Do you keep getting a cold or the flu? Are tired of having a runny nose or low energy? The winter and spring seasons are a time where people often get colds and flu. We can all experience the common symptoms: cough, runny nose, headache, congestion, achy body, or a fever.
In Ayurveda, colds are a Kapha-Vata disorder. Our body’s natural defense kicks in and produces excess mucus in the Spring to balance the dryness which was accumulated in the Winter. If we do not follow the right diet and lifestyle during Spring, excess mucus can result in runny nose, clogged nostrils, colds, and coughs to full blown flu. It can influence the agni (gastric fire), leaving the immune system vulnerable with poor appetite and digestion. When the digestion is poor we build up Ama (toxins) that get stored in the fat cells. This further the cycle of illness.
Included in this article are recommendations and home remedies. If you keep getting colds or your cold persists, talk to us about our gut healing protocol to help boost your immune system by reigniting the Agni and getting rid of excess Ama.
- Vitamin C: Taking vitamin C can help boost your immune system.
- No dairy products, strictly avoid dairy products such as cheese, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and all cold drinks.
- Try and sleep as much as possible and stick to a daily schedule. Rest is a time to heal the body. Try to de-stress by reading a book before sleep or drinking warm water. Stay off technology an hour before sleep as it aids in restlessness and insomnia.
- Natural nose drops can help. Put liquified ghee in a dropper. Drip this into each nostril in the morning and evening. Ghee helps lubricate the nasal passages and relieves irritation.
- Only mild exercise is recommended if you have a cold. Vigorous exercise can make the cold move into the chest. Gentle yoga is best. Inversions can be beneficial postnasal drip.
- A breathing exercise is Breath of Fire. Inhale normally and passively, but exhale forcefully, and repeat rapidly several times. This will help get rid of excess mucus and burn out the cold.
Take the herb amalaki. Amalaki is a rasayana (rejuvenative tonic) and a good source of vitamin C and iron. It is also a cooling herb.
Taking 1 teaspoon of amalaki daily, with warm water at night, will help to prevent the common cold. Do not take this with triphala as one of the three herbs in triphala is amalaki.
The best cold remedy is ginger. Here are some ginger home remedies:
Combine 1 part ginger, 1 part cinnamon, 2 parts lemongrass to make about 1 teaspoon of formula. Steep in hot water for 10 minutes and strain out herbs. Add honey for sweetness if you prefer. This tea will help relieve cold, congestion, and flu symptoms if taken several times a day.
Another tonic is a ginger, cardamon, and cinnamon tea. Combine 2 parts ginger, 3 parts cinnamon, and a pinch of cardamon to make around a teaspoon. Steep in hot water for 10-15 minutes.
Boil fresh ginger or eucalyptus leaves in a pint of water. (Can also add eucalyptus essential oil after boiling.) Once off the stove, place a towel over your head and inhale the steam. This helps relieve sinus pressure and congestion. Steam alone can also aid in cleaning our your sinus cavity.
To Boost the Cold Right Out of You
(Depending on your weight)
100-120 pounds: 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1 tbs raw honey. Male a nice paste and take this followed by a cup of warm water 3x a day for a week.
120 and above: 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tbs raw honey. Make a nice paste and take this followed by a cup of warm water 3x a day for a week.
Due to turmeric being extremely drying and heating make sure to hydrate well during this time. In Ayurveda, the rule for drinking is drink when you are thirsty, preferably warm water which helps detoxify the channels and keeps Vata balanced.
It is important to take steps towards getting better so the cold doesn’t persist into a worse illness. Here at Santa Cruz Ayurveda are here to help you heal and live a more full life. For more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help optimize your health!