Cold comfort

The bad news-there is no cure for common cold. The good news,there are several things that can prevent cold and flu.

Written by Parul | Published:January 10, 2009 12:59 am

Simple remedies & common foods that can keep colds & flues at bay

The bad news — there is no cure for common cold. The good news,there are several things that can prevent cold and flu. “These two illnesses share some similar symptoms and both come during the cold winter months,with the season continuing till March,’’ Dr Vikas Bhutani,senior consultant,internal medicine adds that we need to boost our immune system with a balanced diet,rest,regular exercise and by avoiding consumption of cold items,alcohol and exposure to cold winds and wearing multi-layered clothing. Allergic rhinitis,sinusitis and asthma,adds Dr Bhutani,are often associated with changing weather conditions and changes in temperature and an increase or drop can trigger asthma attacks. Usually preceded by a cold,the most common symptoms caused by allergy are sneezing,runny nose,nasal congestion,red watery eyes,itchy ears,cough,asthma,wheezing et al. And according to Dr Lovneesh Kumar,Consultant ENT Surgeon,preventive measures include avoiding contact with people who have cold and other viral upper respiratory infections and contact with things that trigger allergy attacks and avoiding cigarette smoke as it irritates inflamed membranes in nose and sinuses. “Drink plenty of water,keep the home dust-free,treat nasal congestion caused by colds or allergies promptly,which can help you prevent a bacterial infection from developing in your sinuses and avoid breathing dry air…,’’ advises Dr Kumar.

What’s more,look into your kitchen to find foods that can help relieve symptoms and speed your recovery. Chicken soup will warm you inside-out,while hot ginger tea can help kill germs and work wonders for an upset tummy,raw garlic has anti-fungal,anti-bacterial and antiviral properties and increases resistance against colds. To relieve cough and soothe sore throat,try honey,cinnamon and amla,a rich source of vitamin C and also stock up on oranges,as studies show that Vitamin C found in orange juice can shorten the duration of flu. Doctors say blow your nose rather than pushing the mucus back into the head. Gargles with salted warm water,drinking hot liquids to relieve nasal congestion,hot showers for providing moisture to nasal passages,try it all.

Parul

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