Everyone has suffered from common cold at some point or other in their lives. Common cold is an infectious disease caused by viruses. Some of the common symptoms of common cold are runny nose, blocked sinuses, fever, sore throat, headache, cough, fatigue and aching muscles.
As common cold is infectious, it can spread from the infected person to others through coughing, sneezing, or even talking around with others. This is one reason why a person suffering from common cold should not go near infants and children as they are the most vulnerable to attracting common cold.
Ayurvedic viewpoint on common cold
According to Ayurveda, a person suffers from common cold due to imbalances in Kapha and Vata doshas. While the Kapha dosha rules over the respiratory system, the Vata dosha controls the immune system. One suffers from cold when there is an excess of Kapha dosha in the body which means the affected person is exposed to cool, moist characteristics. This results in a stuffy or runny nose and sneezing. On the other hand, excess Vata dosha in the body reduces the body’s digestive fire, so the affected person feels cold.
In Ayurveda it is believed that the best way to beat the common cold is to prevent it from ever happening in the first place. It can be done by boosting your immune system by avoiding stress, getting a healthy night's sleep and taking proper foods.
List of ingredients used in the treatment of common cold
- Cumin seeds
- Holy basil
- Black pepper
- Mustard oil
- Lemon juice
Home treatments for common cold are:
- Take a pinch of salt and a few drops of mustard oil and blend them together. Dab this mixture on the nostrils, neck and chest. This simple home remedy will give you fast relief.
- Mix some jaggery and black pepper together and boil them in water. Sip when hot like tea.
- Squeeze the juice of two lemons in a glassful of water. Put some honey sweeten the mixture. Drink this concoction two to three times a day.
- Mix black pepper, cinnamon and cardamom and use it as a snuff to open up congested nasal passages.
- In case of dry cough, take 10 grams each of cardamom, dry ginger, black pepper and cinnamon. Grind them together and add 40 grams of powdered sugar or rock candy. Take half a tea spoon of this herbal mixture twice a day with honey or warm water after meals.
- To treat sore throat, a clove or two cardamoms or a few raisins can be chewed several times a day. Gargling with warm salty water is also beneficial. This can be done two to three times a day.
- Take a concoction of one tablespoon of ginger juice and one teaspoon of honey a few times a day. This remedy gives instant relief from cough and cold.
- Basil and honey have antiseptic and immunity-boosting properties that can help to treat common cold symptoms. Make herbal tea with honey and basil and have this tea three to four times a day.
- Turmeric is an excellent spice that builds immunity and reduces toxin from within the body. Before going to bed, drink a glass of low fat warm milk with one tablespoon of turmeric powder it in.
- Before going to bed, apply eucalyptus oil on the forehead, chest and the nostrils in the night.
Some more diet and lifestyle tips
- Keep the body warm especially feet, chest, throat and head. Wear warm clothes and avoid air conditioned rooms. If possible sit in front of fire.
- Cold drinks as well as milk products should not be taken as such products will make your condition worse.
- Also avoid eating tomatoes, eggplant and bananas. Such foods have a cooling effect on the body.
- Try to eat light and warm meals of boiled or steamed vegetables or vegetable soups for a week to improve your immune system.
- Herbal teas and hot drinks are good. You can make a cup of ginger tea or cinnamon tea and have it several times a day.
- Eat fresh and well-cooked food. Do not take processed or frozen foods.
- Start your day with two glasses of warm water. It will be better to add one tablespoon of honey or lemon juice to it.
- Do not skip meals as it will weaken the body's defenses. Also try to eat all your meals on time.
- Make sure you get at least 7-8 hours of good sleep every night. This will boost your immune system and enhance the energy in your body.
- Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day to flush accumulated toxins from your system.
- Support your immune system by exercising moderately on a regular basis. It helps in increasing blood circulation and eliminating the blockage in body channels.
Follow these suggestions and tips and you will soon feel better.