It is a viral infection caused by over 200 strains of viruses. It is a type of communicable disease. There is an old saying that if you treat common cold it will go in 7 days, if you don’t would take a week. This means that the disease usually runs its own course. Since it is a viral disease, anti – biotic or anti – allergic have very little role to play. Hence the proverb – ‘prevention is better than cure’ holds good in this case.
Signs and Symptoms
Running and stuffy nose; itching and watering of eyes; Headache: Throat ache; Mild Fever may also be present; itching in ears (sometimes).
Although common cold takes it own time to heal palliative treatment can be given to reduce the intensity of the symptoms.
• Make a decoction by boiling the following: 11 crushed leaves of Tulsi, 2 – 3 crushed black pepper, crushed ginger and a pinch of rock salt. Heat the above ingredients in 1 cup of water and boil it till half the quantity of water evaporates. Alternatively, similar decoction can be made using crushed black pepper, tulsi leaves and jaggery. This is to be consumed after every 3 – 4 hours.
• Boil 1 tea spoon of turmeric in one cup of cow’s milk, add sugar and ghee – one teaspoon each and drink it while it is still hot.
• 1 tea spoon ginger juice consumed with 1 tea spoon of honey is particularly helpful to combat running nose.
• Immediately increase the intake of vitamin C at the earliest stages, Lemon and amla are good sources of Vitamin C.
Diet and lifestyle considerations
• Take a diet that is steaming hot and easy to digest. Non – vegetarians can have chicken soup.
• Cut down on refined sugar and milk products.
• Although you may feel sleepy avoid sleeping during day time. Ayurveda dissuades sleeping during day – In most cases it is recommended only for certain individuals and that too there are regulations are as follows.
• Mahalakshmi vilas ras – one table twice a day with honey is useful in running nose.
• Talisadi Churna – 1 teaspoon + ¼ tea spoon turmeric mixed with honey should be consumed 4 – 5 days in a day.
• Cap Nilsin (phytopharma) – 1 Cap twice a day is very effective in viral infections.
A cough is a natural reflex mechanism to any irritation, inflammation or blockage in the airway. It is the symptom which accompanies many respiratory illnesses such as cold, bronchitis, broncietasis, etc. Since it is body’s mechanism to defend itself, and to keep the respiratory tract patent, cough should not be suppressed without treating the initial cause. There are two types of cough – dry cough and productive cough.
• Mix the ingredients given below and have one tea spoon every 3 – 4 hours
i. Juice of tulsi – 2 table spoon
ii. Juice of onion and ginger – 1 table spoon each
iii. Honey 2 table spoon
• Poppy seeds 1 tea spoon, 12 tulsi leaves and liquorice to be crushed and mixed with powdered sugar and consumed with warm water.
• Turmeric milk is effective for cough too.
• Powdered seed of mango ¼ tea spoon to be taken with warm water 3 times a day.
• Amorphous borax powder ¼ tea spoon with honey is particularly helpful in productive cough especially when the phlegm is stickly and stubborn and is not expectorated easily.
• Honey 1 tea spoon, tulsi juice 1 tea spoon, 2-3 black pepper and a pinch of sugar and hold it in mouth.
For bouts of any type of cough one can take couple of cloves and cardamons, add a pinch of sugar and hold it in mouth. Gargling with decoction of triphala churna is also helpful.
Diet and Lifestyle considerations
Avoid cold and phlegm, producing food items like curds, bananas, guava, milk products, etc. Food which is heavy to digest, example non – vegetarian food is best avoided. When possible drink only hot water.
• Sitophaladi churna with honey, ¼ tea spoon every 2 hours till the intensity reduces.
• Dasamoolkathuthreya, kashayam is especially helpful for dry cough. Take 15 ml of kashayam, after mixing it with equal quantity of warm water consume it twice a day.
• If secondary infection is evident from fever or yellow green phlegm, then drugs like rasasindoor + abhrak + bhasm + shringa bhasm 125 mg each can be taken with honey for a duration not exceeding 7 days.
• Mix equal quantities of Vasakasava, drakshasava and amritharisht and take 20 ml of this mixture with equal quantity of warm water twice a day after food.
Asthma occurs when the airways go into spasm as a reaction to contact with allergens. The allergens can be anything from dust, pollen, smoke, strong fragrances, certain food items to cold weather. The onset of disease is usually in childhood although it may start at any age.
Signs and Symptoms:
Usually upper respiratory tract infections like phargngitis, common cold, etc may precede an attack: wheezing: chest tightness; cough: breathlessness which increases in lying down position or during an activity; expiratory dyspnoea i.e. difficulty and longer duration during exhalation is present; increasing heart rate.
Asthma is not generally a problem that should simply be tackled at home. It requires professional help. However mild attacks and measures to prevent further attacks or at least to reduce their frequency can be taken at home.
• During an attack hot chest pack given regularly helps relieve congestion and relaxes the strained muscles. Place the patient’s feet in ankle and deep hot water and simultaneously consume 3 powdered black pepper with honey, loosen the patient’s clothes. If enough phlegm and congestion is evident, then administer ¼ tea spoon of powdered fenugreek seeds in warm water or milk.
