Are you worried about catching a cold and flu this winter? If yes, then you have come to the right place.
Here are some of the time-tested Ayurvedic remedies to prevent colds and flu and boost your overall health.
However, before we unearth these remedies, let’s understand why we talk ill during winter.
Winters: Why Is It The Season of Colds and Flu
During the winter season, diseases like cold, cough, psoriasis, dry skin, arthritis, depression, viral fever, etc., become very common due to low immunity.
Ayurveda believes that the reason behind this reduced immune power is low digestive fire.
During winters, Jataragni (digestive fire) tends to become very powerful. However, when you don’t consume proper food, the Agni generated inside leads to emaciation of body tissue and causes aggravation of Vata Dosha.
The germs and viruses that start growing during this season also reduce immunity and make your body more vulnerable to diseases like colds and flu.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet at fixed times:
Include foods that are light and build immunity. Whole grains, fresh seasonal vegetables, seasonal fruits, greens are to be included. Using ghee along with warm food will keep the digestive fire ignited and thus helps in proper digestion of food. Never eat too late as it will increase pitta and reduce the metabolism leading to ill effects on the body. Include spices like ginger, jeera, cinnamon, pepper, etc.
- Take good rest and stay warm during cold seasons:
Being awake for a long duration and working without rest will lower the body tolerance power. Keeping your body warm will help in keeping viruses at bay. So ample rest is required for the body and being warm is important.
- Stay away from those who have been infected by cold or flu:
Since colds and flu can spread very easily, it is advisable to stay away from people who are suffering. It is pertinent to take precautions and remember to wash hands before touching your own face, nose, or mouth.
- Drink plenty of warm water and from one source:
This keeps your body hydrated and flushes away toxins from the body. Stick to the same source of water to avoid water-borne infections.
- Avoid eating junk, oily, spicy, cold foods, and chocolates:
Eating junk food lowers immunity easily. Chocolates, oily, and cold food can give sore throat immediately.
- Avoid sitting in AC rooms, traveling in the breeze, playing with water:
Traveling in cooler & windy climatic conditions without proper covering for the head and ears can cause infection easily. If the room is too hot or too cold both of them dry up the body and hence sitting in AC rooms for long hours should be avoided.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Cold and Flu
- Gargle your throat with hot salt water twice a day to get rid of itchy sore throat.
- Boil 1/4th inch of ginger in 1 cup of water and drink it 2-3 times daily. Ginger reduces kapha dosha and thus helps to combat cold, cough and even vomiting.
- Take easily digestible food and consume more liquid hot diet such as pongal, kchidi, hot soups, and clear vegetable soup with spices.
- Take steam with plain water to get rid of stuffy or a runny nose.
- Tea made from an equal quantity of fresh tulsi leaves and ginger heals the effect of cold and flu
- In the case of excessive phlegm, juice of tulsi, ginger can be taken with honey. In case of dryness, just the juice of these plants can be taken. Dosage can be 5 ml each three times a day.
- Regular exercise, yoga and pranayama for 45 minutes to an hour will help in clearing the blockages and improves blood circulation thus keeping you fit and energetic.
- Sitopaladi Churna: Sitopala – Sugar candy powder – 16 parts Vamshalochana (Inner white light part of bamboo tree available in raw drug medicinal shop) – 8 parts, Pippali (long pepper) – 4 parts, Ela (Cardamom) – 2 parts, Twak (Cinnamon) – 1 part. Make fine powder of it and take 5 gms of the powder along with honey/ milk/ water three times a day.
- Consume milk with turmeric as it can fight infections.
- Rubbing of mint oil/ karpooradi taila on the feet, chest and back can help in easy respiration and also helps in relieving congestion.
- Consuming sour fruits like amla (Indian gooseberry) provides ample Vitamin C which helps fight the common cold and cough. Consuming citrus fruits like Orange, Lemon, and Tangerine also serves the purpose.
These simple Ayurvedic remedies can effectively cure mild cases of common cold and flu in both adults and children. The symptoms of cold and flu can last for about one to three weeks. However, if it persists for over three weeks, it may be an indication of something more serious and deep-rooted. Therefore, it is recommended to consult an expert if the symptoms do not alleviate after three weeks.
It is ideal to opt for preventive care before contracting a virus or a pathogen that may cause you harm. Make sure that you build your immunity with the above-mentioned recommendations even if you are not infected yet. It will prevent diseases and shield you.