Come winter and most of us find ourselves struggling with allergies, colds and flu. With decreased sunlight that causes imbalances in melatonin and serotonin, our immunity shield isn’t strong enough to fight the elements.
Cold and flu symptoms are a result of imbalances in Kapha Dosha. Ayurveda strongly believes that immunity (or bala – strength) is directly related to digestion. A strong digestive system, aided by good appetite and nutritious diet can withstand the infections that are prevalent all around.
Ayurveda Guidelines To Keep Winter Allergies Away
- Reduce food intake: If you are prone to allergies during winter or catch the flu, limit your food intake. In Ayurveda, this technique is called langhana therapy. Lowering the food quantity improves digestion strength. This in turn increases Pitta Dosha and prepares body to fight viral infections better.
- Eat when hungry: Eat and drink only when you are completely hungry and thirsty.
- Avoid heavy-to-digest foods: Limit or avoid meat, sweets, ice creams, aerated drinks such as colas, soda etc.
- Include spices: Powder half to 1 gram each of ginger powder, turmeric powder, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom and curry leaves and add them in your daily diet. These spices possess potent anti-viral and anti inflammatory properties. Most Ayurvedic supplements for cough, cold, flu symptoms contain these spices in different combinations.
- Cooking oil: Oils like olive oil, canola oil, mustard oil, sesame oils can be used for cooking. Avoid coconut oil.
- Limit Ghee: Best to avoid during a cold, flu attack. If you want to use, use only in less quantities. Mix a tablespoon of ghee with 1 gram of turmeric powder ( 2 pinches) before using it.
- Drink warm water: As per Ayurveda, warm water helps to relieve Kapha Dosha. Imbalance of Kapha Dosha is the main reason for cold and cough.
- Drink herbal teas: Sipping on Tulsi (Holy Basil) or ginger herbal tea is better than your normal black tea.
In the initial few days of flu or cold attack, avoid all forms of exercise. It may worsen your symptoms.
During winter, it is best to apply sesame oil on your hair instead of coconut oil or coconut oil-based hair oils. Coconut oil, with its cooling nature may worsen cold, flu symptoms.
Home Remedies For Relief From Cold and Flu
- Put turmeric powder on hot pan and inhale the fumes. It helps to relieve cold, allergy and nose blockage.
- Take 3 Tulsi (Basil) leaves, mix it with a pinch of turmeric powder, 2 pinches of black pepper powder and a pinch of turmeric. Chew this mixture slowly and swallow the juice.
- Add 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon powder to a glass of water (in a vessel with the lid closed) and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of pepper powder and 2 spoons honey. Take it once or twice daily.
- Make 1 teaspoon from lemon juice extract, ginger juice extract and honey. Have this mix 2 times a day, 10 minutes before consuming food.
- If spices are too hot for your stomach, take 1/2 cup of warm milk and add a pinch of turmeric to it. Mix well and drink it 2 times a day.
- Chop 1/2 an onion into small pieces. Boil it in a cup of water for 5 minutes. Strain the liquid through a sieve. Mix a pinch of turmeric to it. Add a teaspoon of honey to it and have it 2 times a day, after food for a week.
All the above remedies have a very short shelf life of 1-2 hours. Hence, they should be made and served fresh.
Herbal Powders For Cold And Flu
It is a simple combination of three spices – pepper, long pepper and ginger. It helps to improve digestive strength and relieves cold and rhinitis. However, it is not suitable for people with sensitive stomach or gastritis.
An Ayurvedic herbal powder, used for treating cold, cough, flu, asthma and allergic rhinitis.
It is one of the best and widely used Ayurvedic supplement for cough and cold.
[Read: Soothing Ginger Cinnamon Tea Recipe For A Flu Free Winter]
Advised adult dose for all these herbal supplements is 1 capsule x 2 times a day after food x 7- 10 days. Please consult your healthcare adviser for the right herb for you.
Neem with its potent anti-microbial properties is advised for people with flu and viral infections.
Guduchi – Giloy – Tinospora cordifolia is widely used in Ayurveda to treat fever. It also boosts immunity.
It is useful whenever allergy is associated with any ailment.
Is useful when cough, cold and flu symptoms appear together.