Sore throat, congestion, fuzzy head. Cold season is upon us and so are its misery-making symptoms. While prescription drugs may help, your first line of defense can be found in your local supermarket or vitamin store. Here are some natural remedies doctors use to treat colds and flu.
1. Frequent sneezing
2. Blocked or runny nose
3. Reduced sense of taste and smell
4. Sore throat
5. Dry cough
6. Headache and mild fever
Causes of Common Cold
1. Viral infection
2. Person to person through sneezing
3. Menstrual cycles
4. Allergic disorders
5. Low immunity power
6. Change in weather
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. This is wonderful to soothe sore throats, cleanse the blood, and loosen mucous.
Garlic is one of the more popular home cures for colds. Many cultures have a home remedy for the cold using garlic, whether it’s chicken soup with lots of garlic, a drink made with raw crushed garlic, or if it just involves eating raw garlic. 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.
Ginger root is another folk remedy for cough, colds and sore throat. It’s used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine to treat coughs and is also for colds accompanied by runny nose with a clear nasal discharge, headache, neck and shoulder aches, and a white tongue coating. 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.
The herb Echinacea purpurea is one of the best known and widely available herbal cold treatments. Study results are mixed, but its effectiveness may vary depending on the preparation. In one 2007 study, University of Connecticut researchers concluded that echinacea decreases the odds of developing a cold by 58% and reduces its duration by 1.4 days. But a previous study showed no benefit from the herb in either reducing the severity of a cold infection or preventing a cold. Herbalists often recommend taking echinacea every two to three hours with a total daily dose of three or more grams with warm water, per day, at the first sign of symptoms.
Although there are many types of ginseng,it has become popular as a remedy for colds and flu. Compounds called polysaccharides and ginsenosides are thought to be the active constituents in ginseng. One of the more popular ginseng products is Cold-fX.
Honey, made from flower pollen and enzymes in bee saliva, has antioxidants and antiviral and antibacterial properties – all of which make it a top cold-fighter. Antioxidants in honey – all kinds – may also boost the immune system.Add two tablespoons of honey to a cup of warm, boiled water or green tea. Add a squirt or two of lemon for a boost of vitamin C.
The oil comes from eucalyptus trees, native to Australia. Its efficacy is thanks to several compounds, one being cineole, that combat viruses, bacteria and fungi. Ninety-two percent of people with sinusitis — an upper respiratory condition that causes swelling and excess mucous — who took 200 mg of cineole three times a day had significant improvement in their headaches, stuffed noses and mucous overflow. Fill a bowl or sink with steaming water, add 4-5 drops of eucalyptus oil, make a tent with a towel and inhale the steam for five minutes, adding more hot water if necessary to keep the steam steady. Repeat twice a day.
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is a herb that has a long history of use as a folk remedy for colds, sinus infections and the flu. In preliminary lab studies, elderberry extracts have been found to fight off viruses. Researchers believe that anthocyanins, compounds found naturally in elderberries, may be the active component that strengthens the immune system and blocks the flu virus from sticking to our cells.
Vitamin C may be the most studied of the available alternative remedies. Again, study results have been mixed, but experts seem to more strongly support vitamin C than other remedies. The recommended everyday intake is 75 milligrams per day for adult women and 90 milligrams per day for adult men. It is recommended that people with colds take a gram or so of vitamin C several times a day, depending on what other medical conditions they may have.
The mineral zinc, available in over-the-counter lozenges, nasal sprays, and gels, may work by preventing the formation of proteins needed by a cold virus to reproduce. Zinc lozenges have no effect. One well-designed study reported a positive effect on treating a cold with zinc nasal gel. But the study results have not yet been replicated.
Filed Under: Health & Fitness