A common cold, also known as acute coryza, is an inflammation of the upper respiratory tract caused by infection with common cold viruses. A common cold occurs more often than any other disease – hence, its name. A person may suffer from a common fold several times in a year. A cold usually lasts from three to ten days. The patient feels miserable for the first three days or so.
Common Cold Symptoms
Soreness of throat, congestion of nasal passages
The initial signs of a cold are a feeling of soreness of the throat and congestion of the nasal passages. Although the disease normally begins in the nose and throat, it affects all parts of the body.
Running nose, Sneezing, headache, chill
Its usual symptoms are a running nose, sneezing, a rise in temperature, headache, sore throat, chill, aches and pains in the body, and loss of appetite. The skin around the nostrils may become sore.
Causes of Common Cold
Exposure to the virus
A common cold results from exposure to the virus. Its intensity, however, depends upon the state of health of the person and environmental factors.
Exposure to cold, low vitality, dust, changes in temperature
Low vitality, exposure to cold, lack of sleep, mental depression, fatigue, and factors such as sudden changes in temperature, dust, and other irritating inhalations are important contributory causes.
Common Cold Home Remedies
Common Cold treatment using Lemon
Lemon is the most important among the many home remedies for common cold. It is beneficial in all types of cold with fever. Vitamin C-rich lemon juice increases body resistance, decreases toxicity and reduces the duration of the illness. One lemon should be diluted in a glass of warm water, and a teaspoon of honey should be added to it. This should be taken once or twice daily.
Common Cold treatment using Garlic
Garlic soup is an old remedy to reduce the severity of a cold, and should be taken once daily. The soup can be prepared by boiling three or four cloves of chopped garlic in a cup of water. Garlic contains antiseptic and antispasmodic properties, besides several other medicinal virtues. The oil contained in this vegetable helps to open up the respiratory passages. In soup form, it flushes out all toxins from the system and thus helps bring down fever. Five drops of garlic oil combined with a teaspoon of onion juice, and diluted in a cup of water, should be drunk two to three times a day. This has also been found to be very effective in the treatment of common cold.
Common Cold treatment using Ginger
Ginger is another excellent remedy for colds and coughs. About ten grams of ginger should be cut into small pieces and boiled in a cup of water. It should then be strained and half a teaspoon of sugar added to it. This decoction should be drunk when hot. Ginger tea, prepared by adding a few pieces of ginger into boiled water before adding the tea leaves, is also an effective remedy for colds and for fevers resulting from cold. It may be taken twice daily.
Common Cold treatment using Lady’s Fingers
Lady’s fingers are highly valuable in treating irritation of the throat and a persistent dry cough. This vegetable is rich in mucilage and acts as a drug to allay irritation, swelling, and pain. About 100 gm of lady’s fingers should be cut into pieces, and boiled down in half a litre of water to make a decoction. The steam issuing from this decoction may also be inhaled once or twice a day to relieve throat irritation and a dry cough.
Common Cold treatment using Bitter Gourd Roots
The roots of the bitter gourd plant are used in folk medicine to cure a cold. A teaspoon of the root paste, mixed with an equal quantity of honey or tulsi leaf juice, given once every night for a month, acts as an excellent medicine for colds.
Common Cold treatment using Turmeric
Turmeric is an effective remedy for colds and throat irritations. Half a teaspoon of fresh turmeric powder mixed in 30 ml of warm milk, and taken once or twice daily, is a useful prescription for these conditions. Turmeric powder should be put into a hot ladle. Milk should then be poured in it and boiled over a slow fire. This mixture should then be drunk by the patient. In case of a running cold, smoke from the burning turmeric should be inhaled. It will increase the discharge from the nose and provide quick relief.
Common Cold treatment using Tamarind and Pepper
Tamarind-pepper rasam is also considered an effective home remedy for a cold in South India. Dilute 50 mg tamarind in 250 ml of water. Boil the diluted tamarind water for a few minutes with a teaspoon of hot ghee and half a teaspoon of black pepper powder. This steaming hot rasam has a flushing effect, and should be taken three times a day. As one takes it, the nose and eyes water and the nasal blockage is cleared.
Common Cold treatment using Vitamin C
Regular intake of vitamin C-75 mg for adults and 35 mg for children-will prevent the common cold. If, however, a cold has already appeared, large doses of this vitamin will relieve the symptoms and shorten its duration. He estimates that one to two grams (1000 mg to 2000 mg) per day is approximately the optimum amount of this vitamin for this purpose. His advice is to swallow one or two 500mg tablets of vitamin C at the appearance of the first sign of the cold and continue the treatment by taking one to two 500 mg tablets daily.
Dietaries for Common Cold
Abstain solid foods, drink fruit and vegetable juices
During the acute stage of the cold, when fever is present, the patient should abstain from all solid foods and only drink fruit and vegetable juices, diluted with water.
Well-balanced diet of seeds, nuts
After the acute symptoms are over, the patient can gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet, consisting of seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, and fruits.
Avoid meat, fish, eggs and starchy foods
It is advisable to avoid meat, fish, eggs, cheese, and starchy foods.
Other Common Cold treatments
Mild sunbath, fresh air, deep breathing, sound sleep etc
Other useful measures in the treatment of a common cold are a mild sunbath, fresh air and deep breathing, brisk walks, sound sleep, and adjustment of one’s clothes and habits to the requirements of the season so as to nullify the effect of weather fluctuations.
