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Colds and Flu
What Is A Cold?
The common cold (acute coryza), is due to a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract . There are more than 200 known viruses that can cause a cold, making it one of the most common diseases (hence it's name).
A person may suffer from a common cold several times in a year, usually lasting from three to ten days. Once exposed to particular cold virus the body develops an immunity to that particular virus, making subsequent infection with that exact strain unlikely. The lack of exposure, and hence greater vulnerability, helps to explain why children tend to get colds more often than adults.
Echinacea can be considered the herb to take for the prevention and treatment of colds. There has been a certain amount of controversy in recent times as to it's potency, but it is becoming more and more apparent that echinacea is beneficial in treating respiratory viral infections.
Echinacea is generally recognized for its ability to strengthen the immune-system and as such it is useful in the treatment of many different infections (respiratory tract, urinary tract, etc.), Externally, Echinacea is used to heal wounds, ulcers and skin inflammations.
Dose: Tea: 1 teaspoon for 1 cup of boiling water; 3 to 6 times daily.
Powder: Half a teaspoon with 1 glass of water; 3 to 6 times daily.
Vitamin C is vital in maintaining a healthy immune system. Regular doses of this vitamin are believed to inhibit cold infections. Once an infection has taken hold, larger doses of this vitamin are believed by hasten recovery. Citrus fruit (particularly oranges, lemons and limes) is an excellent natural source of vitamin C. If you don't like lemons, then try oranges. A regular intake of fresh orange juice is a pleasant way to avoid catching a cold.
Try a Lemon Boost
Lemon is the most important among the many home remedies for common cold. It is beneficial in all types of cold with fever. Vitamin C-rich lemon juice increases body resistance, decreases toxicity and reduces the duration of the illness. One lemon should be diluted in a glass of warm water, and a teaspoon of honey should be added to it. This should be taken once or twice daily.
Good Old Garlic
Garlic is an old remedy used to reduce the severity of a cold,.Three or four cloves daily is recommended - possibly add to a soup. The oil contained in this vegetable helps to open up the respiratory passages and bring down fever.
Or Perhaps You Prefer Ginger?
Ginger is another excellent remedy for colds and coughs. It is effective against a number of viruses, bacteria, worms, and fungi and is also an excellent expectorant. About ten grams of ginger should be cut into small pieces and boiled in a cup of water. It should then be strained and half a teaspoon of sugar added to it. Drink while hot. Ginger tea, prepared by adding a few pieces of ginger into boiled water before adding the tea leaves, is also an effective remedy for colds, and for fevers resulting from cold.
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Disclaimer: The material on this website is not intended for diagnosing, prescribing or for the treatment of any disease. If you require diagnosing, prescribing or treatment of any disease you are advised to consult your doctor or a health care professional.
While colds and flu (influenza) can cause many of the same symptoms and are often confused, a cold is generally milder, while flu tends to be more severe and longer lasting. Nevertheless, both illnesses can cause children and adults alike to become miserable and grouchy.
Cold and Flu Symptoms
The initial signs of a cold are usually a feeling of soreness of the throat and congestion of the nasal passages. This is followed by a running nose and sneezing. There may be a rise in temperature, headache, chill, aches and pains in the body, more noticeable in the case of flu. The skin around the nostrils may become sore due to rubbing.
Causes of Respiritory Tract Infections
The primary cause of colds and flu is infection by a virus. Contributory factors affect the frequency and duration of the illness. People with a compromised immune system, eg. stressed, tired, malnourished, will be more vulnerable to viral infection. Some people believe that exposure to cold makes one more likely to develop a cold. However, scientific studies have not been able to detect any link between exposure to cold temperatures and developing a cold.
Colds and flu are highly contagious diseases. The patient is usually contagious for about one day before becoming symptomatic, and for about 5 days after. The virus is easily spread through the air by sneezing and coughing. It can also be spread by handling objects touched by the ill person.
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