Winter is the time when a sudden change in the weather can cause allergic reactions, sore throat, cough and cold. The increase in dryness in weather also causes dry throat.
Therefore, this is the time when you need ayurvedic remedies to reduce throat soreness as well as improve respiratory immunity in winter. HerZindagi exclusively spoke to Dr Arati Soman, who is an Ayurvedic expert at Nisarga Herbs that offers natural health solutions.
“If the severity of throat soreness is high, it is always recommended to visit a doctor but, in most cases, it can be taken care of at home. If you have a sore throat, stay away from people who are sick or have the flu, wash your hands regularly and avoid oily, spicy and acidic foods which may increase the severity of sore throat,” suggested Dr Arati Soman.
A sore throat is a combination of pain, itchiness and irritation in the throat. Drinking lots of water is the first and foremost thing to do.
“People drink a lot of water in one go and that doesn’t really help as it just loads the stomach and doesn’t really cause efficient hydration in the body. Keep drinking small swigs of water throughout the day. Your daily target should be 3-3.5 litres of water throughout the day,” she added and recommended following home remedies to deal with the situation.
Honey is the best solution when it comes to a sore throat. It coats the inside of the throat and soothes the esophagus reducing soreness. It was found in a study that honey reduces night time cough and itchiness much better than many mainstream cough suppressants.
Peppermint or pudina has a compound called menthol which thins mucus and has an effective anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral activity which reduces sore throat, pain as well as promotes healing of esophageal passage.
Peppermint tea would definitely help. Menthol is very cooling and it is not recommended to consume it directly. A combination of peppermint boiled in water along with few drops of lemon for rich vitamin complex and antioxidants with some honey to make a tea works best.
Garlic is a natural antibacterial and it has a compound called allicin which is organosulphur compound known to fight infections. There are a couple of ways you can consume this. In infants, making a garlic necklace has shown to reduce sore throat as well as cough. Since infants cannot consume garlic directly, this is the best way.
The other way is to roast the garlic on an open flame with the covering on and then peel the garlic and consume. This acts very fast and you will see results very fast but don’t forget to brush your teeth afterwards to avoid bad breath.
Salt And Baking Soda Gargle
A combination of half teaspoon salt (the right way to use salt) along with a quarter teaspoon baking soda in warm water will do wonders for your throat. Salt and baking soda together reduce secretions in the throat and act as an antibacterial reducing spread of infection. It also acts as an antimicrobial and antifungal reducing spread of yeast and fungus reducing throat severity as well as an infection.
Addition of vinegar (1 teaspoon) to this mix will give even better results as vinegar is acidic and will help reduce mucus as well as stop bacterial spread. Gargle with this mixture at least 3-4 times a day for good results.
An Ayurvedic Paste
A combination of turmeric powder (haldi water benefits), cinnamon, roasted cloves, black pepper, cardamom is mixed with honey to form a spicy thick paste. Consume this paste half a teaspoon 2-3 times a day to reduce cough, cold and sore throat severity.
All the ingredients in this mix have a combination of antiviral, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties which will definitely help during winter. This combination can be consumed throughout the winter to keep the body warm and reduce allergic as well as winter flu symptoms.
These home remedies will definitely help in keeping your respiratory system healthy throughout the winter season. “Just ensure to reduce intake of very cold foods or beverages, drink warm or lukewarm water, cover yourselves well when going out in the cold and reduce sour dairy and yeast rich food consumption in the evenings during winter,” concluded Dr Arati Soman, who is an Ayurvedic expert.
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