How to fight Common Cold and Flu

by Sharon Hopkins

A runny nose or blockage in the nasal passages, sneezing, phlegm and soreness in the throat, coughs and headaches are signs of a common cold. All too often these symptoms may be accompanied by a mild fever and malaise, symptoms that may be associated with the flu. The symptoms of a common cold and flu are usually very similar, but a high fever is more likely a sign of the flu. Common cold and flu are caused by viruses. There are many different viruses that may invade our body and cause us to experience the symptoms of cold and flu. Unfortunately, viruses are spread easily from one person to another and are extremely difficult to treat. For ages, medical scientists have been trying to cure the common cold, without any success.

Cold and flu are passed from one person to another due to the inhalation of droplets of infected phlegm. When an infected person sneezes or coughs into the air, the droplets may settle down on the hands and clothes of the people around him/her. If a person does not wash his/her hands, these infected cough droplets may be ingested, giving way to the virus to grow and cause the symptoms of common cold as well as flu. The viruses that cause common cold and flu are ever present in our environment. However, when our immunity is high an infection may not develop. On the other hand, when our immunity is low due to a prolonged illness, old age, recent recovery from a chronic disease, stress, or poor diet, one can get infected very easily.

Susceptibility to a common cold is also higher when a person is suffering from constipation or irregular bowel movements. To increase your immunity and decrease susceptibility to viral infections like the common cold and flu, you need to not just maintain high levels of hygiene, but also make sure you follow a healthy lifestyle. There are many herbs that can help you boost your immunity. Eating plenty of leeks and onions can keep your body warm from inside. A large clove of garlic, consumed with warm water every morning, can help you sweat out all the toxins in your body. Garlic also has analgesic properties and can help improve your immunity to counter the viruses that cause common cold and flu.

If your nose is stuffy, you should treat it before the congestion spreads and your airways become inflamed. Hot and spicy foods can help decongest your chest and the nasal airways. You can also use a dehumidifier to keep your chest and nose decongested. A regular exercise routine is also often beneficial in maintaining immunity. When you exercise regularly, your lung capacity increases and the amount of oxygen in your body also increases. The increased oxygen in the body improves the functioning of all your organs, thus making your body more efficient. A healthy and balanced diet, with lots of citric fruits that are loaded with vitamin C, is usually perfect for improving immunity and maintaining it at a healthy level. Vitamin A is also great in helping you maintain your immunity. Green leafy vegetables are rich in both minerals and vitamins. In addition, you should consume a diet that consists of differently colored vegetables. Each vegetable color is associated with a different vitamin and is therefore useful when included in your diet.

Gargling with lukewarm salt water every day can help you keep sore throats at bay. Most of the common cold and flu infections begin from the throat. Drinking herbal teas such as chamomile and elderberry tea with honey and basil can also improve immunity. Drink these teas everyday as they are also rich in antioxidants.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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