People generally take antibiotics to combat cold and flu but over exposure to them is also not advisable. Some people report of constipation and dizziness when they take antibiotics. I have a sensitive body and I mostly shy away from their usage.
As an alternative, I try naturopathy. My belief in naturopathy is quite strong and is based on my experience of using it for more than 15 years now. Also hailing from a holistic land like India only strengthens my faith in it. I feel delighted in sharing the fact that in last 15 years I have not visited a doctor more than 25 times. Out of which around 10 visits were during my pregnancy! A good credit to this also goes to my father who himself is a kind of anti-doctor person and prefers treating himself with natural ingredients.
I am listing here few commonly used and highly effective ways to treat cold and flu at home. These tips are tried and tested by me and they work for me most of the times. Also, since these are natural products, they do not carry any side effects with them. But still in case of severe cold and flu, it is better to try these for initial 2 days. If the problem persists, it is advisable to see the doctor.
Note: with cold and flu, I mean common cold and common flu.
1. Ginger, Basil and Honey Mixture – It is a sure shot way of getting some relief. I even try it on my 15 months old daughter. She is very fussy with taking medicines and usually vomits when given any strong anti-biotic. Thus I prefer giving her home made treatment. Many pharma companies have also started making tonics that contain these ingredients. For eg. Vicks and Dabar. How to use – mix ginger juice, basil juice and honey in equal quantities. Take 2-3 tea spoons empty stomach, early morning. It also relieves cough. Why it works – ginger promotes circulatory health and also enhances the utilization of other dietary supplements. It contains pungent phenol compounds (gingerols). Basil has anti-microbial properties thus driving the micro organisms away. Honey soothes and is a great energy booster. It also adds a sweet taste to the syrup making it easy to sip.
|Almond, honey and black pepper concoction|
2. Almond and Black Pepper – Almonds are well known for their therapeutic properties. In times of cold, chewing 2-3 almonds every morning also helps. It can also be taken while going to bed to provide better relief. How to use – chew 3-4 almonds two, three times a day. You can also grind 4 almonds along with 4 black pepper and eat it. Or take it with warm water. Why it works – almonds are said to be beneficial in maintaining the vitality of human brain. It is also useful for formation of new blood cells and amps up the immunity of the body. It is also rich in Vitamin A, B1, B6, E and B2 and thus helps in giving respite from sore throat. Black Pepper is a great stimulant and due to its hot properties releases the excess congestion.
3. Gram Flour Halwa (Pudding) – Gram flour pudding is very effective in getting relief from common cold and sore throat. To increase its effectiveness, you can add 2 tea spoons of almond powder. How to use – add ghee to a pan on low flame, fry the gram flour and add sugar for taste. You can also add powered almonds to the mix or add chopped almonds. Adding cardamoms will not only enhance the flavour but will increase its potency. Why it works – gram flour contains the medicinal properties of B-complex molecules and helps in fighting diseases while ramping up immunity.
4. Apply ‘Garlic, Fenugreek’ Oil – Apply this ‘hot oil’ on the sole of your feet and run on your palms. You can also rub a bit of it on your chest while sleeping. How to use – prepare this oil by heating 2 cloves of garlic and a tea spoon of methi in 3 tea spoons full of mustard oil. Massage it on your palms, feet and chest if required. Why it works – Fenugreek seeds are detoxifying in nature and are good cleansing agent. And probably everyone is already aware of Garlic’s antibiotic properties. It contains ‘allicin’ which is a strong anti biotic and kills bacterias thus treating the ailment. Note: Do not apply it on face as it may cause burning sensations. Also it should be avoided in case of sensitive skin.
5. Steam – A simple yet very effective trick. It gives instant relief from clogged nose and helps in releasing the excess congestion. You can also add Vicks in the water or apply the Vicks directly on your neck, chest and nose but inhaling Vicks through steam reaches the body deeper and gives respite from inside. How to use – dissolve some Vicks in hot water, wrap a towel around your head and inhale the steam. Why it works – steam helps in opening blocked pores thus enabling them to inhale Vicks which in turns treats cold and fever.
6. Home Made Nasal Spray – If you have noticed the composition of famous ‘Otrivin’, you must have realized that it is simply Sodium Chloride (salt). Moreover good thing is you can make a Nasal Solution at home itself. How to use – add ¼ tea spoon of table salt in 5 ml of water or likewise add 1 tea spoon of table salt in about 20 ml of distilled water to prepare a bigger bottle. Why it works – Nasal sprays help in killing germs and cleaning the passage of the nose.
7. Onion and Ginger Juice – This works on the ‘same symptom’ principle. Ginger’s properties are already highlighted above and Onion is same as Garlic in possessing ‘allicin’ anti-biotic. How to use – make 1 tea spoon of onion juice by grating it and make another tea spoon of ginger juice by grating it too. Mix the two and take it 2-3 times a day. Why it works – the pungent vapours released in chopping or grating onion release the nose blockage and the bioflavonoids contained in it boost immune properties and speed up recovery.
If the flu still persists, don’t hesitate in seeing a doctor!