A lot of posts have been distributed across the web comparing symptoms of coronavirus, the common cold and flu. Often we just "know" we are coming down with "something". How it starts is surely variable in each of us, as is how it affects us and interrupts our lives. Something that stands out to me with cold type symptoms is their similarity to many allergy symptoms. In my experience dry, raspy throat, reddening, sensitive eyes and itchy, sniffly nose can be the start of some sort of cold or an allergic reaction.
Taking precautions and taking action to deal with and eliminate one cause becomes priority as we all want to get on with our lives feeling energetic, clear headed and productive. Which package in your medicine cabinet do you reach for first, however? The antihistamine, the cold and flu tablet or the paracetamol?
Do we put antihistamine products into our bodies in the hope we are not treating something that isn't, in fact, there? Or the cold and flu tablets containing other chemicals in the hope we are not treating something that isn't, in fact, there and hope none of it does us too much harm? This is a small-scale example of how our bodily systems are commonly experimented on with both prescription and non-prescription medicines.
However, everything that takes place in our bodies has an underlying cause owing to an imbalance within our system that can, especially in these minor examples, be dealt with safely using natural home remedies.
Why I say safely is because what I would recommend you use are things you can not only find in your kitchen cupboard but undoubtedly often consume in meals or drinks without questioning whether these things are doing any harm or good!
With common cold symptoms such as a tickly or dry throat, one thing Ayurveda recommends is to sip warm water which help keep the body's channels unconstricted to maintain a healthy flow through our bodies. (See article on COVID-19, Hot Water and Ayurveda for an explanation of the importance of consuming warm water.
If the throat issue is a common minor ailment not requiring medical attention, sipping a little warm water throughout the day will help flush any toxins causing the issue through your system to be eliminated in the usual way. This has worked for me.
The most highly recommended product for a cold you can buy anywhere is fresh ginger made into teas with combinations of other common herbs. One such combination is 1 part ginger, 1 part cinnamon, 2 parts lemongrass left in hot water for up to 10 minutes and drunk throughout the day. This is better than ginger teas in tea bags bought off the shelf as the potency of the mixture is greater. A word of caution, however: ginger is a blood thinner (particularly effective when large amounts are consumed) so should not be taken with aspirin. To be on the safe side, leave two hours before or after drinking the tea to take aspirin if you are taking it for any reason.
1/2 teaspoon powdered fennel seed with 1 teaspoon natural sugar consumed directly (yes, the powder!) 2 - 3 times a day is helpful, as is a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of honey eaten 2 - 3 times a day if you have a cough with congestion. Look out for the article on congestion remedies.
Other recommendations are vitamin C intake from a natural source, avoid all dairy (includes yoghurts, cottage cheese) and cold drinks, rest and definitely no strenuous exercise. Ensuring you are not lacking in vitamin C or iron will help prevent getting common colds.
If you have more questions about this or would like to know which Ayurvedic herbs (obtained from online sellers or stores selling specialist herbs), get in touch with me via the Ayurveda - Natural Home Remedies page. Here you can also request advice on other conditions or get personalised dietary recommendations based on your particular "constitution". Forms to download to help determine your "constitution" are on this page.
Julie Anne is a mental health speaker offering CPD accredited workshops. Her interest in natural home remedies and healthy living and a holistic approach to physical, mental and emotional wellbeing led her to study Ayurveda and gain the Diploma in Ayurveda with distinction in January 2020. She is now a registered nutritional therapist.