“Natural Cures” is a New Weekly Column. This is an attempt to make you more informed about how you can treat and heal yourself naturally. Natural cures for diseases & Curative Properties of Foods will be the main focus.
The common cold is not an infection that leaps out and attacks an innocent passerby. It is not even a disease. A cold is the cure of a pre-diseased condition, and the symptoms are attempts by the body to reestablish normal conditions. The body is carrying out a “spring cleaning.”
My Little one and me are suffering from the cold sniffles since yesterday, and i thought, what better way to start the new column “Natural Cure Fridays”, than with a post about The Common Cold. My body is spring cleaning all the relocation dust and grime from my system, but dont let this horrid cold get to you. Precaution is better than cure.
More than one hundred types of viruses are known to cause the common cold. This explains why scientific attempts to produce a vaccine have been so unsatisfactory. Over 40% of respiratory illnesses in children and adults are caused by this family of organisms. Although colds occur throughout the year, there are peaks of incidence in the spring and fall. The disease is more severe in children, especially those under two years of age. Higher fevers, cough, croup, and occasionally pneumonia occur. Family infections are more often initiated by children. They spread like gossip in schools or any setting where close contact is found.
- Symptoms of discharge in the nose,
- General aching
- Mild headache resulting in a mild fever..
- Nasal secretions increase over the period of a day or two.
Symptoms last for 7-14 days regardless of therapy. The incubation period is very short (1-3 days), instead of the 10-21 days for most viruses. The cold seems to suddenly appear. When you get a tingling nose and throat, nasal mucus, or scratchy throat; do not wait for the coughing, weakness, and fever to begin! Go to bed.
A number of factors predispose to the common cold:
- Unwise ingestion of a large amount of sugar
- Exposure to sudden changes in temperature, particularly with chilling.
- Negative emotions are thought to be related to host susceptibility through a change in the acidity of the nasal mucous membrane. Such reactions as hatred, anger, fear and frustration bring about the temporary deficiency of lysozyme, a potent enzyme capable of killing many germs.
- Continuous Stress- Whether work related or personal, can have adverse effects on your health and slow down the healing process.
Factors which lower the body’s resistance to virus infection are:
- Overexposure to cold,
- Recent or present infections
- Allergic reactions
- Inhalation of irritating dust or gas
- Overeating & Wrong eating
- Alcohol consumption.
The treatment for a cold should include the general health measures for respiratory hygiene:
- Large amounts of fluids, especially water, should be taken.
- Increased rest
- Steam inhalations
- Hot packs over the congested areas
- The avoidance of close contact with other people who are susceptible to the same disease.
- Diet should be light with easily digested foods, especially fruit and soups.
- Eucalyptus oil is helpful. Put 5 drops in a hot bath or 6 drops in a cup of boiling water. Put a towel over your head and, without burning yourself, inhale it.
- A Eucalyptus candle in the room of the ailing patient works wonders in the respiratory tract. It should be lit in the room not very far from the bed, but in safe distance so as not be very close to the bedcovers. Take special care with children.
What to eat to Heal:
- Herbal Teas: Herbal teas can include rose hips, golden seal, chamomile, peppermint, slippery elm, ginger, green, desert tea. Licorice root tea, drunk daily, soothes an irritated throat and relieves coughing.
- Chicken soup: It’s been called nature’s penicillin and is at the top of the list for its curative powers. Hot chicken soup helps clear clogged airways, and the nourishing broth will give you more energy. Add plenty of vegetables, including onion and garlic, for extra healing power.
- Apples: Sweet apples are valuable in the dry cough accompanied with the common cold. Nearly 250 grams of sweet apples should be taken daily to get quick relief from this dry cough.
- Lemons: Lemons are ideal in all types of fevers and colds if taken well diluted. Vitamin C rich lemon juice increases resistance, reduces toxicity and cuts down the course of the illness. Unless one is especially allergic to citrus fruits, one should not avoid lemons in a cold. A glass of diluted lemon juice prepared in warm water, to which a tablespoon of honey is added, is an ideal remedy for cold and dry cough. “A lemon a day keeps the cold away.”
- Mangoes: All bacterial invasions are due to poor epithelium the tissue that covers the external surface of the body. Liberal use of mangoes during the season contributes towards formation of a healthy epithelium, thereby preventing frequent attacks of common infections such a colds. This is attributable to high concentrations of vitamin A in mangoes.
- Oranges: This fruit is an excellent liquid food in all types of fever when the digestive power of the body is seriously hampered. It gives energy, increases urinary output and promotes body resistance against infections, thereby hastening recovery.
- Garlic: Garlic has been held in high esteem for its health building qualities for centuries all over the world. Garlic soup is an age old remedy to decrease the severity of cold. It also helps bring down fever by flushing out the system of all toxins.
- Ginger: The extracted juice of ginger with honey should be taken 3 or 4 times a day incase of coughs. In case of colds, ginger tea, prepared by adding a few ginger pieces into boiling water before adding tea leaves, is also an effective remedy. It helps in fevers resulting from cold too.
- Milk: Milk has proved useful in respiratory system disorders such a common cold. A glassful of boiled milk, mixed with a pinch or turmeric powder and few broken peppers, should be taken every night in this condition.
What not to eat:
Among the things that you need to avoid during the cold are:
- Cold water & cold aerated drinks.
- Very oily and deep fried foods.
- Restaurant food.
- Foods which are difficult to digest eg. Meat, heavily fatty foods, Ghee
- Readymade sauces.eg. ketchup, chilli sauce etc.
- Canned foods.
The above foods are important to avoid as the consumption of these can aggravate the ongoing cold and the internal healing becomes very slow
Once contracted, a cold must run its course. So it is better, far better, to prevent it than cure it. The best prevention is to live right, eat right, get enough out-of-door exercise to strengthen the body, and get enough rest
- Do not skimp on sleep at night, especially in the colder months.
- Do not share food with someone who has a cold.
- Be sure and dress warmly enough when it is cold.
- Do not sit in a draft.
- Do not go outside with a wet head.
- Don’t smoke or atleast reduce it.
Many people, who are especially susceptible to colds, never get them. They have learned to live above the level where they contract such infections. Learn the distant early warning signs.
Next Week on “Natural Cures” : ‘Wonders of Carrot Juice’
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