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It’s a Winter season, a variety of factors conspire to weaken the immune system and make us vulnerable to colds and flu. People tend to spend more time indoors and keep windows and doors closed, which, in turn, becomes a breeding ground for microbes. Children also tend to bring viruses back home from school.
Cold and flu are both acute viral infections. Cold typically produces nasal congestion, a scratchy throat, sneezing, blocked sinuses and Eustachian tubes. Flu tends to come suddenly with high fever, severe headache, body pains, exhaustion, and often a dry cough. These symptoms affect sleep during night, due to which the infected person experiences fatigue.
While it’s a fact that there is no cure for cold and flu in allopathy, considerable research has been done in the recent years to check the effectiveness of medicinal plants.
Following ayurvedic guidelines and proper herbal extract supplements can help you weather cold and flu, this season. The dosage, however, depends on the person and his constitution.
Herbal Remedies And General Guidelines :
Protect Yourself:Strengthen your immune system and keep yourself healthy. Cold weather, stress, lack of sleep and poor nutrition can damage your immune system and increase susceptibility to viruses. Two plants that will help you strengthen your immune system are aamla and tulsi.
During Intial Stage: If you wake up with a scratch throat and a stuffy nose, you know you have missed the opportunity to stop a cold before it stops. Garlic and turmeric will help solve your problem.
Many ayurvedic physicians prescribe Garlic to help prevent cold, flu, to stimulate circulation, lower high blood pressure, aid digestion, and heal superficial wounds. Modern research has substantiated many of these therapeutic uses. Garlic is considered to be a natural antibiotic as it can destroy foreign bacteria and viruses. However, eating more than five pods a day may result in heartburn, flatulence and may also slow down clotting of blood. Scientific reports have shown that freshly taken garlic juice, and steam distilled garlic oil are effective in curing infections of mucous membrane. Internally, 4 grams of fresh garlic or 8 milligrams of volatile oil daily is recommended. But if you prefer capsules, make sure that they are enteric-coated to protect the allicin from stomach acids.
Turmeric is a proven anti-inflammatory agent. Add one teaspoonful of the powder or paste of turmeric to a cup of milk and take the same thrice a day. This helps in early recovery. Turmeric decreases malaise and corrects constipation, if any. It keeps the lungs clear of phlegm and activates the liver. Fried turmeric powder taken with 1-2 gm of ghee mixed in hot milk, taken internally, gives immediate relief. Gargle with warm turmeric powder two to three times a day to relieve a sore throat. Inhalation of smoke from the burning turmeric brings quick relief by causing copious nasal discharge during cold.
Full-blown: If a cold has persisted for three or four days, your throat, sinuses, and lungs may be severely inflamed. The phlegm is thick and your chest feels tight and sore. Then, try these remedies:
Self Care And Prevention :There are several ways in which you can keep the infection levels low:
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it a cold or the flu? A cold and the flu (also called influenza) are alike in many ways. But the flu can sometimes lead to more serious problems, like the lung disease pneumonia. A stuffy nose, sore throat, and sneezing are usually the signs of a cold. Tiredness, fever, headache, and major aches and pains probably mean you have the flu. Coughing can be a sign of either a cold or the flu. But a bad cough usually points to the flu.
How to avoid getting a cold? Wash your hands often. You can pick up cold germs easily, even when shaking someone’s hand or touching doorknobs or handrails. Avoid people with colds when possible. If you sneeze or cough, do it into a tissue and then throw the tissue away. Clean surfaces you touch with a germ-killing disinfectant. Do not Touch your nose, eyes or mouth. Germs can enter your body easily by these paths.
Will antibiotics help? Do not take antibiotics for a cold or flu. Antibiotics won’t work against cold and flu germs. And, antibiotics should be taken only when really needed.
Help yourself feel better? A cold usually lasts only a couple of days to a week. Tiredness from the flu may continue for several weeks. To feel better while you are sick, drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest.
As we all are genetically different with different constitutions and patterns, we respond to treatments in many different ways. Hence Standard Ayurvedic Treatments are always individually formulated. This article is intended only for information. It is not a substitute to the standard medical diagnosis, personalized Ayurvedic treatment or qualified Ayurvedic physician. For specific treatment, always consult with a qualified Ayurvedic physician.
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