As the weather changes, some of us may fall prey to certain infections. The common cold and seasonal flu is caused by certain viruses.
Congestion, cough and cold are the end result when your body has accumulated toxins that lower your immunity and make it prone to other ailments.
Factors that affect your immunity
- Eating food which create blockages in the upper respiratory system like processed cheese, curd, dairy products, non-vegetarian food cooked with a lot of oil, refined foods and incorrect food combinations all add up to indigestion of foods and creation of toxins. These toxins build up excessive phlegm.
- Drinking iced cold drinks at night – this upsets your body temperature and affects your immunity which makes you vulnerable to viruses and bacterial infection.
- Drinking or eating sour food at night like pickles, sour fruit juices, chutneys and ketchup build up kapha in your body. An overdose of kapha puts you at risk.
- Sudden change of temperature – going from warm places to very cold areas without appropriate protection can cause a temperature imbalance in your body.
- Lack of sleep and stress also lower your immunity.
Home remedies to cure cold and flu
- Drink several cups of hot water during the day to ensure that the phlegm moves from the lungs to the intestine from where it can be excreted.
- Take herbs which have the ability to dissolve the phlegm like cumin powder, ginger powder, black pepper, white pepper, turmeric powder and lemon grass. These herbs are usually take as a decoction boiled in water or one can also add them to soups.
- For dry cough, a decoction made of ginger root and black pepper can be taken with half teaspoon of honey. Alternatively, a decoction of cumin, black pepper, cinnamon, lemon grass, along with mulethi (liquorice) is very soothing. These should be taken at least three-four times in a day.
- Inhaling steam with a few drops of eucalyptus oil can be very refreshing. Whole body sauna and steam also helps to get the phlegm moving.
- Body massage with til oil mixed with olive oil is very helpful.
- Turmeric is an excellent herb for fighting inflammation and infections. It acts as a natural antibiotic and immunity booster.
- Ajwain (carom seeds) is an excellent herb for the stomach. You can make a decoction with a pinch of ajwain, onion juice and gur (jaggery). This can be taken once a day. Ajwain can also be roasted and added to rotis for lunch or dinner.
- Use saline nasal drops to clear blocked nasal passages.
Relieving cough and cold is not just about treating the symptoms but also about building your immunity. The heavy toxin build up can be prevented by strengthening your immunity which will help you keep such infections away.