Coughs and Cold

We all succumb to a cold and/or cough a few times a year. In fact, each year, Americans suffer through one billion colds, says the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, MD. Children catch up to 10 colds a year, while adults average up to four. Can you imagine the total cost spent on clinical visits due to seasonal cold and flu? An average of $10.4 billion! And, there is nothing we can do about it. Or, is there?

sick puppy

The runny nose, fever, sore throat, etc are all familiar (and dreaded) symptoms of the common cold, an ailment where doctors and pharmaceutical companies have still not made a miracle cure discovery. In fact, the over-the-counter drugs available only battle the symptoms, and not the cause. The fact of the matter is that little can actually be done for a cold or flu virus once it sets in, except to ride them out.

The best way to fight a cold is just to prevent it from overtaking the body in the first place. There are ways to prevent the flu and colds, including washing hands frequently, taking vitamins and avoiding people who have them. But perhaps the most important and easiest form of prevention is of the common cold is sometimes also the most overlooked: sufficient fluid replacement. Fluids flush out harmful impurities and toxins in our bodies, and aid in the production of mucus. Since the body uses even more fluid than usual when fighting off a cold or the flu, the body can be left severely dehydrated without it. Dehydration , among many things, can result in high fever. This is why extra water should be ingested when suffering these symptoms. In fact, the lack of water can make the cold and/or cough worse.

Water is obviously the fluid of choice, but juice, tea and soup broth are also acceptable. Water in other forms can be of help too. Hot beverages can be soothing to sore throat and can even help with decongestion. Also recommended is gargling salt water, and inhaling moist airpossibly through a humidifier.

In natural medicine, colds are looked at as the body's way of detoxifying . During the autumn and winter, our bodies actually attempt to harmonize with the season. The body then condenses waste and cleanses excess mucus and congestions from tissue, which will improve circulation and get the blood pumping to keep us warm. However, this process gives flu like symptoms. Drinking more water will help the body detoxify. Exercise and sweating can also help keep the body clear of toxins.

In the way of coughs, drinking the proper amount of water will keep the mucus lining in the lung area thin and lubricated, making it easier to have a productive cough. Water will also help loosen phlegm, and just plain soothe an irritated throat.

Not only can water help prevent a cold, but it can also help sufferers feel better. However, people should only drink clean purified water when they are sick because water that is contaminated can actually add more toxins and stress to our bodies. By drinking plenty of clean water, we can build up our immune systems which will allow us to stay healthy and enjoy the wonders of the winter season. Below are some natural tips to prevent colds from occurring in the first place.

Urine color chart

Natural tips to prevent a cold

  1. Aerobic exercise – Regular exercise helps increase the body’s natural virus-killing cells.
  2. Yogurt – Some studies show that eating yogurt can reduce your susceptibility to colds by 25%. The bacteria in yogurt may stimulate production of immune system substances that fight disease.
  3. Phytochemicals – “Phyto” means plants. The natural chemicals in plants and vegetables give food a supercharged boost.
  4. Don’t drink or smoke – Smoking dries out your nasal passages and damages cilia. These are hairs that line the mucous membranes in your nose and lungs and work to sweep out colds and viruses out of the nasal passages. Alcohol suppresses the immune system and dehydrates the body.
  5. Relax – There’s evidence that when you put your relaxation skills into action, your interleukins, leaders in the immune system respond against cold and flu viruses.

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