Some quick home remedies

Alternative measures

Some quick home remedies

It’s that time of the year when even a mild draft could leave you under the weather. A leaky and swollen nose, a heavy head, blood-shot eyes, a sore throat and a warm body are just some of the symptoms that can cripple even the strongest of people.

This season, the common cold has become so common that it has overstayed its welcome. And visits to the doctor have become part of the routine. But many families prefer to try out home remedies before they visit a doctor and allopathy.

Shashidhar BG, an entrepreneur, says, “Allopathy doesn’t work as fast as home remedies. And you don’t know what’s going into your body — doctors give you cough syrup and say it will help you sleep and relax but it isn’t addressing the problem. Using home remedies, we take out the phlegm so that the cough stops entirely.”

Indumathi, a teacher, says, “At first, I don’t use allopathy. Only if the flu persists, do I go to a doctor. The cold is anyway going to stay for five days, irrespective of what I take, so I might as well take something cost-effective and something that’s made at home.”

What are these remedies that people use? Sujaya M, a retired principal, says, “People get a cold for two reasons: When the body heat increases and because of the cold. When the cold and cough are because of the weather, one should take many steps to get rid of it. They can make ‘kashaya’ using pepper, garlic, ginger, turmeric and jaggery, and by boiling them in milk, or inhaling the incense of turmeric.”

She adds, “When the flu is because of increased body heat, one should eat fried onion (dipped in ‘ghee’), barley in various preparations or ‘mosumbi’. This will help a dry cough.” She says one should start salt water gargling as soon as their throat starts to itch and they should sip honey slowly for a cough.

Shashidhar, who is from the Malnad region, says, “When we have a cold, we make ‘kashaya’ using ginger, cumin seeds and coriander seeds. We wait till it becomes concentrated to drink it. And for a cough, we mix pepper and honey and line our throats with the mixture so that the phlegm comes out.”

The ‘kashaya’ is the most popular remedy among all households, although it is prepared in a different way everywhere. Sujatha Ramachandran, who has been following these recipes for generations, says, “We make ‘kashaya’ using milk, turmeric, pepper and other ingredients like betel leaf.”

According to HS Hiremat, an ayurvedic doctor, home remedies are the best because they are easily available in a kitchen and aren’t likely to have any adverse affects on the body. “For a common cold, there are many home remedies available. One can mix tulsi, ginger and honey for a fever, or curd and jaggery for a cold.” 

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