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Dr. Vikram Chauhan - MD (Ayurveda)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ayurvedic Treatment for Recurrent Cold - Flu and Tonsillitis

Ayurvedic treatment for Recurrent cold - Flu and tonsillitis - Herbal remedies for adenoids

Here are some Questions asked by An American Student from 
S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications,
Magazine Journalism, Syracuse University '11 on 15th Sept. 2011

Q 1. I have previously tried zinc and echinacea to help get over a cold/flu. It seems to help me get over them faster, and I see you talk about both in the pdf. Which, in your opinion/expertise, herbal remedies would you recommend to combat the flu? Could you perhaps give a top 3-5? And why would you recommend those?

My Answer 
1. Curcumin - I would rate this as # 1  It is best studied anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory herb
2. Tulsi -  the combination I give in flu and colds is  curcumin + Tulsi. It works quickly. Tulsi is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine as best anti-flu remedy and it is very effective. 

3. Ginger- Ginger is also one of the most effective anti-inflammatory herb. I give curcumin, tulsi capsules with Ginger juice mixed with a small pinch of black pepper. 

4. Black pepper- It is one of the most effective spice for flu and colds. I keep it at # 4. It improves the results of the other herbs which are used with this. It increases bioavailability and action of other herbs or drugs. According to ayurveda, black pepepr has properties opposite to "mucus" so it is effective in cold / flu. 

5. Echinacea - Yes, this is effective but I hardly use it. It is also good anti-allergic and improves immune system. 
6. Amla capsules - I use amla capsules in children who suffer from recurrent flu and cold because of low immunity. Amla is nature's best source of natural vitamin -C

7. Zinc -  It is good for immunity. It does not have direct effect but long term ( low dosage) use improves immunity and that's why it is very beneficial in recurrent infections. I use tradition

So the final combination for treatment of recurrent flu and cold prevention is using these herbs for about 3 months regularly and this is going to build up immunity of the child and prevent infections. 

Curcumin - 1 twice daily
Tulsi - 1 twice daily 
Amla capsules -1  twice daily 
These 3 supplements are enough to prevent recurrent cold and flu and also treat adenoids. 

Q 2. Is there any specific herbal remedy to help combat stuffiness/congestion?

My Answer 

I have mentioned the above 1,2,3, 4, used together work best for stuffiness/congestion. The results are instant. 

Q 3. An argument against drugs like Nyquil is that they don't get to the root of the problem, but simply mask the symptoms and throw your body off-kilter. Is there validity in that? What is your opinion on over the counter medications like these? Do they have any use? Would you strongly recommend to not use them? 

My Answer

I don't believe in such medicines. they provide temporary relief. Just constrict the distended blood vessels in the nasal area for a few minutes / hrs. It is not good way to get rid of flu especially recurrent infections. 

Q 4. In my own experience, I find that natural remedies tend to work better, without making me feel different in anyway (sleepy, groggy etc.) In short, what is the science behind natural remedies? Do they get down to the root cause better? How strongly do you recommend the use of herbal remedies? 

My Answer

I would always recommend natural remedies rather than chemical based drugs for flu/ cold. They don't make you feel sleepy/ groggy etc.  They work to cure the problem from root rather than just relieving the symptoms. what I mean to say is that they not only relieve the symptoms but also cure the disease from the root cause. 

Q 5. Are there any drawbacks to these natural remedies. Overdose, toxicity, side effects etc? Are there any herbal remedies that some people swear by, but actually don't work? 

My Answer

Since the natural remedies - the herbs mentioned above are all natural, but that does not mean that they can not cause any side effects. Although the side effects are minor with the over dosage ( just like if you eat more food and you get heaviness in the stomach or if you drink more water, then you get problem) Similarly if you eat more black pepper, you will burn your tongue and there can be smoke from your ears !! or tears from your eyes. Yes these are the side effects of over dosage of black pepper. 

Practially there are no side effects of the natural remedies especially for colds. 

If there's anything else you'd like to add (information, personal thoughts etc.) please feel free. 

I would like to say that do not give your natural machine the drugs or the chemicals, especially to fight simple problems like colds and flu. Cold and flu is not going to last longer if you don't take anything but only rest for 2-3 days. 

Human body is made by nature. Just like Toyota car is manufactured by Toyota. The manual given by the manufacturer ( Toyota) wants you to use the best quality premium petrol / diesel for your car. You always follow the manual in your car's case. 

Similarly Nature has recommended Natural food ( herbs, spices, fruits, salads, grains, cereals, vegetables, roots, shoots,nuts) but we don't follow the nature manual but eat fried, processed, frozen, packaged, full of pesticides, stored for months, full of fertilizers, full of chemicals and preservatives, Soft drinks ( full of Co2). The question is Why can't we follow nature's manual in our case. Why we want to put the deadly acidic gas Co2 in our blood ( soft drinks) by paying money and knowing since our childhood that body is working hard every second to get rid of Co2 from the blood. 

Isn't it Ironic ?  - Just think about it. 

All these supplements of Tulsi, Curcumin, Amla, Echinacea described here in this post are available at and you can write an e mail at and the products can be delivered by courier. Children suffering from recurrent cold and flu should be given these herbs rather than too many anti-biotic courses at regular interval. 

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