Archive for the ‘Cold and Flu’ Category

4 foods to beat cold and flu symptoms

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

1. Liquids: water, juice, decafinated tea


Cold and flu bugs thrive in dried-out throats and nasal passages, but drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day can help keep your mucous membranes moist so they’re better able to trap viruses. Then you can either blow them out your nose or swallow them so they’re destroyed by your stomach acids before they have a chance to make you sick. Not only can this help  prevent colds , but it’s just as useful if you’re already sick.

If you have a  sore throat sip your water hot with a bit of honey (to coat your throat) and lemon (to shrink swollen throat tissues and help kill off virus cells), or add honey and lemon to tea.

Aim for: At least eight glasses of water or other fluids each day, and more if you have a fever.

Helpful hint:
 When choosing fruit juice, choose unsweetened varieties that do not have added sugars. To get the most vitamin C from your juice, grab some frozen juice concentrate from the freezer section and drink it within a week of mixing it up.

2. Chicken soup

For starters, hot chicken  soup raises the temperature in your nose and throat, creating an inhospitable environment for viruses that prefer cooler, drier climes. Next, just like a hot, steamy shower, hot, steamy soup thins out mucus so you can more easily blow it out.

Aim for: There’s no prescribed “dosage” for chicken soup, so just enjoy a steaming bowlful when you’re feeling sniffly and sneezy.

Helpful hint: Vegetarians don’t have to miss out. In the Nebraska study, vegetable soup was just as effective for slowing neutrophil activity as soups.

3. Garlic

Those pungent cloves contain allicin, a potent antimicrobial that can fend off bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Aim for: 
If you can stand it, chew a clove every 3 to 4 hours. You can also cut the clove into pieces and swallow them like pills. Or simply add them to your chicken soup, along with some onions. But chop garlic first and let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes before adding it to the soup. This will allow its therapeutic compounds to form.

Helpful hint: It’s totally wacky, but one way to get children to consume garlic if they won’t eat it raw is to crush two cloves in a garlic press and put one in each of their socks. As they run around, the garlic will be absorbed through their skin.

4. Spices and spicy condiments

According to Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine), cinnamon, coriander, and ginger promote sweating and are often used to help break a fever. You may also be able to unclog your stuffy nose by generously spicing up some dishes with cayenne, horseradish, or (for lovers of sushi) wasabi. Each of these condiments can shrink the blood vessels in your nose and throat to temporarily relieve congestion.

Aim for: As much of the spicy hot stuff as you can comfortably stand.

Helpful hint:
 Try this Ayurvedic fever reducer: In a cup (250 mL) of hot water, mix 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) each of powdered coriander and cinnamon with 1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) of powdered ginger. Let it steep for 10 minutes, then drink.

Home remedies for Flu and Cold

Monday, January 6th, 2014

It may be “just a cold,” but it’s nothing to sneeze at. And the flu can make you feel downright drained. Fortunately, fast action on your part—including these simple home remedies for colds and flu—can mitigate the misery

Prescription antiviral drugs may ease symptoms of the flu when taken shortly after you get sick. In many cases, however, simple home remedies may be all you need for relief of mild to moderate flu symptoms.

Believe it or not, those annoying symptoms you’re experiencing are part of the natural healing process — evidence that the immune system is battling illness. For instance, a fever is your body’s way of trying to kill viruses by creating a hotter-than-normal environment. Also, a fever’s hot environment makes germ-killing proteins in your blood circulate more quickly and effectively.

Chicken soup is a time-honoured remedy that is tried, tested and true. Chicken soup stops certain white blood cells (neutrophils) from congregating and causing inflammation, preventing large amounts of mucus from being produced. The hot soup also thins the mucus. Adding freshly chopped garlic to your soup gives the system a powerful boost. While garlic kills germs outright, it also appears to stimulate the release of natural killer cells, which are part of the immune system’s arsenal of germ-fighters. Spike your soup with red (chili) pepper flakes to increase the broth’s decongestant power.

Home Remedies

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

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Home Remedies for Cough

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

1)Take 10 black pepper corns ( not grounded or powdered pepper please) and boil them in a glass of water.
Boil the water till it reduces to half a glass.
Filter the pepper corns and allow the mixture to get luke warm.
Mix a spoon of honey and take small sips.
It will fix the cough for few hours and then repeat.
After 2 days of regular use the cough will be gone completely.

2)Natural tea wit ground cinnamon mixed in. The cinnamon will give the tea a dry taste but this really does work. Soothes the tickle in the back of your throat while calming a stubborn cough!

