Modern concept about cold and flu
Common cold or flu (Influenza) is primarily caused by a virus in the body.
It spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or even talks around others.
It can easily spread by touching a surface like a telephone, keyboard or doorknob that has been contaminated and then from your hand to your nose or mouth.
Breathing the air where a contagious person has been may also pass the flu onto you.
Allopathic treatment for cold & flu
Being caused by viruses, it should be of no surprise that antibiotics do nothing for treatment of the common cold
There are major obstacles to the development of an effective antiviral agent for colds. These include the enormous number of viruses and virus serotypes that are known to cause colds, and the ease with which these viruses mutate and thus potentially evade any drug with which they may interact. For similar reasons, the development of a vaccine against the common cold remains elusive.
So the treatment is all about suppressing the symptoms
Ayurvedic concept of cold & flu
According to Ayurveda, Influenza results from an imbalance of the Kapha and Vata Doshas (Ayurvedic humors representing Water and Air respectively).
Cold develops in the body when there is an excess of Kapha with cool, moist characteristics, causing a stuffy or runny nose and sneezing.
And, excess Vata reduces the body's digestive fire, so you get the chills.
Sometimes pitta ,also aggravates causing fever and burning sensation along with cold.
When the food we eat is not fully digested it changes into ama. This mucus or ama reaches the respiratory system and causes cold or cough. Other causes are exposure to cold or humid conditions or cold air.
Physiology of cold and Flu
The first thing that happens with colds is increased secretion of mucus and phlegm, which are both the result of elevated Kapha. That is why people who are Kapha dominant, and in an unbalanced state due to diet or lifestyle errors, are more prone to colds and sinus infections.
Some people’s colds involve the tendency to red inflamed sore throat and other heat symptoms involving redness and high temperature. This shows the influence of Pitta and has to be treated with more Pitta pacifying medicines
Some people start out hot and or phlegmatic, as above, but end up with dry throat and dry cough. This is fire stimulating wind, or Pitta aggravating Vatta
The other very important factor, especially for people that get repeated colds, or more than the average amount, that are very susceptible is the role of Ama or digestive toxins.
Ayurvedic treatment line for cold & flu
The Ayurvedic treatment of cold & flu consists of- ● Pacifying the aggravated body energies
● Expelling excess mucus ● Restoring peripheral circulation ● Strengthening digestion ● Boosting immunity
Ayurvedic treatments for cold a& flu
● Kalari marma therapy
● Herbal tanlepa( herbal detox mask)
● Nasya Treatment
● Swedanam (herbal steam)
● Dhoomrapanam (herbal smoking)
● Marma facial
Herbs for cold & flu
1. Amla (Phyllanthus emblica) - Amla , or Indian gooseberry, is a popular fruit that has long been valued for its rejuvenating properties,help boost the immune response, presumably due to its vitamin C content.
2. Elaichi (Amomum subulatum) - Elaichi is an effective remedy for cold & cough caused due to throat irritation.
3. Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) :Tulsi has antimicrobal properties since it is also anti - inflammatory. It is useful in respiratory tract infection.
4. Vasaka (Justicia adhatoda) : The leaves of the plant contain the alkaloid vasicine (C11H12N2O), which is responsible for the small but persistent bronchodilatation, and an essential oil which is chiefly responsible for the expectorant action.
5. Garlic (Allium Sativum) -Garlic has proved effective in certain diseases of the chest Ginger (Zingiber officinale ) :Ginger is other excellent remedy for cold and cough. Ginger tea is good for fever, cough and cold
Home remedies for Cold and Flu
1. Body should be kept warm especially feet, chest, throat and head. Sweating is very helpful. The simplest way to do it is drink hot spice tea or some other hot drink and lie down on the bed .Take some warm cover like blanket and let the body sweat for 15 to 20 minutes.
2. A glass of warm water mixed with one tea spoon of lemon juice and one tea spoon of honey can be taken 2-3 times a day.
3. In Case of dry cough especially if it trouble is during the night, take cardamom, dry ginger, black pepper and cinnamon in equal quantity, say 10 gms. each. Take white sugar or rock candy equal to the total weight that is 40 gms. Grind them and make a fine powder. From this take half a tea spoon ( about 3 gms.) twice a day with honey or warm water after meals.
4. Case of sore throat a clove or two cardamoms or rock candy or a few raisins can be chewed. Gargling with warm salty water is also beneficial. This can be done two to three times a day.
5. Take powders of 1 gm cardamom, 1gm black pepper and 1/2 gm dry ginger in a spoon of honey and consume 2-3 times daily.
6. Chew 3-5 fresh leaves of neem leaves (margosa) daily to purify your blood. It also helps in alleviating airborne diseases and all kinds of flu.
7. Take 1⁄2 teaspoon each of ginger powder, fennel seeds and cinnamon and a pinch of clove powder to one cup of hot water. Let the herbs steep for about ten minutes then strain them out of the tea before drinking. Drink as much of the tea as you wish.
Diet and Lifestyle for Cold & flu
Cold drinks, ice cream, sweets, fried foods, milk products like cheese, creams, yogurt etc. should not be taken.
Hot milk without fat can be taken if boiled with a piece of crushed ginger. Half tea spoon of turmeric powder is good to mix with the milk.
You should avoid tomatoes, eggplant and bananas.
Sweet fruit juices should also be avoided.
Breads, meats, nuts and pastries are not good to take. It is good to take light and warm diet like boiled or steamed vegetables, vegetable soup and fruits which are not juicy like papaya and apple.
Spice teas, herbal teas and some other hot drinks are good. Keep your insides warm with warm spices -- cumin is considered the ace "ama" burner. Stack up your spice rack with "thermogenic" or heat- generating spices like black pepper, coriander, and cumin. Clove, boiled with milk, is excellent too.
Follow the middle path: don't skip meals or overeat.
Eat fresh, well-cooked food.
Start your day with two glasses of warm water.
Do not fast during winter -- fasting weakens the body's defenses. Eat a timely lunch and an early dinner for good digestion.
Sleep on time -- not later than 10 p.m. Restful sleep builds essential energy or "ojas", boosting immunity.
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day to flush accumulated ama (toxins) from your system.
Try Panchakarma therapies – specialised Ayurvedic massage techniques – that are extremely useful in cleansing the body and giving it renewed vitality.
Pranayams for cold & flu