General Remedies and Myths about Common Cold :

Every individual suffers from cold leaving them with sneezing and running nose in their life time may be during their childhood or in later life. Cold is generally associated with running nose, heavy head, and may be feverish feeling and body ache. Human System is developed in such a way that whenever there is a foreign body attack on the body, the body tries to react against it e.g. in the excess form of mucus from nose, cough reflex etc. Whenever you have a stuffy nose, those irritating symptoms that you experience are part of natural healing process showing evidence that your immune system is combating illness. When you cough, you are clearing your breathing passages of thick mucus that otherwise could have been a carrier of germs to the lungs.

There are various remedies available for the treatment of symptoms of common cold or its associated symptoms. According to Ayurveda, the ancient science of life originated in India, the common cold results from an imbalance of the kapha-vata dosha. When there is excess of kapha and excess vata, your body may develop cold. There are few known herbs which possesses hot potency e.g. ginger which can reduce excess kapha and restores agni, making it very good medicine for common colds. There are few more herbs useful for common cold e.g. holy basil (tulsi), cinnamon (dalchini), black pepper and cloves.

You should be aware of the fact that more than 200 antigenically distinct viruses from 9 different genera have been reported to cause acute respiratory illness, and the viruses causing common cold are actually different from viruses causing flu. The common cold is most infectious during the first two to three days of symptoms and is also infectious for a couple of days before the onset of symptoms and may still be somewhat infectious until symptoms have completely resolved.

Seven Tips to Combat Common Cold:
  • Steam inhalation:   Steam inhalation works very good for chest congestion. Bring a pot of water to a boil, remove it from the flame, and add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Holding a towel over your head and the pot, purse your lips and breathe steam through your mouth.

  • Hot soup:   Hot soups made out of various ingredients and vegetables helps to give more comfort to the aching limbs and a stuffed-up nose. These favorite folklore remedies such as garlic, onion, hot chili ginger (adrak), holy basil (tulsi)), cinnamon (dalchini), licorice (yastimadhu), black pepper and clove (lavanga) have medicinal properties also. Drinking any of the above powdered herbs (1 tsp) mixed well in a cup of boiled water helps to alleviate cold. Another very good remedy is ginger tea.

  • Take care of your nose tip:   Avoid repeated rubbing of nose tip. Should you require wiping off, be kind to it by using ultra-soft tissues (always keep a box containing soft tissues or package close at hand by your bed, in the kitchen, in your purse and at your working station.

  • Suppressing the first symptoms:   There are certain OTC medications available eg. Tincture, Tablets, nasal spray /drops which can be used to suppress the first symptoms of cold and also certain plant extracts and natural supplements can help shorten the duration of a cold. These OTC and natural remedies can be found in health-food stores and drugstores. As a precautionary measure it's always a good idea to check with your doctor prior to taking any form of medications.

  • Appropriate rest:   To revive, every thing in this mortal world needs rest. When cold symptoms kick in, your body needs some rest. If possible, take complete day bed rest for a day or two, or at least take more sleep at night for 8 to 10 hours. Rest helps to revive and provides your body a new energy to start from a beginning.

  • Stress free life:   In today’s world every body is full of stress. Stress makes your body weaker and creates a favorable environment for the germs to invade. Do some meditations or creative works like journaling, preparing crafts etc or exercise /yoga. You'll be surprised how much this exercise can help you work through your emotions.

  • Laughter:   Laughter every day keeps you healthy and fresh. A hearty laugh has been shown to boost the immune system. A good chuckle will also increase the body's production of endorphins, those “feel good” chemicals. So try to laugh everyday whenever you get some time.

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