Two of the most irritating and discomforting diseases troubling humans since ancient times are common cold and flu. Characterised by running nose and eyes, headache, fever, body pain, sore throat, congestions etc, these contagious illnesses weaken the body and deplete the stamina. Although an age old ailment, the cure for cold and flu are yet to be found. Over the counter drugs only help to reduce the duration of flu and suppress the cold but are ineffective in providing a complete cure. Some simple natural treatments and practices are also helpful in reducing and preventing the symptoms of these diseases effectively.
10 Such Natural Treatments For Cold And Flu Are:
The mucus produced during cold and flu uses up the body’s internal moisture and resultantly dehydrates the body. It is advisable to drinks loads of liquids when suffering from cold as this helps to thin down the mucus and reduce it stickiness. This makes it easier to blow and cough away the mucus and expel it properly out of the body. Sipping in luke warm water, hot soups, liquids like juices, electrolyte beverages, soda etc soothes the body and stomach helps to loosen the mucus and relieves one of vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea during flu. Consumption of caffeinated beverages and alcohol during cold should be avoided as these drinks cause further dehydration in the body.
Cold and flu is stressful for the body. One should take ample rest when they contract cold as flu. This helps the body to conserve all its energy and direct it towards eliminating the infection. It enhances and strengthens the immune system and helps it to actively fight against the infection causing agents in the body. Sleeping with an extra below the head while suffering from cold and flu helps to ease the drainage of nasal passage.
Staying in a Humid Environment
Inhaling hot air helps to break down the congestion in the nasal passage and thus provide relief from stuffiness, running nose and sore throat pain. Using a clean humidifier in the room helps to ideally create such a warm and moist environment. It should be ensured that the humidifier is free of moulds and dust. Hot water bath and sponge bath relieves stress and helps ease the body to fight away the infections efficiently.
Adding essential oils like peppermint or eucalyptus oil in a pot or steamer containing boiling water and inhaling the steam from it also helps to clear and moisturise the nasal passage effectively. Steam baths also renders similar benefits to the body and treats cold effectively.
Hot and Cold Compression
Hot compression over the forehead and nose using a warm cloth helps to treat headache or sinus pain. Even cold compression is beneficial in eliminating discomfort and easing sinus. During high fever washing the head with cold water and compressing the forehead with a cloth soaked in cold water helps to bring the temperature down instantly.
Gargling helps to clear the mucus that gets accumulated at the back of the throat and thus relieve sore throat and even ear pain instantly. Gargling with salt water solution four times a day is an effective remedy in providing temporary relieve to throat problems during cold and flu. Tickling sensation in the throat can be treated by tightening the membranes with an astringent gargle like tea containing tannin. Gargling with honey and apple cider vinegar solution, honey and lemon juice in hot water or raspberry leaves and honey in hot water can relive throat problems effectively.
Using saline water to clear the nasal passage is a common practice worldwide. Pouring luke warm salt water into the nose through one nostril and expelling it out of the other helps to cleanse the nasal passage, ease post nasal drip and stuffiness, and prevent sinus infections. Such nasal irrigation can be done using a neti pot or with saline squeeze bottles easily available in market.
Blowing the Nose
Blowing the nose gently and regularly helps to expel the phlegm out of the nose and clear the nasal tract effectively. Do not blow the nose to hard as this may cause ear pain. Pressing one nostril with a finger while gently blowing the mucous out from the other one is the correct way of sniffing the nose. Washing the hands properly after blowing the nose is important to eliminate the harmful germs and prevent further infections. One should also avoid sniffling in the mucous back to the head as this may prolong the cold and worsen the sinus pain.
Vitamin C , Iron and Echinacea
Vital nutrients like zinc and vitamin C display anti microbial properties that help to eliminate infections and allergies. Zinc helps to limit the production of certain proteins that act as food for the cold and flu virus, in the body thereby restricting the growth and spread of these viruses. Vitamin C also helps to shorten the duration of cold and flu and relieve their symptoms. Thus one should increase the intake of foods like cereals, milk, chicken, orange, legumes, spinach etc that are rich in zinc and vitamin C and help to fight cold effectively. Supplements of these nutrients can also be consumed, after consulting a doctor, to meet the body’s requirement. Consuming the herb, Echinacea, has been proven useful in boosting immunity, fighting infections and eliminating the symptoms of cold and flu effectively.
Eating a healthy diet is important to ensure the general health and well being of the body. Consuming a nutritional diet packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins, minerals etc helps to strengthen the immune system, nourish the body and keep illnesses like flu, cold, cough etc away. Drinking apt amount of water helps to flush out the toxins and microbes out of the body and treats and prevents infections naturally. Cold food is more likely to carry microbes that cause cold and flu and hence should be avoided. Intake of cold beverages triggers the formation of mucous in the body and leads to problems like sore throat, sinus, nasal congestion etc. One should eat light, nutritious and warm food and consume warm or hot drinks to relieve and prevent cold and flu. Sucking hard candies and throat lozenges help to surprisingly relieve throat irritation, sore throat, cough etc.