Natural Treatment For Cold And Flu

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

1 Know When not to Treat Symptoms

Believe it or not, those annoying symptoms you’re experiencing are part of the natural healing process — evidence that the immune system is battling illness. For instance, a fever is your body’s way of trying to kill viruses in a hotter-than-normal environment. Also, a fever’s hot environment makes germ-killing proteins in your blood circulate more quickly and effectively. Thus, if you endure a moderate fever for a day or two, you may actually get well faster. Coughing is another productive symptom; it clears your breathing passages of thick mucus that can carry germs to your lungs and the rest of your body. Even that stuffy nose is best treated mildly or not at all. A decongestant, like Sudafed, restricts flow to the blood vessels in your nose and throat. But often you want the increase blood flow because it warms the infected area and helps secretions carry germs out of your body.

2 Blow Your Nose Often (and the Right Way)

It’s important to blow your nose regularly when you have a cold rather than sniffling mucus back into your head. But when you blow hard, pressure can carry germ-carrying phlegm back into your ear passages, causing earache. The best way to blow your nose: Press a finger over one nostril while you blow gently to clear the other.

3 Treat That Stuffy Nose With Warm Salt Water

Salt-water rinsing helps break nasal congestion, while also removing virus particles and bacteria from your nose. Here’s a popular recipe:

Mix 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in 8 ounces of warm water. Use a bulb syringe to squirt water into the nose. Hold one nostril closed by applying light finger pressure while squirting the salt mixture into the other nostril. Let it drain. Repeat two to three times, then treat the other nostril.

4 Stay Warm and Rested

Staying warm and resting when you first come down with a cold or the flu helps your body direct its energy toward the immune battle. This battle taxes the body. So give it a little help by lying down under a blanket.

5 Gargle

Gargling can moisten a sore throat and bring temporary relief. Try half a teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8 ounces warm water, four times daily. To reduce the tickle in your throat, try an astringent gargle — such as tea that contains tannin — to tighten the membranes. Or use a thick, viscous gargle made with honey, popular in folk medicine. Seep one tablespoon of raspberry leaves or lemon juice in two cups of hot water; mix with one teaspoon of honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before gargling.

6 Drink Hot Liquids

Hot liquids relieve nasal congestion, prevent dehydration, and soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat. If you’re so congested you can’t sleep at night, try a hot toddy, an age-old remedy. Make a cup of hot herbal tea. Add one teaspoon of honey and one small shot (about 1 ounce) of whiskey or bourbon. Limit yourself to one. Too much alcohol inflames those membranes and is counterproductive.

7 Take a Steamy Shower

Steamy showers moisturize your nasal passages and relax you. If you’re dizzy from the flu, run a steamy shower while you sit on a chair nearby and take a sponge bath.

8 Use a Salve Under Your Nose

A small dab of mentholated salve under your nose can open breathing passages and help restore the irritated skin at the base of the nose. Menthol, eucalyptus, and camphor all have mild numbing ingredients that may help relieve the pain of a nose rubbed raw.

9 Apply Hot or Cold Packs Around Your Congested Sinuses

Either temperature works. You can buy reusable hot or cold packs at a drugstore. Or make your own. Take a damp washcloth and heat it for 55 seconds in a microwave (test the temperature first to make sure it’s right for you.) Or take a small bag of frozen peas to use as a cold pack.

10 Sleep With an Extra Pillow Under Your Head

This will help relieve congested nasal passages. If the angle is too awkward, try placing the pillows between the mattress and the box springs to create a more gradual slope.

11 Don’t Fly Unless Necessary

There’s no point adding stress to your already stressed-out upper respiratory system, and that’s what the change in air pressure will do. Flying with cold or flu congestion can temporarily damage your eardrums as a result of pressure changes during takeoff and landing. If you must fly, use a decongestant and carry a nasal spray with you to use just before takeoff and landing. Chewing gum and swallowing frequently can also help relieve pressure.

12 Eat Infection-Fighting Foods

Here are some good foods to eat when you’re battling a cold or flu:

* Bananas: Soothe upset stomachs.

* Bell Peppers: Loaded with vitamin C.

* Blueberries: Curbs diarrhea, high in natural aspirin. (May lower fevers and help with the aches and pains.)

* Carrots: Loaded with beta-carotene.

* Chili Peppers: Can open sinuses, and help break up mucus in the lungs.

* Cranberries: Help prevent bacteria from sticking to cells lining the bladder and urinary tract.

* Mustard & Horseradish: Helps break up mucus in air passages.

* Onion: Has phytochemicals purported to help the body clear bronchitis and other infections.

* Rice: Curbs diarrhea.

