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How to avoid colds, chest congestion

brunch Updated: Feb 09, 2013 18:21 IST
Shikha Sharma
Shikha Sharma
Hindustan Times
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As winter reaches its fag end, it brings in rain and humidity that can lead to health complications, particularly for those who are vulnerable to chest congestion. To avoid this, you could use natural remedies made from simple ingredients that are readily available in your kitchen. So, what are you waiting for?

CinnamonCinnamon: The ubiquitous dalchini is really effective as an antiseptic and cough reliever. Take a fresh cinnamon stick and powder it. Add the powder to a ginger and licorice mix and boil the water till it reduces to half. Drinking a cup of this concoction thrice a day can clear your lungs of congestion.

Ginger: It is one of the most popular herbs used in ayurveda and comes in handy to address a number of ailments. It is effective for respiratory problems such as lung congestion, cough, cold and allergies. To use ginger most effectively, it should be used as a fresh herb. The active compounds of ginger help dissolve and extricate phlegm. You can also add ginger shavings to a hot cup of tea.

Eucalyptus oil: It is a very good antiseptic for the lungs. To use it, just drain a capsule of eucalyptus oil onto a cotton ball and inhale the vapours.

Alternatively, you can add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to water in an inhaler and inhale the steam.

Licorice: Also called mulethi, this is an effective demulcent. Mulethi makes tough mucous thinner, which makes it simpler to be expelled from the lungs. It also coats your insides and tackles irritation in the chest and throat. Boil mulethi in water along with other herbs to prepare a healing decoction. Licorice is a highly effective remedy for most people but isn’t recommended for pregnant women. You could also chew on mulethi sticks to eliminate chest congestion.

SoupSoup: Not only does hot soup rich in herbs and spices such as garlic, galangal and black pepper help to clear the airway to make breathing easier, it also helps in clearing lung congestion. Get a good rub: Massage your chest with a mixture of almond and sesame oil. You can also rub your soles with it.

Dairy products such as processed cheese, deep fried foods, refined foods and rice – they are likely to worsen your congestion.

From HT Brunch, February 10

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