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Common Cold (Influenza)

Common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract – nose, throat, ears and sinuses. It leads to blockage of nasal passage due to mucus formation and infection in the sinuses, thereby causing irritation in throat and difficulty in breathing. It is the most frequent infectious disease in humans with the average adult contracting two to four infections a year. One usually catches cold in the months of winter. However, one can even catch cold and suffer from flu in summers. Collectively, colds, influenza, and other upper respiratory tract infections with similar symptoms are included in the diagnosis of influenza-like illness.

Home Remedies for cold and flu:

Cold and flu can be cured with home remedies. These home remedies are  highly effective to get immediate relief.

  • Sore throats are common during cold and flu. Take a glass of water and dissolve a teaspoonful of salt in it. Gargling with this at regular intervals soothes the pain.
  • Make a paste of turmeric powder, a pinch of salt and water. Take it on regular intervals to get relief from soar throat.
  • Echinacea taken in its original herbal form helps boost your resistance and build immunity against the infection.
  • Supplements rich in Vitamin C are advisable, as they help fight the infection and the keep viruses at bay. They also bolster your immune system.
  • Squeeze a lemon in a glass of warm water and have it to create a non-friendly atmosphere for the bacteria and viruses. It will help cure cold at the earliest.
  • Use a spoonful of honey to sweeten all the hot beverages that you have. Honey has anti-bacterial qualities and help to reduce the irritation and itchiness in the throat.
  • One of the most effective remedies is having hot chicken soup. It is known to dilute the mucus more effectively than hot water or steam; giving an easy way out to the unwanted mucus.
  • Garlic too can work wonders as a remedy for people with severe cold and flu. Increase your garlic intake. It is known to fight infection and promote healing. In short, it acts as a natural antiseptic and a germ fighter. Peel a clove of garlic and or chew it. Swallow the juice while inhaling the pungent fumes. If it stings sharply,  swallow it with water. You can also consume garlic capsules that are available over-the-counter to avoid eating raw garlic.
  • Use a Hair dryer! Well… this may surprise you. Turn on your hair dryer and put it on the warm mode. Hold it 6 to 8inches from your face and inhale the hot air deeply for 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat this about 5-6 times. This helps control cold maladies.
  • Consuming hot ginger tea is a sure shot way to beat the cold. Add half a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger to boiling water to make a cup of tea. It contains gingerols, a natural cough suppressant. It also helps de-congest the choked nose and sinuses.
  • Rubbing eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, sweet almond oil on the chest and the back before going to bed has a warming effect. It provides relief and works as decongestant. You can also add these oils in a pan of boiling water and inhale the steam. This opens up the blocked nasal passages and enable you to breath easily.
  • Hot seasonings like chilly flakes, tabasco pepper sauce, Wasabi or Japanese horseradish, act as great decongestants. Add a pinch of flakes, or a drop of sauce, to any soup or food you eat when you are suffering from cold and flu for a sure shot relief.
  • Blood circulation can help you to relieve congestion. Soak your feet in hot water which has a teaspoonful of mustard added to it. Mustard is known to draw blood to the feet and help in quick recovery.
  • Stay away from drugs, which dry the mucus and avoid dairy products and sugary items for they increase the mucus.
  • Last, but not the least, take proper rest in case you are suffering from severe flu and running temperature.

Factoids:

  • Remember, when blowing nose, do it one nostril at a time and do it gently. Otherwise you may create reverse pressure sending viruses back into the sinuses.
  • Give a fillip to your love life and keep cold and flu at bay. Making love at least once a week, keeps you fit, physically and mentally. According to a study, men and women who were sexually active than often had higher immunity power.
  • Regularly having 20-30 drops of elderberry tincture three to four times a day serves as an effective remedy for flu.

Prevention:
Prevention is the best medication. Protect yourself before the flu season starts. Consider taking flu vaccine every year to bolster your immune system, especially if you 65 years of age or above and /or are suffering from chronic heart of kidney disease.

On an average, a person blinks about 25,000 times a day. If we total up the blinking of eyes per day, it comes up to 30 minutes with closed eyes. It is more in case of women, as they have a tendency to blink twice as much as men do.