* Tea: Black and green tea (not herbals) contain catechin, a phytochemical purported to have natural antibiotic and anti-diarrhea effects.

Remember, serious conditions can masquerade as the common cold, such as sinus infections, bronchitis, meningitis, strep throat, and asthma. If you have severe symptoms, or feel sicker with each passing day, call your doctor.

Dry Cough – Top 10 Remedies

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

1. Honey
Not only is Honey an effective way to sooth the sore throat, it helps stop the dry cough. Studies have shown that honey is just as effective as the average over the counter cough suppressant. Honey is one of best remedies for dry cough.

2. Garlic
This is a very versatile herb. In some cultures, they use Garlic as a dry cough remedy. For those who aren’t fans of this intensely flavored herb, you can boil garlic until it is tender. Then ground it with honey to make it taste better. You can take this at it is or mix with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice for a refreshing beverage.

3. Ginger
There is a little known home remedy that can be used to treat dry cough: ginger. Ginger has a lot of healing qualities that are known to help sooth and relieve a dry cough. Drinking a ginger flavored drink or juice won’t help the cough. Instead it is recommended that the cough sufferer use ginger root. Cut it up into little chunks, sprinkle a bit a salt on top and chew and suck on the ginger root to extract the juice from the actual root. The healing qualities of the ginger and the salt is believed to relieve the swelling associated with dry cough.

4. Steam
Boil some water, pour it into a bowl or basin, put a towel over your head and inhale. Studies have shown that doing this helps pass on moisture to dry or congested airway. This combined with honey and ginger can make your cough problems go away quickly.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar
If dry cough at night is your problem, take 3-4 teaspoons of Apple cider vinegar mixed with 1-2 tsp of honey before going to bed it will cure your dry cough and you will sleep like a child.

6. Aloe
The extract of this plant is mostly used for skin care products because of its smoothing and softening abilities. But in some cultures, the extract of aloe combined with honey makes for instant cough syrup that can soothe an itchy throat and lessen coughing attacks. You can also try natural aloe juices sold in many supermarkets nowadays. They’re very tasty and is an excellent dry cough remedy for kids who don’t like the taste of medicine.

7. Lagundi
This medicinal plant is a popular dry cough remedy in the Philippines. You can make a tea out of the leaves and drink it, or you can buy a Lagundi cough syrup in drug stores. There are also Lagundi capsules for adults.

8. Licorice
Licorice is a mainstay of Asian, African, and Caribbean kitchens. It helps move the phlegm out and soothes the throat area. What people do is boil a licorice root in water and drink it with honey. You can use the powdered form of licorice. Just dissolve half a teaspoon in a cup of water, add honey if you like, and drink your dry cough away.

9. Salt Water
Dry cough problems can cause an irritated throat. Gargle with salt 2 to 3 times a day, to help sooth the throat.

10. Drink Warm Water
Another cure for irritate throat from dry cough is drinking warm water and honey to sooth the throat, it can also help completely eliminate dry cough.

Remedies For Cough

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

The basic and easiest natural remedy for cough is drinking piping hot turmeric milk. Turmeric is also helpful in treating throat inflammation.

Cut a lemon into half, sprinkle a mixture of salt and pepper powder and suck it. This will help in reducing intensity of cough.

One table spoon full of honey and white pepper powder can be consumed for 3 to 4 times in a day. This is also effective in reducing intensity of cough. Using honey is one of most effective home remedies for cough.

Take two glasses of water. Add ginger, pepper and turmeric to it. Keep boiling the mixture till the water reduces to half. Consuming this 2 to 3 times in a day will help to stop coughing.

Grapes serve as expectorants for toning of lungs, therefore, in case of common cold and cough, eating grapes regularly for some days is helpful to bring it into control.  Even the mixture of honey and grape juice is proven to be beneficial.

Traditional homemade remedy to stop coughing is consuming one table spoon of honey mixed with a pinch of turmeric and four to five drops of ginger juice. It is most beneficial if this mixture is consumed three to four times in a day.

During winter season, consuming garlic at dinner time, two times in a week will help in getting relief from cough. This is the simplest remedy for cough relief.

Frequent dry cough can even lead to headaches therefore trying to get rid of it as soon as possible would be beneficial. One of best home remedies for dry cough can be prepared by mixing a table spoon of cuscus grass with four table spoons of coconut milk and consuming it before going to bed will help in large extent.

Almonds are considered to be good home remedy for dry cough. Soak few almonds in water for some time so that its skin can be peeled off easily. Grind these peeled almonds with butter and sugar to make a fine paste. Consuming this paste in the morning and evening is a tasty treatment to stop coughing.

