Ayurvedic treatment for Common cold

Common cold

Know More on ENT(Ear Nose Throat)

  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • FAQS
  • References

Definition

Common cold Ayurvedic treatment

The common cold is an infection most commonly caused by viruses affecting your nose and throat. It can be classified as an upper respiratory tract infection. Children under the age of six years are most commonly affected by colds, but healthy adults are also expected to have two or three colds annually. Recovery period of common cold in most people is a week or 10 days.1

According to Ayurveda, colds are a kapha-vata disorder. The kapha qualities causes the body to build up an excess of cool and moist kapha, resulting in congestion and a runny nose and excess vata reduces digestive fire (agni) leading to chills, loss of appetite and/or poor digestion.2

Causes

Common cold

A virus called Rhinovirus is the most common cause of common cold. It gains an entry into the body via the mouth, eyes or nose. It can also spread through droplets in the air when someone who is sick coughs, sneezes or talks.1

The risk factors which can increase your chances of getting a cold include:1

  • Age: Children under the age of six years are most commonly affected by colds
  • Weakened immune system:A weakened immune system increases your risk or presence of a chronic illness.
  • Time of year: Common cold generally occurs during the winters.
  • Smoking: Smokers are more likely to catch a cold and to have more severe colds.
  • Exposure: Exposure to an infected individual in crowded places, such as schools.

Symptoms

Common cold

Symptoms commonly associated with common cold include:1

  • Cough/congestion
  • Runny/stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Body pain or headache
  • Sneezing
  • Low-grade fever
  • Weakness (malaise)

Diagnosis

Common cold

Doctors usually diagnose this condition in most people by examining their signs and symptoms. The doctor may order a chest X-ray or other tests to exclude other causes of your symptoms if he or she suspects you to have a bacterial infection or other condition.1

Management

Common cold

The ayurvedic management of common cold comprises of balancing the vitiated dosha through the right aahar and vihar and some ayurvedic herbs to strengthen the immune system.

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • Eat a well-balanced nutritious diet and get enough rest.
  • Avoid dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cottage cheese etc.
  • Avoid cold drinks.
  • Consume foods rich in vitamin C
  • Have plenty of hot beverages. These substances open congested nasal passages and let you breathe more easily.
  • Drinking hot water several times a day is an effective way to remove toxins from the system and hasten cold recovery.
  • Black pepper and long pepper, taken along with dried ginger, helps with chronic inflammation of the mucous membrane, such as those lining the throat, sinuses, and lungs
  • Hot water mixed with the juice of two lemons and sugar at bedtime gives relief from nasal catarrh.

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

  • Keep away from sources of infection.
  • Wash your hands often. You may get infected with a cold by touching a door knob or picking up a telephone recently touched by someone with a cold, particularly if you rub your eyes or nose afterwards. The eyes and nose, rather than the mouth, are the most frequent routes for infection.
  • Inhale steam to relieve a stuffed nose
  • Get some fresh air—take a gentle walk.
  • Do not overheat the room. Let the body lose heat naturally.
  • Perform breathing exercises
  • Putting liquefied ghee (3-5 drops) in each nostril will help lubricate nasal passages and relieve irritation and sneezing from cold.

FAQS

Common cold
  1. What is allergic rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis is inflammation of the lining of the nose in response to an immune response given by body when it comes in contact with certain allergens (things causing allergy in a person). It simply means that immune system is overreacting to certain allergy causing substances such as pollen, dust mites, skin and saliva of furry animals such as cats, dogs, etc. Around 10 to 30 percent of population in the world may suffer from this condition. Allergic disorders in Ayurveda are widely elaborated under the concepts of Ama, Asatmya ahara vihar, Anurjta and viruddha aahara. Impaired digestion and metabolism causes Ama. It leads to the manifestation of Rhinitis or Pratishyaya by affecting Rasa and Rakta Dhatu.

  1. What causes allergic rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis happens when your body releases histamine after coming in contact with an allergen. Histamine is a natural chemical that guards your body from the allergen. This chemical is responsible for the symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis, including a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes.

Other common causes in addition to pollen, include

  • Grass
  • Dust
  • Animal skin
  • Mites
  • Moulds

Some external factors that can trigger or aggravate this condition, include:

  • Dampness
  • Cold temperature
  • air pollution
  • chemicals in Hairspray/perfumes/colognes
  • Wood smoke
  • Fumes
  • Smoking
  1. What diet changes I can do to avoid ear infection in my child?

