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An average person inhales and exhales 6-7 litres (by volume) of oxygen every minute. By that estimate, on an average a human being draws in 11000 litres of oxygen every day. One can survive without food for up to a week but without air, the chances of survival drops rapidly. The air we breathe in sustains life, but it is also one of the most common carrier of diseases and germs. Airborne virus, bacteria, dust & smoke enters the body with air and lodge in the respiratory system including the lungs. As a natural response to that the body builds up phlegm and expels the foreign materials through cough. The production of phlegm, swelling and irritation are all mechanisms of the body which are aimed at keeping your body free of foreign particles and germs which enter the body through the respiratory channel.
Cough is an ailment in itself, but it can also be symptoms of other diseases, including some life-threatening ones such as cancer or TB. In general, the reasons behind cough are simple such as exposure to cold weather, dust or smoke allergies, seasonal allergies, imbalances caused by disturbed body humours which are triggered by temperature changes, wrong diet, impaired digestion, eating too much fried or sweet foods, smoking or chewing tobacco, drinking alcohol.
In general, Ayurveda recognizes two different forms of coughs – dry and phlegm induced cough. Coughs that persist longer than 3 weeks are considered old coughs and requires immediate and proper attention from an ayurvedic doctor.
Avoid being exposed to cold air. Try not to use the AC.
Avoid sleeping during the day, do not stay awake till late at night.
Don’t overeat or eat when you don’t feel hungry.
Try not to eat after sundown.
Do not supress natural urges.
Adopt a lifestyle that is in conformation with nature.
Avoid known allergy triggers
Add ½ teaspoon of turmeric in a glass of water and gargle. This will give relief in dry coughs.
Drink a glass of lukewarm water after adding ½ teaspoon ginger powder. This will add warmth and give relief in throat irritation.
Mix 10 ml ginger juice with 10 ml tulsi juice and 1 teaspoon of honey. Consume this mixture twice every day for relief in cough and congestion.
Chew on a clove for 10-15 minutes for relief in throat congestion and irritation.
Add a little rock salt to a freshly peeled ginger bud (1 inch long) and chew it. Add more salt if the hotness is too much for you to bear.
Soak 10-12 raisins overnight. Next morning, add a pinch of black pepper powder and eat them. This will help in warming the body.
Rubbing the chest with slightly heated sesame oil is helpful. Add a little menthol to steaming water and inhale the steam. This will lighten the chest and help in expelling phlegm.
Toast 2 teaspoons of cumin in a pan. Wrap the cumin in a cotton handkerchief and inhale the aroma of the cumin. Reheat the cumin and do this a couple of times. Chewing the cumin can also help.
Take 2 teaspoons of ginger juice with 1 teaspoon of honey. Consume this twice or thrice a day helps in expelling phlegm.
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