A common cold is called so because it’s the commonest of all ailments and affects most of us more frequently than any other disease.
Throat irritation and blockage of the nasal passage usually accompanies a cold. It may also be accompanied by a cough, which is the secretion of mucus due to infection of the lungs.
What causes Cold and Cough?
There is no exact reason for the cold and cough. Its causes can vary from an allergy, influenza, sinusitis or a viral infection. However the most common reasons are:
Exposure to cold or dust
Other irritating inhalations
Symptoms of Cold and Cough
Secretion of mucus
Here are some soothing natural remedies that will help keep the doctor away.
Vitamin C rich fruits: Vitamin C rich fruits such as orange, sweet lime, strawberries, lemon etc. are extremely effective in treating and keeping cold and cough away. The high vitamin C in these fruits increases the body’s resistance to virus and decreases the duration of the illness. An easy way to enhance your intake of vitamin C is to squeeze a lemon in a glass of warm water, sweeten it with a teaspoon of honey and drink it twice daily for at least 3 days.
Ginger (adrak): Cut about 10 grams of ginger into small pieces and boil in a cup of water. Strain, add a teaspoon of sugar and drink it when hot. Alternatively, ginger tea is also an effective remedy against cold. Check out the recipe of Spicy Masala Tea.
Garlic (lehsun): Garlic is a real immunity booster. Finely chop 2 to 3 cloves of garlic and swallow it like any other medicine. It can also be used raw into salad dressings. Crushing a clove of garlic into soups, stews etc. is also effective and greatly enhances their flavour. See the recipe of Garlic Vegetable Soup.
Turmeric powder (haldi): Turmeric is most effective in curing throat irritation during colds. Fresh turmeric powder and ajwain (carom seeds) mixed in a glass of warm milk taken once or twice a daily is the most useful curative measure. See the recipe of Ajwain and Turmeric Milk
Tamarind (imli) and Pepper (kali mirch) mixture: This is a an effective remedy used in South India for centuries. Dilute 50 grams of tamarind in 250 ml of water. Add half a teaspoon of pepper powder and a teaspoon of ghee. Boil it for a few minutes and inhale the vapours of this steaming mixture thrice a day to clear the nasal blockage during colds
Tulsi (Indian basil): A mixture of a teaspoon of juice of tulsi combined with one teaspoon of ginger juice and ¼ teaspoon of honey helps to ease cough.
Foods to be Avoided
Cold beverages, aerated drinks and ice-creams
Deep fried foods
Confectionery and mithai
Easy Pointers to Fight Cold and Cough
Consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables as they abound in nutrients which strengthen the immune system. Try not to cook the vegetables for a longer period as it results in loss of volatile nutrients like vitamins B and C.
Drink plenty of fluids (water, vegetable soups and fruit juices) as it helps to replenish the fluids lost during the illness.
Eat hot and spicy foods. These types of foods your nose will start to run and the mucus will begin to clear. Spicy foods work just like a natural decongestant without any side effects. Try out the Mangalorean Tea and one Spicy Chinese Delicacy, Mein Chow Soup
Avoid smoking as it aggravates the throat and interferes with the infection-fighting activity of the cells.
Get plenty of rest and relaxation, as it gives your body a better chance to fight the virus.
Stay away from a dusty environment as that can aggravate the situation