As the temperatures drop, more and more people have been falling prey to common ailments such as chest congestion, cough and cold.
We have all been hearing of colleagues, friends and family calling in sick to work, mostly due to these ailments, which might seem small but have a huge and detrimental effect on one’s work and personal life due to loss of productive work hours.
“While there are numerous remedies and solutions available to treat chest congestion, this alarming statistic forces us to think about why it affects such a large number of our population. We are exposed to a number of viruses all day long, but some people seem more susceptible to catching colds or the flu than others,” says Dr. Sanjeev Mehta, Chest Physician, Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai.
One can easily prevent this condition from recurring and having a detrimental effect on our day to day lives and overall productivity by keeping the following easy tips in mind.
Step #1 to fight cold & cough
Deciding on a ‘Suppressant’ or an ‘Expectorant’
The first and foremost step towards finding a solution is to identify the kind of cough you have and treat it with the right kind of cough syrup. There are two kinds of cough: ‘dry’ or non-productive cough and ‘wet’ or productive cough. While a ‘wet’ or productive cough is a condition where one produces phlegm while coughing, a ‘dry’ cough sees no such production.
Different types of cough syrups are required to treat the different symptoms of these ailments. One suffering from a dry cough requires a suppressant that will curb the urge to cough, while an expectorant that helps in thinning, loosening and expelling the mucus accumulated in the lungs helps relieve a wet cough.
Step #2 to fight cold & cough
Eat spicy and warm foods
Foods such as chili, ginger, jalapeno, garlic and black pepper that are spicy may help if you are suffering from a bad case of chest congestion. These food items help in thinning the mucus and making it easier to breathe. Consuming food at a high temperature also helps as the heat kills the harmful bacteria that can aggravate the condition.
Step #3 to fight cold & cough
This is one of the easiest and best home remedies to supplement your medication and beat chest congestion. It is advised to heat water in a bowl and add any vaporizer or eucalyptus oil. Vaporized steam also helps in thinning and loosening of the solidifying mucus and makes it easier to breath, giving immediate relief.
Step #4 to fight cold & cough
Fruits, vegetables and juices
Consuming food products rich in vitamins and minerals such as vegetables and fruits help boost immunity levels. Juices as well as warm liquids are also advised during sickness as they are high in essential vitamins and help in flushing out toxins from the body.
Step #5 to fight cold & cough
Milk and turmeric
While turmeric is well known for its medicinal properties, milk is equivalent to a complete meal owing to the high nutrients it contains. Taking a warm glass of milk with a spoon full of turmeric powder two to three times a day helps in fighting the bacterial growth caused by cough and chest congestion as well as in loosening phlegm.
Step #6 to fight cold & cough
Maintaining a moderate and consistent exercise regime goes a long way in helping one stay physically fit and increasing immunity levels, and gives a temporary boost in the production of the cells that attack bacteria, helping one avoid illnesses and maintaining overall good health.