5 ways and tips to treat first signs

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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With rising air pollution and onset of winter, cough and cold are common. Smartness lies in reacting early, instead of waiting for it to get worse.

Tell us if we’re wrong! Often, when we feel that little bug in the throat, or a nasal drip – clearly early signs of cough and cold – we let it pass. While we hope they will go away on their own, it’s important to know just how to nip those irritants in the bud!

The winter season, especially, is a time when cough and cold become rampant among people. Be it toddlers or teenagers, youngsters or the elderly – it’s a common health phenomena which can be triggered due to multiple reasons.

Blame the chill in the air or the air pollution. Some coughs are a result of a virus or infection. Some coughs and colds become chronic, and need more investigation from doctors. Whatever it may be, experts always recommend that cough and cold – like most health concerns – must be addressed as soon as possible to avoid it from becoming worse.

Why does cough happen?

According to the American Lung Association, a cough is a spontaneous reflex. When things such as mucus, germs or dust irritate your throat and airways, your body automatically responds by coughing. But a cough that doesn’t go away or comes with other symptoms like shortness of breath, mucus production or bloody phlegm could be the sign of a more serious medical problem. You can always soothe a cough with some simple steps.

What are the things you must do on the first signs of cough and cold?

1. You should stay hydrated:

Consuming enough water will keep your throat away from dryness. But remember to have lukewarm water or hot beverages like tea or broth, and totally avoid cold, caffeinated, alcoholic and sugary beverages. Ginger tea, especially, can be helpful.

2. Gargle

Gargling with warm salt water regularly to eradicate the phlegm. This will help you to soothe the back of your throat by clearing the mucus from there, thereby clearing the respiratory tract and nasal cavity. It is also said to reduce inflammation.

3. Avoid smoke and dust

Smoke and dust are common irritants that cause cough and cold. If you get more exposed to them while already fighting the condition, these are likely to aggravate your problem. So, keep away from them as far as possible.

4. Use herbal cough syrup:

Yes, we know cough syrups often make you drowsy and can keep you from concentrating on your work, but we have a solution. Hamdard Joshina, a herbal cough and cold remedy, is a Unani formulation that promises no side effect and drowsiness. It is recommended at the first sign of cold and cough as it is packed with natural extracts including tulsi, mulethi, amaltas, Unnab, Saplstan as ingredients.

Joshina is packed with 12 herbs to prevent cough and cold. Image courtesy: Hamdard

5. A spoonful of honey and a pinch of pepper

This is a tried and tested home hack that you can give a shot to. It may not put your cough and cold to rest, but it will soothe the throat a bit and let you have a good night’s sleep at least.

6. Avoid cold foods

The winter season calls for a whole lot of citrus fruits, but you may be allergic to them. Also, cold foods can keep that cough from getting better. So eat hot, and stay warm. Besides that, keeping your distance from crunchy wafers and high fibre foods like toast and oats for easier digestion.

Herbs to prevent cough and cold:

Tulsi, honey, cinnamon, ginger, mulethi are commonly known herbs for fighting and preventing cough and cold. Some of these are:

Tulsi exhibits expectorant action and helps prevent the onset of cold and cough. Tulsi leaves can be chewed on directly to improve immunity or can be consumed as a kadha or tea.

This herb possesses demulcent and expectorant activity and helps reduce throat irritation. Again, one can chew on mulethi, or licorice, to deal with a sore throat, particularly during the winter season. You can even try a mulethi tea with a dash of honey.

Amaltas, Unnab and Saplstan:
These herbs are known for providing relief from cough. They are useful in relieving symptoms of chest congestion, and to ease the respiratory tract.

Hamdard Joshina, a syrup formula, has all these and a total of twelve essential herbs which are very beneficial in preventing and treating cough and cold. Find out more about the product here, and remember that prevention is better than cure!

Disclaimer: This feature is sponsored by Hamdard Joshina.

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