The common cold (also known as acute coryza, nasopharyngitis, acute viral rhinopharyngitis, or simply a cold) is a viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory system, caused primarily by rhinoviruses and coronaviruses. Common cold occurs more often than any other disease – hence, its name. Common cold is not a serious illness though in certain individuals it can be a chronic disease which haunts every now and then.
The common cold is the most frequent disease in humans with the average adults contracting two to four infections a year and the average child contracting between 7 to 15 times. Exposure to cold, dust, changes in temperature (external or internal), exposure to the virus and low immunity levels are considered as main causes of common cold.
The first indication of an upper respiratory virus is often a sore or scratchy throat. Common cold symptoms are cough, sore throat, runny nose, and nasal congestion; sometimes this may be accompanied by conjunctivitis (pink eye), muscle aches, fatigue, headaches, shivering, and loss of appetite. Fever is often present during cold, thus creating a symptom picture which overlaps with influenza. The symptoms of influenza however are usually more severe.
Signs of dehydration, decreased urination, reduced fluid intake, loss of appetite and abdominal pain or sleeplessness and breathing difficulty in toddlers, infants and children’s should be treated very seriously.
“It takes about a week of treatment to cure a cold, but without treatment
it takes about seven days” – Ed Greif
The best prevention for the common cold is staying away from people who are infected, and places where infected individuals have been. Increase immunity levels naturally and optimize vitamin D. Be careful about the foods you eat and carefully avoid foods that aggravate cold. Beat the stress, have a nice undisturbed sleep (at least for 7hrs) and try exposing yourself to sufficient sunlight. Instead of severe workouts, Walking is advised. Do not stay for more time in an AC room.
Sugar decreases the immune function. So avoid or decrease the consumption of coffee, tea, sodas, carbonated drinks and any canned sugary juices containing white sugar. White Sugar is very dangerous.
Regular hand washing is recommended to reduce transmission of cold viruses and other pathogens via direct contact. Because the common cold is caused by a virus instead of a bacterium, anti-bacterial soaps are no better than regular soap for removing the virus from skin or other surfaces.
“Just because men do not like the cold, Heaven will not stop the winter”
– Chinese proverb
Simple and Easy Remedies
Generally antivirals, antibiotics, vitamin C supplements, zinc supplements, ginseng and probiotics are advised based the severity of the problem.
Some effective home remedies that can be tried which gives ample relief are;
- WATER THERAPY: Water therapy has a very good result for people who are suffering from chronic cold, though it is not advised for acute cold related problems. Know more about water therapy here.
- TURMERIC: Turmeric is an effective remedy for cold and throat irritations. Half a spoon of organic turmeric powder mixed in 50ml of milk is boiled on a low heat, taken thrice a day. This is a useful prescription for cold conditions.
- LEMON: Lemon is beneficial in all types of cold with fever. Lemon is rich in vitamin-C which helps increase immunity as well as body’s resistance to infections. One medium sized lemon squeezed in a glass of warm water and a teaspoon of honey added to it, is taken once or twice a day. People can also consider oranges, which is a very good source of vitamin-C.
- GARLIC, TAMARIND and PEPPER: Popularly known as mulligatawny soup or Rasam (South Indian soup) can be consumed thrice or even four times a day. Add 50mg of tamarind, a spoon full black pepper and 10-15 cloves of garlic while preparing the soup (Do not add green chilies while preparing the soup). Drink the soup hot. You can also eat one or two garlic cloves during your food; this gives a very good relief.
- GINGER: Peel the skin of ginger (double the size of your pinky nail); add a pinch of organic turmeric and a little Jaggery to taste in 2 glass of water. Boil it on low heat, until it comes to half a glass of water. Consume it thrice or 4times a day. Every time prepare it freshly.
- HYDROGEN PEROXIDE: 10 -12 drops of hydrogen peroxide is administered into one ear. After a few seconds, the liquid starts to bubble, let this peroxide fizz for 5 or 10 minutes, and then shake the peroxide out of the ear as much as possible. Repeat on the other ear too, with the same quantity. This remedy cures colds that are already in progress – causing the symptoms to clear up within a few hours. Note: If the virus has been in your blood for some time, this will not work!
“A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold” – Ogden nash
Most cold symptoms usually go away in a week, but if you still feel sick after 7 days, it’s better to visit a Doctor. Cold may also lead to Bronchitis, Ear infection, Pneumonia and Sinusitis. Complementary and alternative medicines for treatment and prevention of common cold include herbal therapy, homeopathy, naturopathy, acupressure and acupuncture.
Most of the people around the world think there is no cure for common cold, it visits for a week –NO, it’s not so in acupuncture. There is a definite cure for common cold in ACUPUNCTURE.
A qualified acupuncturist can be contacted for acute or chronic cold related problems. Based on pulse diagnosis, tongue diagnosis, eye diagnosis and other symptoms of the patient, points like “Hegu(Li4), Lieque(Lu7), Zusanli(St 36), Fenglong(St40), Yuji(Lu10), Zhongfu(Lu1), Neiguan (P6), Weiguan (Tw5) and Feishu(Bl13) are considered for acupuncture treatment. Moxibustion is also advised to certain points, based on the diagnosis and symptoms.
Most of these points are used to cure both acute as well as chronic cold symptoms. These points can give faster relief and are based on my clinical experience.
At our clinic (ARC Acu Clinic) we offer a preventive protocol to help you overcome the ill effects of cold, for any season.
“He who enjoys good health is rich, though he knows it not”
– Italian Proverb
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