Here are few diet tips to avoid ear infection in your child:

Since ear problems are associated with an imbalance in the kapha dosha, a diet that does not vitiate the kapha dosha, should be followed. The following dietary guidelines must be followed: -

  1. Sour foods must be avoided as it impairs the kapha dosha. These include sour fruits and curds.
  2. Fruits like bananas, watermelons, oranges, papayas and cucumbers must be avoided since the increase the risk common cold. This would aggravate the ear problem. All refrigerated foods must also be avoided for the same reason.
  3. Onion, ginger and garlic should be preferred during ear problems.
  4. Turmeric is also very good remedy for infections, and must be used for spicing the meals
  5. Avoid processed and oily food
  6. Avoid water getting into ear during bath.
  1. What are the causes of nosebleeds?

Nose bleeds can be caused by a number of things, including:

  • Scratching the inside of your nose with a sharp fingernail
  • Forcefully blowing your nose
  • blow to your head, or a fall
  • A minor injury to your nose
  • Presence of cold or flu which causes a blocked or stuffy nose
  • Sinusitis
  • Very dry environment or places that have hot, dry weather
  • Hay fever or other allergies
  • High altitude
  • Abuse of nasal decongestants
  • A crooked nose that's either present from birth or the result of an injury.
  • broken nose
  • Recent nasal surgery
  • Hardened arteries (atherosclerosis)
  • Medicines that cause you to bleed more easily, including aspirin
  1. What can I do to manage or avoid nosebleed?

Here are some tips to manage/avoid nosebleed:

  • Avoid mental pressure and stress.
  • Sound sleep for 7-8 hours is highly recommended.
  • Cold water is one of the best ways to stop nasal bleeding
  • Instillation of lemon juice should be dropped into nostrils provides excellent relief
  • Juice of fresh coriander leaves can be used as nasal drops
  • A cotton bud dipped in rosewater and kept inside the nostrils stops the bleeding
  • Tulsi juice mixed with honey will also help and provide extra strength to the body
  1. My husband snores a lot. What could be the reasons?

Snoring may be caused by a combination of factors which are as follows:

  • Sleeping on the back
  • Being overweight/obese
  • Congestion of the upper respiratory tract
  • Heavy consumption of alcohol in the evening prior to sleep
  • Use of sleeping pills and tranquilizers
  • Inadequate sleep
  • stress
  • Saggy and extra soft mattress
  • A pillow that is too low/high
  • History of smoking
  1. How is snoring treated in Ayurveda?

Ayurveda classifies sleep disorders as Kapha dominant disorders since they are highly associated with obesity as a main symptom, however, Vata and Pitta could have an impact on this disorder. Kapha dosha first accumulates, and aggravates in the digestive system, it then over-flows into the circulatory system, subsequently relocating into the Medas (Medovaha srota), then manifest and diversifies.2  Lekhana and Medohara (fat scraping/ reducing) ahara and vihar and Shodhana therapies may be beneficial.

Ayurveda has a holistic approach in treating different conditions that include a combination of ahar (diet) and vihar (lifestyle regime) recommendations for effective management.

  1. What are few tips to reduce snoring?

Here are few tips to reduce snoring:

  • Maintain a proper diet and exercise well to lose weight
  • Avoid alcohol consumption since it can increase sleep apnea
  • Prefer sleeping on the side (especially the left side as this promotes better digestion)
  • Avoid smoking
  • Ensure that you always get sufficient and a sound sleep
  • Sleep on a firm mattress
  • Use a pillow of an appropriate size and firmness
  • If possible, elevate the head end of the bed if possible
  • Use of nasal spray to relieves nasal congestion
  • Inhale steam with eucalyptus oil
  1. My child frequently gets chest infection, what diet can I give to improve his condition?

Following are the diet tips to improve/better manage chest infection:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet as it can help strengthen the immune system, makes you less susceptible to developing chest infections
  • Avoid milk products and other mucous forming foods like ice-cream, cold water, sugar salt refined flour, bread and fruit juices
  • Prefer hot food and drinks since they help in soothing the discomfort associated with cough
  • Preparations containing long pepper and dry ginger are helpful in treating cough
  • Ghee can be used to soothe the throat
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
  • Prepare a solution of a glass of hot water, half a lemon’s juice squeezed in it and a teaspoon of honey. Drink this mixture sip by sip
  • Avoid excessive consumption of tea, caffeinated and carbonated drinks 
  1. My child has crying spell and pulls his ear sometimes. Is he having ear pain?

The symptoms of ear pain in infants include:

  • Fever and irritability in babies
  • Pulling tugging or rubbing of ears in children
  • Babies do not feed well; loss of appetite in children
  • Sleep problems and restlessness at night
  • Coughing and runny nose

 

References

Common cold
Common cold. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/home/ovc-20199807. Accessed on: 7 September 2016 Lad V. The complete book of Ayurvedic home remedies. Harmony; 1999. Common cold and ayurvedic treatment. Available at: http://www.muralimanohar.com/Articles,%20English/Diseases%20and%20Conditions/Common%20Cold.htm. Accessed on: 7 September 2016.

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