Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pratishyaya - Common Cold in Ayurveda

In the modern day world, we don’t have time for anything that can slow our race to achieve our set goals. A widespread ailment that affects us all, adult and child, is common cold. Generally, it happens to each individual, depending on their level of immunity, at least once or twice a year.Basically, common cold is a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system of an individual. These viruses can be contagious and can come from any form of pollutants that our prevalent in our modern world. Depending on which part of the respiratory system the virus attacks, cold can be divided into three different categories:
  • Common cold which primarily attacks the nasal passage
  • Pharyngitis which attacks the throat and 
  •  Sinusitis which attacks the sinuses
All of the above mentioned forms have some common symptoms which are a response of the individual’s immune system to the infection. These symptoms include cough, sore throat, runny nose or congestion in the nasal passage, fever in some cases, general body ache, head ache and/or fatigue.
In Ayurvedic theory, cold is an ailment which is caused by the vitiation of Kapha which is the dosha representing water. This vitiation of Kapha can be caused due to the exposure to cold/humid conditions.
Another reason of cold, which is quite prevalent in our lifestyle today, is related to an individual’s digestion. Today, the types of foods that we eat can cause our digestive system to become weak or irregular. This weakness/irregularity of the digestive system leads to the food being left indigested in the intestines leading to the accumulation of toxins, also known as Ama in Ayurveda. This Ama, when it reaches the respiratory system can be the cause of the three forms of cold mentioned above.
As cold is a contagious disease, which can be either airborne or contracted through direct contact with an infected person, a common precaution is for this ailment is regular washing of hands, especially, before eating. Other precautions include covering of the nose when going out in a polluted or cold environment and taking vitamin C and zinc supplementation in the diet.
Ayurveda also offers various remedies and treatments which can be helpful in the curing of common cold and sinusitis. It is important from Ayurveda’s perspective that one should take appropriate corrective measures in diet at the time of changing season. Drinking hot water is one of the corrective measures which produce a great deal of correction. It helps to digest the Ama (toxin) and clears the congestion in the channels. It also helps to liquefy the Kapha dosha and releases the respiratory channels. Ayurveda recommends that one should avoid food products which are heavy to digest and also are of cold in nature. Curd, rice, ice creams, banana etc. are the few such food products to be mentioned. Inhalation of steam is highly recommended at the time of exposure to contagious media. It helps to stop the progression of the disease. One spoon of honey with few drops of ginger juice at night is a home remedy which helps to reduce congestion and promotes per nasal discharge. Black pepper also helps in building immunity of the respiratory tract.
Recurrence of common cold and repetitive consumption of unwholesome food items can result in chronic sinusitis or rhinitis. It may result in partial or complete loss of olfaction, if not treated. Ayurveda Panchakarma treatments can help in eradicating these problems from the root, and also helps in building immunity against such contagious diseases. Seek the help of your Ayurvedic Physician to know more about the Panchakarma treatments and healthy life style. Nature is the best medicine and a healthy life style is the key to live a fulfilled life.


Anonymous said...

keep going

Dr.G.S.Dehal said...

thats cool

Dr.G.S.Dehal said...

Here i want to add one thing that one should not take home made decoction/kada with self medication.This are usually very hot in nature resulting in drying up of kapha in respiratory tract causing further delaying and end up in chronic respiratory allergy.....


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