The monsoons have finally arrived and how! Bringing us respite from the scorching summer sun, the rain has also brought with itself a blocked runny nose, scratchy throat, sinus infections and much more. And while suffering from cold and flu in this season seems inevitable, you can protect yourselves with the following tips to stay healthy and keep these infections at bay.
But before we delve into the tips, let’s understand the symptoms of a common cold and the flu. Both of these illnesses share symptoms due to them being caused by respiratory viruses, but the symptoms of a cold are milder than those of the flu. Recognizing your symptoms will help you ascertain if you need to see a doctor.
The symptoms of a common cold may present as:
- A runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Chills or sweats
- Body aches
Wash your hands often
Experts have cried hoarse about the importance of washing your hands. Our hands come into contact with germs the most and when we fidget – bite our nails or rub our eyes, we give germs an easy avenue to spread through our body. It is important to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds; it is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself from the flu.
Eat foods rich in Vitamin C
Ensure that your diet consists of seasonal grains and vegetables. These contain proteins, vitamins and minerals that help maintain your body’s defense and offer natural protection against infections.
Also stick to home-cooked food as much as you can. This way you can ensure its quality and level of nutrition.
Rest to help your body recover
If you feel you are coming down with a cold, ensure to get adequate rest. Resting helps your body direct its energy towards fighting the infection and helps your body build its immune system.
Gargle & drink warm liquids
If you feel a prickle in your throat, it is best to gargle with warm water with a little salt mixed in it.
This helps moisten the throat and soothe it to provide temporary relief. Also, consuming warm liquids like ginger tea or warm water mixed with some honey helps soothe the inflamed membranes of the nose and throat to provide relief.
Opt for steam inhalation
Steaming has been an ancient method of alleviating the symptoms of a cold. While inhaling steam doesn’t kill the virus, breathing the steam from heated water helps open up the dry nasal passages.
The vapours thin out the mucus in your sinuses which helps you empty it more easily to help you breathe better. It also eases a sore throat by relaxing and dilating the inflamed blood vessels thus improving blood circulation.
Sleep for at least 8 hours
Our parents always said that getting 8 hours of restful sleep is a must. And today, that has been backed by research. A 2015 study has proved the link between sleep quality is a predictor of immunity. It found that people who sleep six hours a night or less are four times more susceptible to catch a cold when exposed to the virus as compared to those who spend more than seven hours of blissful sleep. Thus, the link between poor sleep and shorter duration of sleep and the low resistance to fight illness was established.
Opt for natural home remedies for cold relief
It takes a while to recover from the symptoms of a cold and natural home remedies are the best when it comes to relieving them. Ginger tea, lemon and honey tea, fruits rich in Vitamin C, turmeric milk, etc. are all traditional home remedies that have proven to alleviate symptoms of a the common cold and flu.
Suffering from a cold and flu can be excruciating in its own way. Constant sneezing, headaches, cough, etc. can be a pain to deal with. This is why it is essential to have something for quick relief by your side. One such product is the legendary Zandu Balm. It is made with an Ayurvedic formulation of ingredients like menthol, gaultheria oil, eucalyptus oil, camphor and capsicum among others. It is the best for relief from sinus headaches and cold and flu symptoms. You can rub a little bit of Zandu Balm on your forehead and near the nose to feel better. Also, adding a little bit of Zandu Balm to your steam water for inhalation will help provide relief from symptoms of a cold and flu when you need it most. If your symptoms persist for a long time it is important to consult your physician for necessary medication you can take for relief.