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Diet diary: Remedies for flu from the kitchen cabinet

Simple natural preparations in our own homes can help address minor complaints and consequences of common cold

Written by Ishi Khosla |
August 13, 2016 12:26:39 am
flu, flu remedies, flu home remedies, common flu, common flu cure, common flu remedies, common flu home remedies An important ingredient long known for its therapeutic benefits is Garlic.

The flu is spreading rapidly and the virus, which affects the upper respiratory tract, is responsible, according to estimates, for 40 per cent of all missed work days and a typical bout clears up within a week.

With the growing use of modern medicine, most people rely on antibiotics, but the fact is these will not work against the virus unless there is a secondary bacterial infection. However, there simple natural preparations in our own homes that can help address minor complaints.

Categorised as complementary and alternative medicine therapies (CAM) to treat the common cold, some of these are traditional antidotes, others nutritional and herbal supplements. Here are some of them:

* Kahdha: the grandmother’s recipe to cure cold and cough is a herbal mix of spices including cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, ginger, desi ghee and basil.
* Honey & spices: Honey is known to possess anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and prebiotic properties. Manuka honey, a special version from New Zealand, has been used to treat upper respiratory infections.
* Honey & Nutmeg: Nutmeg is warming, stimulating and rejuvenating kernel.
* Honey & Black pepper: Piperine, a major active component in black pepper has been reported to possess physiological and drug-like actions. Black pepper is known to have a healing and drying effect. It stimulates circulations, warms the body particularly hands and feet, releases toxins and improves sinus congestion. It can also be added to tea.
* Honey and ginger: Ginger has expectorant and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger can also be added to tea and black pepper.
* Honey & cloves: Cloves have heating, anti-fungal and expectorant properties.
* Honey and Lemon: Lemon is antibacterial, antiviral and is excellent for halting the progression of infections. It strengthens immune system and helps relieve symptoms of cold and flu.
* Turmeric & Ghee in milk: Turmeric’s ability to modulate the immune system has been shown and it is known to have antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal activity.
* Fenugreek seed decoction: Fenugreek helps asthma and sinus problems. Fenugreek decoction is known to ease soar throat and laryngitis. It can be combined with honey and lemon.
* Tulsi Tea: Among its innumerable benefits, tulsi is known to reduce stress, enhance endurance, increase oxygen utilisation, boost immune system, slow aging and reduce inflammation. It can be made into tea or as a decoction.
* Barley water to treat fever: One of the earliest cultivated grains ‘Barley’, commonly known as ‘Jau’, is believed to have a healing effect on the body.
* Amla: Also known as the Indian gooseberry is an excellent source of vitamin C. The ability to boost immunity, slow aging, restore vitality, rejuvinate all bodily systems and powerful antioxidant properties of amlacan be attributed to its impressive vitamin C content.
* Joshanda: a unani concoction of seven herbs to ease cough, cold and bronchitus.
* Chawanprash: an ayurvedic herbal concoction believed to boost immunity.
* Ginseng powder can be added to herbal teas as a restorative. A word of caution: Reported side effects include headache, gastrointestinal upset, anxiety, and insomnia. Ginseng should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation.
* Probiotics improve gut health and boost immunity. Despite their lack of efficacy and potential for harm, antibiotics are still prescribed to patients with the common cold. These drugs alter intestinal flora, which can lead to potentially harmful side effects and complications. We recommend patients use probiotics whenever antibiotics are prescribed.
* Drink plenty of liquids. Choose water and warm soups to prevent dehydration. Drink enough so that your urine is clear or pale yellow.
* Steam inhalation with eucalyptus and peppermint and gargling with tea oil.
* Last but not the least Rest.
* Other remedies including homeopathy, can also compliment the treatment.

Another important ingredient long known for its therapeutic benefits is Garlic, which is loaded with nearly 100 active chemical compounds including several potent antioxidants (compounds that reduce wear and tear of our body). The most important of all these compounds is allcin, a sulfur-containing compound. It is still not very clear how garlic constituents work in the body; however, it certainly known for its antibiotic, decongestant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive (lowering blood pressure), anti-fungal, antiviral, anti-oxidant and even cholesterol lowering properties. Some of the most known traditional garlic therapies include:

* Boiled Garlic: Asthma
* Garlic Mashed, mixed in vinegar and then gargled: Tonsiliis
* Strong Garlic infusion rubbed on temples: Headache

Remember if symptoms persist consult a qualified physician, specially with young children and the elderly.

📣 The above article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

Author is a clinical nutritionist and founder of and Whole Foods India

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