Simple ailments like colds and flu, coughs, headaches, sore throat can easily be treated at home at minimum cost and maximum safety. Drugs are not always necessary, listen to your body as this unique machine of ours has its own natural defences and recovering systems to fight off diseases. So why take unnecessary risks, and, waste unnecessary money?

Colds and flu are viral infections of the nose, throat and air passages, resulting in inflammation of the mucus membrane lining of these areas. There are many strains of viruses, more than two hundred, that can cause colds, whereas flu is caused by different kinds, including the influenza viruses.

They are easily spread by coughing and sneezing when the virus in the mucus is expelled in the air,  or even by hand contact, for instance, when you touch your nose, then without washing your hands, you pass the virus on by touching another person. Cold and flu cause blocked or runny noses, sneezing, coughs, sore throats and sometimes fever or pain in the joints. There may be mild diarrhoea, especially in young children. There are no drugs to kill viruses. It all depends on your natural defences, mainly the strength of your white blood cells.

What to do when you have cold and flu:

  • Drink plenty of water and get enough rest.
  • Over doses of vitamin C helps in early stage, meaning you take 1000 mg or 1500 mg of vitamin C, not more than 2 times a day. The flu might just go off.
  • Fruits and fruit Juices are very helpful, especially guava, papaya, lemonade and orange.
  • In severe cases, paracetamol may help lower fever and relieve body aches and headaches.
  • If there is sore throat, put one teaspoonful of coarse salt in a glass of warm water and gargle. Do this four or five times a day.
  • In case there is frequent nose block, take deep breaths of hot water vapour for 15 minutes several times a day. All you have to do is sit on a chair with a bucket of very hot water at your feet. Cover your head over the bucket with a sheet and breathe in the rising vapour.
  • Take chicken soup. Indians usually prepare rasam, a kind of soup which is just as good.
  • Crush some ginger and extract one teaspoon of the juice. Sweeten with honey and take three times a day for four days.

Adapted from BPG English Module (Advanced)