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Fever refers to a condition of the body in which the temperature goes beyond the normal. It is also characterized by disturbance in the normal functioning of the system. It is a common ailment which occurs both in children and adults. The average temperature of a healthy body ranges between 36.9 degree C and 37.5 degree C, or 98.4 Degree F and 99.5 Degree F. It is liable to marginal variations, depending on the intake of food, the amount of exercise, and the temperature surrounding the atmosphere. The lowest temperature of the body occurs between the hours of 1.30 a.m. to 7 a.m. and the highest between 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Symptoms of Common Fever
Slight shivering, pain in the head and body parts
Fever generally begins with slight shivering, pain in the head and various parts of the body, thirst, and great lassitude. The flow of urine is scanty.
Pulse and respiration become faster, profuse sweating
As the fever rises, the pulse and respiration become faster. Finally, there is profuse sweating, a copious flow of concentrated urine, and general relief of symptoms. The term ‘fever’ has a very wide application. It is the symptom of a body’s fight against infection. It is one of the most common features of several diseases. In many cases, it is a secondary symptom of the disordered state of the body with which it is associated.
Causes of Common Fever
Accumulation of morbid matter in the system
The real cause of all fevers, including common fever, however, is the accumulation of morbid matter in the system due to wrong feeding habits and unhygienic conditions of living. Fever is, thus, a natural attempt on the part of the body to rid itself of toxic matter.
Home Remedies for Common Fever
Common Fever treatment using Holy Basil
The leaves of holy basil are one of the most effective of several home remedies in the treatment of common fever. A decoction made of about twelve grams of these leaves, boiled in half a litre of water, should be administered twice daily with half a cup of milk, one teaspoon of sugar and a quarter teaspoon of powdered cardamom (chhoti elaichi). This will bring down the temperature.
Common Fever treatment using Fenugreek
A tea made from fenugreek seeds is equal in value to quinine in reducing fevers. This tea should be taken twice daily. It is particularly valuable as a cleansing and soothing drink. Fenugreek seeds, when moistened with water, become slightly mucilaginous, and hence, the tea made from them has the power to dissolve a sticky substance like mucus.
Common Fever treatment using Saffron
A tea made from saffron is another effective home remedy for fever. This tea is prepared by putting half a teaspoon of saffron in 30 ml of boiling water. The patient should be given a teaspoon of this tea every hour till the temperature returns to normal.
Common Fever treatment using Raisins
The use of an extract from raisins is beneficial in the treatment of common fever. This extract is prepared by soaking twenty-five raisins in half a cup of water and then crushing them in the same water. They are then strained and the skin is discarded. The raisin water thus prepared becomes a tonic. Half a teaspoon of lime juice added to the extract will enhance its taste and usefulness. It will act as a medicine in fevers, and should be taken twice daily.
Common Fever treatment using Apricot
A cup of fresh juice of apricots mixed with one teaspoon of glucose or honey is a very cooling drink during fevers. It quenches the thirst and eliminates the waste products from the body. It tones up the eyes, stomach, liver, heart, and nerves by supplying vitamins and minerals.
Common Fever treatment using Grapefruit
The juice of grapefruit is a valuable diet in all fevers. It quenches thirst and removes the burning sensation produced by the fever. Half a glass of grapefruit juice should be taken with an equal quantity of water.
Common Fever treatment using Orange
Orange is an excellent food in all types of fever when the digestive power of the body is seriously hampered. The patient suffers from blood poisoning called toxemia, and the lack of saliva results in the coating of his tongue, often destroying his thirst for water as well as his desire for food. The agreeable flavour of orange juice helps greatly in overcoming these drawbacks. Orange juice is the ideal liquid food in fevers. It provides energy, increases urinary output, and promotes body resistance against infections, thereby hastening recovery.
Common Fever treatment using Bloodwort
Bloodwort is one of the best known herbal remedies for fevers. A hot infusion of the herb prepared by steeping 15 gm of the herb in 250 ml of water should be taken twice daily. It will induce perspiration, which will, in turn, cool the fever and expel toxins.
Common Fever treatment using Hog Weed
Another herb found beneficial in the treatment of fever is hog weed. It should be taken twice daily in the form of an infusion prepared by steeping 15 gm of the herb in 250 ml of water. It brings down temperature by inducing copious perspiration.
Dietaries for Common Fever
Orange juice and water
The patient should be put on a fast of orange juice and water at the beginning of the treatment. The procedure is to drink the juice of an orange in a glass of warm water every two hours from 8 a.m to 8 p.m.
All-fruit diet then followed by well-balanced diet
After the temperature has come down to normal and the tongue has cleared, the patient may adopt an all-fruit diet for a few more days. In this regimen, he should take three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits. Thereafter, he may gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet according to his age, with emphasis on fresh fruits, and raw or lightly cooked vegetables.
Other Common Fever treatments
Warm-water enema, cold compresses
While the patient is on an orange juice fast, a warm-water enema should be given daily to cleanse the bowels. Cold compresses may be applied to the head in case the temperature rises above39.4 degree C or l03 degree F.
Cold pack applied to whole body
If this method does not succeed, a cold pack may be applied to the whole body. The procedure is to wring out a sheet or any other large, square piece of linen material in cold water. It should be wrapped twice right round the body from face downwards. The body should then be covered completely with a thin blanket or similar warm material. This pack should be applied every three hours during the day while the temperature is high, and kept on for an hour or so each time.
Hot water bottles on feet and sides of the body
Hot water bottles may he kept on the feet and against the sides of the body.