Is pollution giving you chest congestion, cold allergies and those unbearable sinus headaches? Is it consistently irritating your eyes, throat, skin and hair every day?
Apart from the medication prescribed by your doctor, there is a lot you can do at home to strengthen your immunity and combat the ill-effects of pollution on your skin and hair.
We have put together some easy home remedies suggested by experts that will shield you from pollution hazards and help you stay healthy and happy.
Soothing natural cures
Throat irritation and dryness in the nasal passage has become a big cause of trouble, thanks to the harmful gases that turn into acids when they come in contact with moisture. Experts suggest some drinks to soothe irritation.
* Honey-ginger tea: Boil two tea cups of water. Take a 1cm x 1cm block of ginger, shred it and add to water. Let it simmer for five minutes. Put off the heat and add two tsp honey.
* Warm mint-basil-lemonade: Heat a glass of water for two minutes. Add five basil leaves, followed by four mint leaves. Simmer for a few minutes.
* Chamomile tea: Put some chamomile flowers or a chamomile tea bag in a cup. Add hot water. Allow it to rest for a few minutes. Add a few drops of lemon juice and half tsp honey.
* Aromatherapy: Taking regular steam (twice a day, initially) with two-three drops of natural basil/eucalyptus/lavender/mint oil via facial steamers or nasal steamers can help boost immunity. Aromatically inhaling theses oils also improves the uptake of oxygen.
Save your skin
Suspended particulate matter and poisonous gases that turn into acids when they come in contact with moisture, or sweat on the skin lower the pH levels of the skin. They make skin acidic, thereby burning it and causing pigmentation. Your skin becomes vulnerable to environmental stress when it is dehydrated. So keep it clean and hydrated to fight premature ageing and acne. Here are a few drinks that’ll keep you hydrated, will purify your blood and help flush toxins out of your body.
* Bitter gourd soup: Heat one tsp of rice bran oil. Shallow fry half a cup of de-seeded and chopped bitter gourd for 10 minutes. Add one small chopped onion, five crushed garlic pods and salt and pepper to taste. Saute for five minutes. Add two cups of water to it and let the soup simmer for five minutes. Now turn off the flame, add one tsp honey and garnish with one tbsp coconut milk.
* Mixed vegetable juice: This nutritious drink is made from carrot, spinach, bottle gourd, cucumber, tomato, garlic, aloe vera and amla.
* Coconut-lime detox water: To a slightly warm half cup of water, add a cup of fresh coconut water. Squeeze a fresh lime into it and your detox drink is ready. You can also add triphala juice, citrus fruits, broccoli-carrot salad and walnuts and flax seeds (rich in omega-3 and omega-6) to your detox-diet.
Kitchen shelf remedies
* Clove and mint-leaves pack for oily and acne-prone skin: To a teaspoon of multani mitti, add six-seven crushed mint leaves and two-three ground cloves. Make a thick paste with water. Keep this face pack for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off.
* Neem and tulsi pack: To a teaspoon of sandalwood powder, add some crushed neem leaves and tulsi leaves. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and make a paste with water. Keep this pack for 15-20 minutes.’
Homemade packs for healthy hair
Many people suffer from hair loss due to sinus disorders and pollution. Replenish that lost sheen and get rid of dull and dry hair with these natural nourishing masks and oils.
* Banana-almond-milk-honey mask: Add half chopped banana and a tbsp of honey and almond milk to a mixer. Apply this mix on towel-dried hair and wear a shower cap over it. Allow it to work on your hair for about 20-25 minutes. Rinse off.
* Egg and castor oil mask: To a raw egg white, add a tbsp of castor oil and stir gently. Apply this mask on towel-dried hair. Let it stay for 15-20 minutes. Rinse well. Massage your scalp with argan oil at least one a week to protect and repair your hair.
Inputs by beauty expert Richa Aggarwal, dietitian Ritika Aggarwal and aromatherapist Naresh Arora
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