Common Cold and Steam Inhaler

Last two months climate in Chennai has been comparatively (for Chennai) cooler and there is common cold in the air – with every other person I see being affected for few days one time or other this season. I find that I am more prone to picking up common pollution caused allergy, which in turn triggers common cold and sore-throat in me. Though the running nose gets cured in few days, the side-effects of cold & dry-cough stay for a longer time – usually for 1 or 2 weeks, affecting my work and productivity. This time I have been suffering from this for more than 2 weeks – with me deciding not to take any drugs, which I got sick of taking every time this happens and as I said I am very prone for this. I asked my Homeopathy doctor and she advised I take Steam Inhalation few times every day with the water mixed with Tulasi leaves (Ocimum tenuiflorum). I have been trying this for last few days and it has been effective, especially clearing the nasal blockage and allowing me to sleep better in the night without breathing through my mouth (and aggravating the sore throat).

I used the below Facial Steamer that I got a few years back from a Utensil shop in Pondy Bazaar, Chennai for Rs.200 (US$4) – for curiosity when I checked in Amazon today similar facial steamers sells for an average $25 in the USA.

Facial Steamer
Facial Steamer

Tulasi leaves are commonly seen in Vaishnavaite temples in India and they are given as the first offering to the lord, households in South India normally have this plant in a specially built structure in the back of the house. If you are in India, the easiest place to buy Tulasi leaves is in front of “Vishnu” temples – you can get a handful for just a few rupees.

Thulasi Leaves
Tulasi Leaves

References I found while doing a web search on the above:

  1. Definition of Common Cold
  2. How to inhale steam vapour?
  3. Tulasi as a nose-care agent
  4. Tulasi as a Siddha cure for cold, asthma and cough


  • Dinesh

    Sir, can you please name the shop you bought facial steamer? I’ve been for a hole day in Tnagar but couldn’t find any shops have facial steamer.

    • venkatarangan

      Hi Dinesh, If I remember right I bought this one at Ponny Stores in Pondy Bazaar, they also have a branch in West Mambalam near Brindavan Street. Searching for “Facial Steamer” in shows lots of options as well.

  • venkatarangan tnc

    @Azar, any good super market or home appliances shop like Croma, Viveks should have a good steamer. You need a basic one, but ensure it is of some decent brand to avoid any electrical shocks.

  • Srimathi

    Your blog is informative in all aspects (beyond your busy schedules) and reading it has become one of my daily activity.. Great effort and thanks a lot for it.