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Ayurveda is an ancient science which relies on medicinal herbs and holistic lifestyle changes for treating diseases. People from all over the world turn to Ayurveda to address diseases ranging from common cold to terminal illnesses. Here are five common Ayurvedic remedies for symptoms of cold and cough:

1)    Tulsi leaves

Tulsi or the holy basil can be found in every garden and is called the ‘queen of herbs’ for a reason. Chewing fresh Tulsi leaves or sipping warm Tulsi tea can ease symptoms of cough, cold and a congested nose. Tulsi tea can be made easily by brewing a few leaves in boiling water. Let it sit for a few minutes.

Alternately, inhale steam from water ingested with Tulsi leaves. Chewing a few leaves every day is also believed to boost immunity and keep away infections.

2)    Ginger

Ginger is believed to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Fresh ginger tea can have a similar effect on cough and cold. Infuse crushed or sliced ginger into boiling water to make ginger tea. Add a pinch of lime and pepper for additional the benefit of loosening the mucus. A concoction of ginger and honey can also relieve symptoms, especially when taken at night, before going to bed.

Also used in in Ayurveda are herbs like Mulethi, Pippala, Sonth, Giloy etc. to treat infections.

3) Gargling salt water

Gargling twice or thrice a day with warm salt water can ease the most severe of sore throats and congestion. Gargling just before going to bed can guarantee sound sleep free of symptoms.

4)  Steam Inhalation 

Steam inhalation is a grossly underestimated treatment in the treatment of cold and chest infections. One can do this at home using a vapouriser or by boiling water in a suitable vessel. Never add store-bought balms into the water, add ginger or Tulsi instead.

Pranayama, a kind of a deep breathing exercise which needs to practise to be perfected, also works wonders for ailments related to the nose and chest. The controlled breathing exercises when done regularly increases lung power over a period of time, clears air passages and can relieve cold symptoms. Alongside Pranayama, regular practice of Yoga is also advocated in Ayurveda, which can strengthen the body and mind, leading to better immunity in the long run.

5)   Nasyam

Nasyam is a more intensive treatment method for nasal congestion, sinusitis etc. and should be practised only with the help of experts. Medicated oils or powders are administered into each nostril via a pipe after a face and neck massage. Nasyam might seem uncomfortable during the process but it can clear the nasal passages completely of mucus. Do not try this at home, as contaminated liquids in the system can do more harm than good.

Ayurveda also advocates that one keeps away from cold foods like curd and buttermilk when affected by a cold, especially at night. Sip hot liquids throughout the day, instead. 




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