe for babies?
Yes ginger is safe for babies if given in small quantities. Ginger can be introduced to babies from 10 to 11 months. Some even introduce it at 8 months of age.
Apart from using it to treat cold and cough in babies, it can be included in their food too to spice up their food.
Raw ginger is less hot while dried ginger is spicier. So use ginger accordingly for babies and kids as they may not be able to tolerate the spice levels of ginger. A very small quantity is enough for babies and kids.
Now as we know that ginger is safe for babies and it can help treat common cold and cough let us see the ways you can give ginger to your babies/ kids to treat cold and cough.
10 Ways to use ginger for colds and coughs treatment for babies above eight months:
Ginger can be used in different ways and used as cold and cough remedy.
#1. Ginger tea
Take a piece of ginger and crush it slightly. Boil this crushed ginger in water.
After water starts boiling, reduce the heat to low flame and simmer for few more minutes so that the ginger flavor is released in water. Turn off the flame and strain. Give this preparation to your baby/ kid twice a day. It will help to recover from cold sooner.
The volume of this tea given to your baby may range from few sips/ spoons to a cup depending on their age. For the babies below one year few spoons of ginger tea would do while the grown up kid may like a cup of this tea.
#2. Ginger, honey and lemon decantation
If your Lo doesn’t like plain ginger tea, you can try it with a twist by preparation of a decantation using ginger and a spoonful of honey. This cold remedy with lemon honey and ginger is very popular.
For this boil ginger and strain and then add a spoonful of honey and a few drops of lemon juice. In this too, you may prepare variations using cinnamon/ garlic while boiling in water. Give this decantation twice a day to your baby for quick relief from cold and cough.
Note: For babies below one year prepare the same decantation using all ingredients except honey.
#3. Dry ginger powder
Grown up kids can directly take dry ginger powder with milk or warm water once a day as a remedy for cold and cough symptoms.
#4. Dry ginger and honey
Take half a teaspoon of dry ginger powder and mix it with honey. The mixture shouldn’t be watery. Give it to your child for immediate relief.
Note that home remedies with honey shouldn’t be used on kids below one year.
#5. Ginger vapor
Boil ginger in water to get the ginger scented vapor. You may give your baby ginger vapor treatment which is preferred and safe for babies over vapor rub and vapor capsules available in the market.
#6. Raw ginger
If your baby is older than two years, you may directly give a small piece of raw ginger to chew on which is also very effective in quick relief from cold and congestion. Also you may use ginger in the foods you prepare for your babies.
#7. Chukku kaappi or dry ginger coffee
This one is a very effective remedy as along with ginger we are adding basil and pepper that are equally good at reducing flu like symptoms.
Actually coffee powder is also added to this preparation, and hence the name chukka kaappi or dry ginger coffee. But as coffee is not good for kids, it is avoided in the kid friendly version. Adults can add coffee powder if they want. So let us see how to prepare chukka kapi for kids.
Take one inch piece of ginger and 2 peppercorns. Crush them gently. Boil a cup of water with a small block of jaggery. Add the crushed ginger and peppercorns to this boiling water after the jaggery dissolves completely. Let it boil for 4 to 5 minutes. Now add 6 to 7 basil or tulsi leaves to this and boil till the leaves wilt. Switch off the stove and sieve to get the chukka kapi or dry ginger coffee.
This chukku kaappi can be given for babies above 10 months. Give 2 teaspoons every four hours to get relief from cough and cold.
#8. Ginger candy
Ginger candy can be given to older kids to get relief from cold and cough and also motion sickness.
#9. Dry ginger and thippili with honey
Thippili or long pepper is also good for cold and cough. A combination of dry ginger and thippili if found to be more effective in reducing flu symptoms.
Powder dry ginger and long pepper. Take equal amounts of both these powders and mix well. Take ¼ teaspoon of this mixture and mix it with one teaspoon of honey. Make it a paste and let kids consume this. You can store the remaining dry ginger and long pepper in an airtight container.
Again avoid this recipe for kids below one year as it contains honey.
#10. Dry ginger and thippili in milk
You can use the same powdered mixture of dry ginger and pippali mentioned above for this remedy too. In one cup of warm milk mix half teaspoon of dry ginger and pippali mix. Add one teaspoon of honey and consume it. This home remedy is for kids above one year.
Use these ginger recipes to make your little one comfortable. In addition to these home remedies, you can also use following tips to reduce cold and cough in your babies.
Tips to reduce cold and cough in your babies
- Cover your baby with warm clothing to stay calm and comforted if there is cool outside.
- See that your baby sleeps in upright position as coughing will be less likely in upright position.
- If cough lasts for more than a week, consult pediatrician. Give any medicines or antibiotics only after consulting with pediatrician.
Precautions while giving ginger to your baby
- Look for allergies
Ginger doesn’t usually cause allergy, but when you are introducing it for the first time, please do look out for any allergic reactions.
- Adjust the spice levels
Ginger is spicy and hot so adjust the quantity accordingly so that your kid can tolerate the ginger preparation. Dry ginger is spicier than fresh one.
- Don’t give too much ginger
Ginger with its strong, hot and pungent flavor is difficult for babies to accept. So always give very less quantity ginger. A pinch is enough for babies. Again too much of ginger can cause heartburn and stomach upsets.
So these are the traditional home remedies using ginger to get relief from common cold and cough.
Remember, these cures are for colds, runny nose, mild cough, sore throat or a blocked nose. If your child is running a high fever or has a severe persistent cough, ensure that you consult a pediatrician to rule out any severe infection.
Hope this article helps to relieve your little ones from cold and cough.
Have you ever used ginger for colds and coughs?
Do you know any other fresh or dry ginger preparations to get relief from cold and cough?
If you have in mind any other ginger recipes or tips that can help in soothing the cold and cough symptoms, do share those with us in the below comment box.