According to ayurvedic thought, the causes for cough and cold include irritation of the kapha by consuming cold or fried items. Kapha is one of the three humors of the body in ayurveda and is similar to the concept of phlegm in Western thought on the humors. The other two humors in ayurvedic medicine are called vata and pitta. It is when there is an imbalance in these humors that various diseases and conditions develop. It is also possible for cough and cold to be the result of the changing seasons.
Here are some things that, according to ayurvedic thought, should be avoided while you have a cough and cold as they are thought to aggravate the condition:
* Cold: food, drinks, showers, air conditioning
* Sweets: juices, pastries, candies
* Milk Products: like cheese and yogurt
* Meat Products
* Breads and Nuts
* Sleeping during the day
Following the kapha-lowering diet is not difficult if you keep in mind the basics, mainly, avoid heavy items like meats and cheeses. Eat primarily light items like vegetables and broths.
While this sounds like a lot of things to avoid, there are other things that you are encouraged to take during this time for relief of symptoms, including:
* Vegetables: boiled, steamed, or made into soups
* Teas: spiced or herbal
* Hot milk with crushed ginger mixed in
* Milk with half a teaspoon of turmeric mixed in
Ayurvedic medicine provides many natural remedies for those suffering from cough and cold. Below you will find some of the suggested remedies for this condition.
* Keeping warm, especially the extremities, is very important; do not worry about sweating as this is seen as a good thing
* Several times a day drink half a cup of warm water to which one teaspoon each of lemon juice and honey has been added
* You can also try this home recipe: take one teaspoon each of cardamom, ginger powder, black pepper and cinnamon, four teaspoons of sugar; grind until you have a very fine powder; twice a day after your meal, take half a teaspoon with some warm water or honey
Many ayurvedic practitioners recommend various types of drink mixtures using various herbs and spices, but you might notice that most seem to suggest adding honey to the mixture. This is because honey is helpful in acting as a moisturizer for the throat, which helps to alleviate the itching sensation in the throat often experienced with a cough.
If you do not feel up to making your own remedies, there are a couple of natural herbal remedies widely available in drugstores and other health food stores. Echinacea is recommended in ayurvedic medicine for helping to activate the body’s immune system. The other suggested herbal remedy is goldenseal, which helps to clean the mucous membranes. These may be taken according to the directions on the packages.
It is also important during this time to remember personal hygiene in order to keep from spreading germs to other people.
* Use disposable tissues and empty garbage frequently so the germs are not sitting around for long periods of time
* Wash hands often
* Use warm water for bathing