Do you know – one of the reasons why we don’t recover from an illness as quickly as we should is because the microorganisms that cause diseases are becoming smarter and smarter at fighting medicines? It’s true!
Just the way we evolve, germs and microorganisms evolve too. They learn new abilities to fight medicines, and ultimately, the medicine stops having any effect on them.
This is one of the many reasons why it is advised to not ‘pop a pill’ every time we fall sick.
So how then is one to tackle the dreaded winter cold that (no matter how careful you are) always catches up with you eventually?
9 Best Things You Can Use Against Common Winter Ailments
Winter is a great time for a lot of things – travelling, reading, shopping, to name a few. However, the inevitable part of winter is the host of ailments it brings along – the uninvited party-crashers! Here’s your 9-point guide to dealing with common winter-ailments.
1. Lemon-Honey-Ginger for Throat
Ok, that is three things. But it is one super combination that can be used for a number of different problems. However, it works best for any problems related to the throat – a sore throat, throat-ache, dryness, and so one. One of the best ways to combine lemon, ginger, and honey, is to brew yourself a cup of plain green tea and top it up with all above ingredients. You may go for a combination too, using any two ingredients together. Just make sure you get enough of all three regularly.
2. Ghee for Runny Nose and Dryness
Our beloved and humble ghee is, in fact, a very powerful boon we have as Indians! Not only does ghee keep your intestines working smoothly, but it is also great for a runny nose. Wash your hand clean, dip your little finger in liquid ghee, and stick it in your nose before going to bed! While it may sound gross, it works like a charm. Ghee is also much more potent than any body lotion or cream to get rid of skin dryness. You can even use it as a lip-butter and on other dry parts of the body.
3. Garlic and Carrom Seeds for Viral Infections
Both garlic and carrom seeds (ajwain) have potent antiviral properties. But they work better when used as a preventive measure rather than a cure. So make sure you include garlic and ajwain in your regular winter diet. Garlic makes for tasty accompaniment with your regular food when sauteed and salted. Ajwain, on the other hand, can be added to your roti-dough.
4. Turmeric Milk for Winter Chills
This is a great way to warm up your body from within: 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder in one glass of warm milk is one of the oldest cures for winter chills we know. Additional benefits of this drink include better sleep-quality, anti-inflammatory effect, and relief from a sore throat. If you cannot stand the strong flavour of turmeric, do add a drizzle of honey to the milk. You can even add saffron, a known chest decongestant.
5. Palm Sugar for a Dry Cough
One of the effects of winter that we tend to ignore is dehydration. In summers, the body sweats profusely, so you automatically drink enough water. In winter, while the weather gets fairly dry, you may not always remember to drink enough water, giving you a dry cough. The easiest way to tackle dry cough is popping palm sugar, also called Mishri. There is no prescribed dosage for this – you can consume as much mishri as required. But do remember to also drink enough water!
6. Eucalyptus Oil for Congested Nose and Head-ache
Congested sinuses can be the absolute worst nightmare for a winter-lover. The head-ache they bring along can make matters even worse (if it were at all possible to do so!). Decongestion can be dealt with by using eucalyptus oil. Put a few drops on a handkerchief and inhale deeply through the day. For immediate relief, add a few drops to boiling water, and inhale the steam. You can do this right before you hop into bed for deep and peaceful sleep.
7. Hot Soups and Broths for Overall Well-being
One common cause for most winter ailments is dehydration (as previously explained). Another is the fact that the body invests a lot of energy in trying to deal with the low temperatures, leaving us significantly tired. This is why we become more susceptible to infections. One way to conserve body-energy is by keeping the body warm (by dressing appropriately). The other solution is consuming a generous amount of warm and hot fluids – soups, broths, teas, and so on. Feeling the warmth of the soup making its way through your body and warming up your hands and feet is one of the best experiences in the world!
8. Warm Oil Massage for Joint Pains
While old people are more susceptible to this, age is no bar! A lot of times, active people (like sports-persons, gym enthusiasts, or those who travel a lot as part of their daily chores or their profession) too complain of joint pains in winter. A warm oil massage can give you considerable relief from joint pain. The effect of the massage can be further enhanced by using organic and pure oils, infused with essential oils as per one’s liking.
9. Mustard Oil-Salt for Asthma
Asthma too gets worse in winters. While there is no ‘cure’ for asthma, there are a number of things you can do to prevent an asthmatic attack. One of the remedies commonly recommended is massaging the chest with warm mustard oil mixed with salt. The way this remedy works is by heating the body (especially the lungs) to relax the muscles.
Hope this 9-point guide helps you keep yourself and your family fit and healthy this winter so that nothing gets in the way of you and your beloved season!