As soon as the weather turns cooler, we succumb to cough, cold and respiratory problems. These often keep us unwell for days, and may even involve strong medication and hospitalisation. Because prevention is better than cure, it is important to know why we fall ill this season.
1. Phlegm builds up excessively or creates indigestion when we eat processed cheese, curd, dairy products, heavy non-veg food, fast food, refined foods, a lot of ghee, incorrect food combinations (like non-veg foods and fruits, milk and non-veg foods).
2. Pickles, sour juices, chutneys and ketchups eaten at night lead to an unbalanced influence of kapha-inducing foods, which leads to a kapha build-up, calling out to viruses to settle in.
3. Stepping between warm rooms indoors and chilly weather outdoors without adequate protection leads to temperature control imbalances, making us vulnerable to viruses.
4. Since there is a lot of alcohol on offer this season, people become insensitive to outside temperatures and fail protect themselves against it, leading to lowered immunity.
5. Lack of sleep and stress also contribute to low immunity.
1. Prevention remains the No. 1 remedy.
2. To manage the symptoms of flu, try these remedies:
a. Drink several cups of hot water to ensure that your body moves phlegm from the lungs to the intestine.
b. Use herbs that dissolve phlegm, such as cumin and ginger powder, turmeric powder and lemongrass. Take them as a decoction boiled in water, or add them to soups.
3. For a dry cough and sore throat, make a decoction of ginger root and black pepper with half tsp honey. Or try a decoction of cumin, black pepper, cinnamon, lemon-grass and mulethi.
4. Inhale steam with a few drops of eucalyptus oil. A whole body sauna will also help get the phlegm moving and unblock sinuses.
5. A body massage with til oil mixed with olive oil is also helpful.
From HT Brunch, December 4
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