• Decoction made of liquorice root in 1 cup of water which is reduced to half by boiling is given along with sesame seed oil. One can also add jaggery if desired. Sip it when hot from time to time till attack subsides.
• Tulsi leaves juice teaspoons mixed with honey can be given every 3 – 4 hours. Similarly onion juice with honey can be administered.
• Long pepper powder, with rock salt, ginger juice and honey can be given in very initial stages.
Diet and lifestyle considerations
• Have warm and easy to digest food.
• It is observed that if asthmatic constipates it precipitates attacks. Hence one has to take precaution that the bowel habits of the patients are regular. To facilitate proper bowel movements one can consume ½ cup of warm milk mixed with equal quantity of hot water and finally adding a tea spoon of ghee to it. This can be consumed at bed time. ¾ teaspoon of triphala churna can also be consumed with warm water.
• A gap of at least 3 hours is recommended between dinner and retiring.
• Make it a habit to walk slowly for 30 mins after dinner.
• As far as possible, keep the upper respiratory tract free of infection. This can be achieved by gargling and steam inhalation whatever one feels congestion in throat or nose.
• Apply sesame oil inside each nostril whenever you are going out.
• Keep the house well ventilated, warm, clean and free from dust mites.
• Drink only hot water and hot beverages
• Deep breathing exercises like inflating balloons or blowing of candles from increasing distances also helps. Alternatively, various pranayama types like bhastrika, ujjayi can be done.
• Swimming is also helpful in reducing the frequency of attacks. However, some persons might be allergic to chlorine. Such individuals should not use public swimming pools.
• Avoid cold and phlegm producing items
• Avoid sleeping during the day.
• Avoid pulses and rice especially during the dinner.
• Avoid air conditioned rooms and if it’s mandatory to use air conditioned rooms then change/clean filters regularly.
• Sitophaladi churna 5 grams, yasthimadhu churna 2 grams and tribhuvan kirti rasa 125 – 250 mg (depending on the weight of the patient) to be mixed with honey and had three times a day.
• 20 ml of each of Somasav + kanakasav mixed with 20 ml of warm water and taken after food is helpful.
• Agastya rasayan 10 gms with milk in the morning can be consumed throughout winter and spring when the attacks are more likely.
• 10 gms of bharangeeguda taken with one boiled fruit of haritaki is also a good remedy for asthma and also regularises the bowels.
In severe cases, short duration courses of following medicines can be given only by a qualified doctor.
• Shwaskuthar ras
• Shwaskachintamani ras, etc.
LARYNGITIS AND PHARYNGITIS
Laryngitis is an acute inflammation of larynx or the voice box. Pharynx is the initial part of the respiratory system and is made up of three parts – nasopharnyx (from nose to the roof of the mouth) to oropharnyx (from the roof of the mouth to the voice box) and laryngopharynx ( the part around the voice box). Various bacteria infect the larynx and pharynx. They are also irritated from over straining by shouting, smoking, coughing too hard, etc. This produces swelling in these areas.
Signs and Symptoms
Throat pain; difficulty in swallowing; hoarse voice or complete reversible loss of voice; fever; cough and running nose.
• Local treatment by gargling with salt and turmeric mixed in hot water 3 – 4 times a day is quite effective.
• Steam inhalations
• Chew 2 betel leaves after food or crush 3 black pepper with honey and lick it.
• Crush one garlic clove and have it with sugar.
Diet and lifestyle considerations
• As mentioned earlier, sleeping during the day is dissuaded in Ayurveda. However, lying down and sleeping even during night is contraindicated for patients suffering from laryngitis and pharyngitis. But they can sit in an easy – chair and sleep.
• Rest the voice and eat only hot food.
• Have a lot of citrus fruits and hot beverages
• To prevent bouts of cough, one can such khadiradi vati if there is too much phlegm, karpuradi vati if there is burning of throat and the phlegm is yellow or greenish in colour which indicates predominance of pitta. Whenever vata dominates, the pain in the throat is excessive and such patients should suck on lavangadi vati to prevent bouts of cough.
• Sushmatriphala tablets 2 tabs twice a day to be taken with 10 ml of Septilin cough syrup.
• Kanchanar guggulu 2 tabs thrice a day with warm water after food.
It is a viral infection of upper respiratory tract. It is a similar to common cold but is more severe and exhausting in nature.
Signs and Symptoms
Different viral strains produce different symptoms. The more common ones are listed below:
Fever; Muscle ache; Headache; General weakness; Cold; Cough with lasts for longer duration.
• 1 teaspoon of turmeric to be boiled to milk, add sugar if desired and have it hot
• Boil 21 tulsi leaves and 7 crushed black pepper in 8 cups of water, and continue boiling till only 1 cup remains. Add honey and consume half cup twice a day.
• Grind 1 tea spoon of dried amla powder with ½ tea spoon of cooking soda on a grinding stone. Have 1 tea spoon thrice a day with warm water. Precautions are to be taken to see that the ingredients are ground well to form a homogenous mixture.
• Tribhuvan kirti rasa 1 tab to be consumed twice a day along with honey and ginger juice.
• 1 tab Trishun thrice a day with warm water.
• Amrutarishtam 20 ml with equal quantity of warm water thrice a day after food.