Written by Lisa Wydeman
08 Feb, 2019 | 9:23 am
COLOMBO (News 1st): The winds are changing and just like that, the flu season is upon us!
Sneeze a few times and you can be sure your mother or Achchi (grandmother) will keep on chanting…“Make sure to stay warm, cover your throat, keep-away from drafty windows, don’t go outside.”
A common cold does afflict everyone from time to time. It does not identify any difference between rich or poor, elite and even royalty and catching it can be a pretty easy thing. Yet, the good thing is here in Sri Lanka, we have quite a lot of remedies that are readily available to all. So many people today are turning to natural alternatives and health conscious methods. Here are a few ways to keep the sneezing and coughing at bay;
Bees Honey & Lemon
Mix a tablespoon of bees honey with a few drops of lemon juice. This will instantly ease the itch and pain in the throat. Honey and lemon both possess antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties which aid in fighting infections. Honey is a known cough suppressant. Therefore, taking this mix 2-3 times a day will not only ease the pain but will provide a cure as well.
This is a very common treatment recommended by the Weda Mahaththaya which up to date has provided a cure without fail. Rich in vitamins A and C it is sure to provide an overnight cure. Pour boiling water into a cup filled with one teaspoon of coriander seeds, leave to soak and brew for 5 minutes in order to get all the nutrients. Sip this as you will a cup of tea in the morning, at noon and again before bedtime.
Paspanguwa (5 spice ayurvedic tea)
Another one of Weda Mahaththaya`s recommendations which may be strong in taste yet very effective. As the name suggests this contains 5 spices that all possess healing properties. Now this 5 spice mixture is readily available in supermarkets or you can ask for it at your local Ayurveda shop. Place the mixture to boil in a deep saucepan, filled to the top with water on a stove and leave it until it boils for approximately half an hour. Now your drink is ready – strain the liquid before drinking. Paspanguwa can be sipped throughout the day and additionally helps in relief for flu as well as simple body aches and pains.
A common remedy used more popularly by the older generation, has been known to provide relief by applying it on either side of the nostrils to help a blocked nose or by applying it behind the ears to cure a sore throat. This can also help with a sinus infection by putting half a teaspoon of balm in boiling water and steam inhaling. You can also rub it on your chest as it helps with phlegm. However, after applying the balm, it is definitely advisable to keep the area covered and not expose the particular area to a draft so that the remedy can work faster allowing the balm to really penetrate and activate the healing.
The ginger root is versatile in nature as it can be used in cooked form or consumed raw. To benefit from its medicinal properties ginger is mostly consumed raw, by adding a small quantity of finely chopped ginger with a little bit of sugar to balance the strong spicy taste. It is a remedy for a cold as well as a sore throat. Consuming ginger tea will provide the same benefits not only as a cure but also if one starts to lose one’s voice ie: vocal cords are strained. Drinking this for just one day gives immediate relief while around 3 days is considered ideal. Ginger tea relieves muscle pain and soreness as well, since ginger contains a substance called gingerol which is known to have powerful medicinal properties.
Black pepper and Honey
Black pepper has been used for its medicinal purposes from ancient times as it contains anti-bacterial properties. Adding quarter teaspoon of ground back pepper to a teaspoon of honey can heal a cough and cold as well as help ease any chest and nasal congestion. Peppercorns are additionally said to clear the air of negativities, making this a good mood up-lifter.
This is mostly a western and oriental remedy which has been identified as an anti-inflammatory cure. Chicken provides the protein needed to fight a germ and along with the other ingredients which include carrots, leeks, potatoes, peppercorns and salt to taste, make up this soup that gives added strength and immediate relief to a congested nose. Many also swear by the famous Thai Tom Yum Soup which is made with a substantial portion of ginger and pandan leaves known to knock any cough or sore throat out the door.
The above list is only an aid to provide relief and cure from the common cold and cough. These remedies are still very much valid and in use in many homes in Colombo and all over Sri Lanka today, however, if the symptoms still continue after 3 days it is always advisable to see a general physician as a non-healing cough and cold may be a symptom of a completely different ailment. Making sure to get 6-8 hours sleep, not taking late night baths and having a balanced diet will make sure your immune system functions adequately and keeps stress levels at bay – after all prevention is most certainly better than a cure.
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