Remedies For Cough And Cold

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Coughing is also triggered when a bolus of food goes down the trachea instead of the esophagus because of the failure of the epiglottis, how ever this may result in choking rather. Frequent or continuous chronic coughing usually is seen when there is some presence of a disease.

If the patient is a non-smoker and has a normal chest X-ray, the cause of chronic cough in most of all the patients is due to asthma, reflux ( heartburn) or post-nasal drip.(almost about 93%). Some other causes that contribute to chronic cough include chronic bronchitis and medications like as ACE inhibitors. Coughing occurs both voluntarily as well as involuntarily. Cough is a sudden, often repetitive, spasmodic contraction of the thoracic cavity, resulting in violent release of air from the lungs, and usually accompanied by a distinctive sound.

Coughing is an action performed by the body to throw out or to get rid of substances that are irritating the air passages in their way. A cough is usually initiated to clear the phlegm that is been caught in the trachea or its
neighboring areas.

Grapes are one of the most successful home remedies for the treatment of a
cough. Grapes tone up the lungs and act as an expectorant, relieving an easy cold and cough in a couple of days. A cup of grape juice mixed with a teaspoon of honey is recommended for cough relief. One of the best home remedies for cough.

Coughing is also triggered when a bolus of food goes down the trachea instead of the esophagus because of the failure of the epiglottis, how ever this may result in choking rather. Frequent or continuous chronic coughing usually is seen when there is some presence of a disease.

If the patient is a non-smoker and has a normal chest X-ray, the cause of chronic cough in most of all the patients is due to asthma, reflux ( heartburn) or post-nasal drip.(almost about 93%). Some other causes that contribute to chronic cough include chronic bronchitis and medications like as ACE inhibitors.
Coughing occurs both voluntarily as well as involuntarily.

Cough is a sudden, often repetitive, spasmodic contraction of the thoracic cavity, resulting in violent release of air from the lungs, and usually accompanied by a distinctive sound. Coughing is an action performed by the body to throw out or to get rid of substances that are irritating the air passages in their way. A cough is usually initiated to clear the phlegm that is been caught in the trachea or its neighboring areas.

Prevent dehydration. Fluids may help thin secretions and soothe an irritated throat. Dry, hacking coughs respond to honey in hot water, tea, or lemon juice.

Elevate your head with extra pillows at night to ease a dry cough.

The bay berry is very useful in curing throat congestions that causes the coughs. It can even cure coughs that are caused due to chronic bronchitis. Its bark is the effective part which is to be taken in the form of a powder.

Cloves are also commonly used to reduce the irritation of the throat. They are more effective if the coughs are produced due to inflammation of the pharynx.

Fenugreek seeds are also used in getting relief from coughs that are associated with sore throats. These seeds are boiled in water for half an hour and this solution is used to take gargles. It is very effective herbal remedy for cough.

Try a cough drop to soothe an irritated throat. Expensive medicine-flavored cough drops are no better than inexpensive candy-flavored drops or hard candy. Most cough drops have no effect on the cough-producing process.

Quit smoking and do not use other forms of tobacco, especially while you have a cough. For more information on quitting smoking, see the topic Quitting Smoking.

Almonds are helpful for dry coughs. Seven kernels must be soaked in water overnight and the brown skin removed. They must then be ground well to form a well paste. A quantity of twenty grams each of butter and sugar must be added to
the paste. This paste must be taken in the morning and evening.

The herb belleric myroblan is a homebased remedy for a cough. A mixture comprising two grams of the pulp of the fruit, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of long pepper, and 2 teaspoons of honey should be managed for the treatment of this condition twice daily. The dried fruit enclosed with wheat flour and roasted , is another well-liked remedy for cough condition. One of the usefulhome remedies for cough.

A sauce prepared from raisins is also valuable in a cough. This sauce is prepared by crushing 100 gm of raisins with water. About 100 gm of sugar must be mixed with it and the mixture heated. When the mixture attains a sauce-like consistency, it should be preserved. Twenty grams must be taken at bedtime every day. One of the popular home remedies for cough.

Aniseed is another effective remedy for a hard dry cough with hard expectoration. It might breaks up the mucus. A tea made from this spice must be taken on a regular basis for treating this condition One of the simple home remedies for cough.

Cold and Cough Home Remedies For Children

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Concerns about the safety of over-the-counter cold medicines for children have left many parents searching for alternative remedies for children’s cold and cough symptoms.

Popular over-the-counter cold and cough remedies for infants have been withdrawn from the market after the FDA warned in January 2008 against giving those types of medicines to children younger than 2 because of the possibility of serious harm or death.

