Cold bugs! Let’s fight this bug with some home remedies that help build the immunity of the body naturally. Antibiotics kill bacteria and viruses, whereas, naturopathy boosts the immune system to fight the cold virus with natural home remedies. Naturopathy utilizes the nutrients and vitamins from the food rather than depending on over the counter medicine.
There are over 200 varieties of viruses that can cause the common cold. The rhinovirus is one of the popular ones causing us a lot of discomforts. These viruses usually affect our upper respiratory system, which can include some part or all of our chest, throat, and nose. These viral infections are highly contagious and are easily spread through coughing and sneezing. But if the immune system is strong one can fight off these viruses.
The notable and common symptoms of a cold include fever, headache, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, inflammation of sinus cavities, coughing and sneezing. These can last anywhere from two and fourteen days. One can also expect missed work/school, reduced capacity, along with tiredness. A severe version of the common cold is called Flu. People often resort to over the counter medicines for quick relief.
Naturopathy suggests home remedies for the common cold which can be effectively combated by proper diet. Natural care recommends a diet regimen that helps build immunity and keeps the system clean purging the bowel from constipation. Cold often affects the bowel.
There are several natural foods that work wonders in preventing and fighting the cold. We will look at ten such super-foods that will aid us in increasing our overall immunity.
Warm water with lemon juice and honey or fruit juice and hot water help to neutralize the acid condition of the stomach. Warm drinks are required to help the kidneys clear the toxins. Pineapple juice, in particular, is highly advantageous. A warm-water enema can be used daily to cleanse the bowels during this period. Keep yourself hydrated.
Garlic has a long history of being used as a herbal medicine for colds and coughs. Garlic has compounds such as allicin, which contain sulfur. When allicin is digested in the body, one of the resultant products is sulfenic acid. This compound reacts with toxic free radicals quickly to reduce their harmful effects on the body. Garlic is an all in one bulb that has antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. Garlic is best consumed raw for maximum health benefits. Eat one to two raw garlic cloves or add a few drops of garlic oil in your food and drinks regularly to prevent as well as fight common colds.
Vitamin C protects against infection and acts as a harmless antibiotic, it is widely found in citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables. Viruses spread by infecting healthy cells in our body, pineapple juice in particular or juices rich in Vitamin C reduce the infection rate of sturdy cells. Lime is the most easily available and common among the many home remedies used for the common cold. It should be taken well diluted in a glass of warm water and a teaspoonful of honey can be added to it. It forms an ideal remedy for a cold and dry cough.
Oranges are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that combats free radicals. It helps reverse the damage to cells caused by toxins and pollution. It boosts our immune system. It also aids in the synthesis of white blood cells that fight infections. If your immunity is high, incidents of viral infections decrease, and if you are infected, the duration of symptoms is less. Oranges can be consumed as it is, or by extracting it in juice form. Fresh orange juice is best since it is not loaded with added sugars.
Blueberries are also full of vitamin C and other powerful antioxidants that again strengthen your immune system, which helps to ward off infections. They also contain a compound called quercetin, which can lower your possibility of catching a cold. Blueberries can be taken fresh or frozen. Frozen blueberries are great in smoothies.
Turmeric universally known for its antiseptic properties is a highly effective remedy for cold and throat infections. A teaspoonful of fresh turmeric powder mixed in warm milk is the most effective natural cure prescription for cold.
According to the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, mushrooms have powerful immunity-boosting properties. Mushrooms increase the formation of antiviral proteins that can eradicate or deactivate the foreign invaders that make us ill. They also contain polysaccharides that help our immune system. So, try out the various varieties of mushrooms in salads, stir fry or soup.
Yogurt is full of live and active bacteria. These live bacteria are the good kind of bacteria that our gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) needs to ensure the proper functioning. These live cultures also work to offset the bad bacteria that reside in our GI tract alongside the good bacteria. Since 70% of our immunity is in our digestive tract, it is imperative to keep it healthy. Yogurt is a probiotic food that enhances the functioning of our digestion and therefore increasing our immunity against viral infections and so forth. Enjoy yogurt plain or flavored, with nuts or fruits, etc.
Sweet potatoes are a good source of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is vital in keeping the mucous membranes in the throat, nose, and lungs strong and healthy. These membranes act as a barrier to the cold bugs so that you don’t fall sick, and if you do, your symptoms will be milder and recovery will be quicker. Other sources of beta-carotene include carrots, cantaloupes, and red and orange peppers.
Brazil nuts are a rich source of selenium. Selenium is a mineral that enhances our immunity and helps fight nasty colds and viral infections. This mineral helps in the formation of T-cells which play a big role in combating infections. These nuts also contain zinc, iron and vitamin C, which are again good for overall health. Our bodies only require a small amount of selenium, and just one or two of these nuts contain your daily recommended amount, so have them sparingly.
Pumpkin seeds with its antimicrobial properties are an excellent source of zinc. Zinc is a mineral that makes the immune system robust, by helping to eradicate the viruses that cause the common cold. Foods high in zinc can also help reduce the duration of symptoms. Pumpkin seeds can be enjoyed as a snack or can be sprinkled on top of salads, soups or yogurt.
Red bell peppers are loaded with antioxidants such as beta-carotene, and vitamin C, which boost our immune system. They also have nutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties, which make our bodies healthy. One cup of raw red bell pepper is enough to satisfy your recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Enjoy these peppers raw, grilled or steamed.
As with any ailment, prevention is always better than cure. It is therefore essential to have a robust immune system to prevent any viral attack. Including these super-foods in our diet will build up our defense and would prevent the onset of a cold.
We all know that the cold viruses are highly contagious, and therefore good hygiene is vital in prevention. Keeping our hands clean with soap and water is always a good habit. Good hydration is necessary to reduce congestion by keeping mucous membranes moist and moving. So, drink plenty of clear fluids and get adequate rest.
Good health to all!!
Contact Jagadguru Kripalu Yoga and Naturopathy Hospital for natural and holistic treatment of chronic diseases.
By: Pragya Sinha