You know the feeling. There’s a nip in the air; it’s harder to leave your warm bed in the mornings; you pull out the woollies and everything feels lovely… and then it begins.
A sneeze, a cough, a sniffle, blocked nose, congested chest and a ghastly feeling that you’ll be sick all winter. The best way to fight winter illnesses is to address them from the root. Congestion, coughs and colds are the result of accumulated toxins in the body and lowered immunity. Other agents can be a trigger as well.
Why it happens
Overindulgence of heavy fried foods (pooris, parathas, matthis, bhajiyas, etc).
An overdose of junk food and foods containing a lot of trans fats.
Overconsumption of cheese and ice cream.
Lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle of watching TV.
Inadequate protection from extreme cold, when vulnerable areas like feet, hands, ears and throat are left unprotected.
Bed wetting among younger children keeps them wet longer, thus more vulnerable to cold.
How to treat it
Turmeric is an excellent herb for fighting inflammation and infections as it is a natural antibiotic and immunity booster. For children, make a clear vegetable soup with crushed turmeric added to the boiling broth. Make it part of their winter meal everyday.
Ginger is great for dry cough. Add a few drops of crushed ginger juice to half a teaspoon of honey and consume up to four times a day. Make sure that children don’t consume more than one full teaspoon of the concoction over the full day.
Ajwain is a friend of the stomach. Roast the herb and add it to rotis for lunch or dinner. Alternatively, crush a pinch, add it to some onion juice and boil with a bit of jaggery. Have it twice a day.
Guduchi helps boost immunity. Mix a pinch with honey or jaggery and have it once a day.
Amla, with its copious quantities of vitamin C, helps fight colds. It’s especially good for kids, so make sure they get the right amount of chyawanprash for their age.
Keep saline nasal drops near your bed. It helps clear a blocked nose at night.
Eucalyptus oil helps clear the nasal passage too. If the area you live in has particularly dry air, consider a steamer in the bedroom, with a few drops added to the water. Switch it on for half an hour before bedtime.
From HT Brunch, November 17
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