While the FDA is considering whether to change the guidelines for children ages 2 to 11, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association in October 2008 said they would voluntarily change the labels on cough and cold medications to say they should not be used in children younger than 4. An FDA advisory panel made a similar recommendation in October 2008, saying that nonprescription cold medicines should not be given to children ages 2 to 5.

The nonprescription remedies include antihistamines for runny noses, decongestants for stuffy noses, cough suppressants, and expectorants for loosening mucus to relieve congestion.

Children get six to 10 colds a year on average, according to the National Institutes of Health. And as surely as children get the sniffles, parents want to ease their symptoms.

The bad news for parents: No home remedies or cold medicines will make a cold go away faster; they usually run their course in seven to 10 days. At best, some medicines will relieve symptoms. But even that is in question, says Sheela R. Geraghty, MD, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio. She recommends fluids, reducing fever to make a child comfortable, and keeping noses suctioned so babies can eat comfortably.

“To be honest with you, that’s about it,” Geraghty says. “Time is what helps with colds.”

Why Do Kids Abuse Cough and Cold Remedies?

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) replaced the narcotic codeine with dextromethorphan as an over-the-counter (OTC) cough suppressant in the 1970s, teens were simply guzzling down cough syrup for a quick buzz.

Over the years, teens discovered that they still could get high by taking large doses of any OTC medicine containing dextromethorphan (also called DXM).

Dextromethorphan-containing products — tablets, capsules, gel caps, lozenges, and syrups — are labeled DM, cough suppressant, or Tuss (or contain “tuss” in the title).

Medicines containing dextromethorphan are easy to find, affordable for cash-strapped teens, and perfectly legal. Getting access to the dangerous drug is often as easy as walking into the local drugstore with a few dollars or raiding the family medicine cabinet. And because it’s found in over-the-counter medicines, many teens naively assume that DXM can’t be dangerous.

What Is a Cold ?

Monday, October 16th, 2006

A cold begins when a cold virus enters the body. Your immune system sends white blood cells out to attack this germ. Unless you’ve encountered it before, the initial attack fails and your body sends in reinforcements. Your nose and throat get inflamed and produce lots of mucus. With so much of your energy directed at fighting the virus, you feel tired and miserable.

What is Flu

Monday, October 16th, 2006

The Flu is an infection of the respiratory system caused by the influenza virus. There are three types of influenza virus: A, B, and C.

Types A and B are the most severe. The viruses change constantly and different strains circulate around the world every year. The body’s natural defenses cannot keep up with these changes. Therefore, a person should get a flu shot each year.

Type C causes either a very mild illness, or has no symptoms at all. It does not cause epidemics and does not have the severe public health impact that influenza types A and B do.

Causes of Cold and Flu

Monday, October 16th, 2006

Colds and flu are caused by viruses. The infections are contagious, passed on by tiny droplets and hand contact.

There are hundreds of different types of virus that can cause a cold, which explains why children get repeated colds.

Flu is caused by the influenza virus. There are three major types: A (often the cause of flu epidemics), B and C. The flu virus is constantly changing its structure, so new strains appear each year. We don’t have immunity to the new strains, which is why we can catch flu repeatedly.

Symptoms of Cold and Flu

Monday, October 16th, 2006

symptoms.jpgSymptoms of cold and flu are as under:

Colds

The virus multiplies in the soft, warm surfaces found in the nose, throat, sinuses, the windpipe (trachea) and the breathing tubes (the bronchi). Consequently, it is these areas where the symptoms usually occur. Typically, there is a blocked or runny nose, sneezing, sore throat and a cough. There may also be a fever, aching muscles and fatigue. The symptoms usually last for a week.

Flu

The symptoms are similar to colds but the muscle aching is usually more severe and the fatigue may last for a few weeks after the illness has cleared up. There is likely to be a fever and there may also be loss of appetite, nausea and sometimes vomiting and diarrhoea, especially in children.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Cold and Flu

Monday, October 16th, 2006

treatment.jpgMost colds don’t last long and need no specific treatment other than pain-relieving syrup and simple measures such as decongestant rubs or vaporisers. Antibiotics are of no benefit. Zinc supplements may help to settle a cold faster.

Children with flu can be given similar treatments, with lots of rest, sponging with tepid water to bring down a fever and plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Specific antiviral treatments for the flu are now available, but generally these are only given to those at high risk of flu complications

Difference between Cold & Flu

Monday, October 16th, 2006

Although the flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses, they are caused by different viruses. Because they have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell them apart. But generally cold symptoms are much milder than flu.

Common cold symptoms include:

  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Mild fever

The flu, on the other hand, often causes higher fever, chills, body ache, and fatigue.