Home Medications and Cures for Common Cold
The common cold is an infection of the upper respiratory tract, that usually involves the nose, throat, ears and bronchial tubes. The symptoms are sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, and sometimes joint aches and a sore throat. A common cold occurs more often than any other disease - hence, its name. A person may suffer from a common cold several times in a year. A cold usually lasts from three to ten days. The patient feels miserable for the first three days or so.
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The most common complaints associated with the cold usually are mild, such as: Runny nose, Sneezing, Nasal and sinus blockage, Headache, Sore throat, Cough
Rhinovirus and coronavirus are the common cold-causing viruses, but there are more then 200 different viruses that can cause the common cold. The common cold is contagious, and can spread from an infected person to an uninfected person very easily.
Lemon is the most important among the many home remedies for common cold. It is beneficial in all types of cold with fever. Vitamin C-rich lemon juice increases body resistance decreases toxicity and reduces the duration of the illness. One lemon should be diluted in a glass of warm water, and a teaspoon of honey should be added to it. This should be taken once or twice daily.
Garlic soup is an old remedy to reduce the severity of a cold, and should be taken once daily. The soup can be prepared by boiling three or four cloves of chopped garlic in a cup of water. Garlic contains antiseptic and antispasmodic properties, besides several other medicinal virtues. The oil contained in this vegetable helps to open up the respiratory passages. In soup form, it flushes out all toxins from the system and thus helps bring down fever. Five drops of garlic oil combined with a teaspoon of onion juice, and diluted in a cup of water, should be drunk two to three times a day. This has also been found to be very effective in the treatment of common cold.
Ginger is another excellent remedy for colds and coughs. About ten grams of ginger should be cut into small pieces and boiled in a cup of water. It should then be strained and half a teaspoon of sugar added to it. This decoction should be drunk when hot. Ginger tea, prepared by adding a few pieces of ginger into boiled water before adding the tea leaves, is also an effective remedy for colds and for fevers resulting from cold. It may be taken twice daily.
Lady's fingers are highly valuable in treating irritation of the throat and a persistent dry cough. This vegetable is rich in mucilage and acts as a drug to allay irritation, swelling, and pain. About 100 gm of lady's fingers should be cut into pieces, and boiled down in half a liter of water to make a decoction. The steam issuing from this decoction may also be inhaled once or twice a day to relieve throat irritation and a dry cough.
Bitter Gourd Roots:
The roots of the bitter gourd plant are used in folk medicine to cure a cold. A teaspoon of the root paste, mixed with an equal quantity of honey or tulsi leaf juice, given once every night for a month acts as an excellent medicine for colds.
Turmeric is an effective remedy for colds and throat irritations. Half a teaspoon of fresh turmeric powder mixed in 30 ml of warm milk, and taken once or twice daily, is a useful prescription for these conditions. Turmeric powder should be put into a hot ladle. Milk should then be pured in it and boiled over a slow fire. The patient should then drink this mixture. In case of a running cold, smoke from the burning turmeric should be inhaled. It will increase the discharge from the nose and provide quick relief.
Tamarind and Pepper:
Tamarind-pepper rasam is also considered an effective home remedy for a cold in South India. Dilute 50-mg tamarind in 250 ml of water. Boil the diluted tamarind water for a few minutes with a teaspoon of hot ghee and half a teaspoon of black pepper powder. This steaming hot rasam has a flushing effect, and should be taken three times a day. As one takes it, the nose and eyes water and the nasal blockage is cleared.
According to Dr Linus Pauling, a Nobel prize winning scientist, the regular intake of vitamin C-75 mg for adults and 35 mg for children will prevent the common cold. If, however, a cold has already appeared, large doses of this vitamin will relieve the symptoms and shorten its duration. He estimates that one to two grams per day is approximately the optimum amount of this vitamin for this purpose. His advice is to swallow one or two 500-mg tablets of vitamin C at the appearance of the first sign of the cold and continue the treatment by taking one to two 500-mg tablets daily.
Drink lots of hot fluids
Cold viruses grow and multiply fast when the temperature around them is around 90�F. However, they are far less comfortable-and less likely to replicate so quickly-when their environment heats up. Drink some hot fluids. This will warm your throat. That should impair viral replication. As a bonus, hot fluids have a mild decongestant effect, which helps relieve nasal stuffiness. Taking herbal drink such as ginger tea is doubly helpful because of their heating effect as well as the antiviral effect.
Neutrophils are a special type of white blood cell that engulf and destroy cold viruses and other foreign invaders. Neutrophils become lethargic when you eat sweets. So, it is a good idea to stay away from sweets when you have cold as well as as a preventive strategy during the cold season.
In one study, researchers had volunteers consume 100 grams of sugar, the equivalent of two cans of soda. Then they took blood samples from the volunteers. They found that neutrophil activity in the volunteers had plummeted by 50 percent after consuming the sugar. Five hours later, neutrophil activity still remained substantially below normal.
Anything that contains any form of sugar-including sucrose, fructose, and corn syrup -- can impair neutrophil activity: The worst offenders are candy and sweets, which are almost pure sugar and have virtually no nutritional value.
Other useful measures in the treatment of a common cold are a mild sunbath, fresh air and deep breathing, brisk walks, sound sleep, and adjustment of one's clothes and habits to the requirements of the season so as to nullify the effect of weather fluctuations.
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