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Steam inhalation therapy: An effective remedy to manage seasonal flu

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Medical experts stress on importance of steam inhalation as an effective remedy to manage common cold and flu

By Puja Gupta

November 25, 2020 (IANSlife) With the monsoon winding down and winter moving in, colder weather will arrive soon, making us more prone to catching the flu or common cold. Given the sudden change in weather from damp to cold air, it is a good practice to manage one’s respiratory health effectively. Re-emphasizing the importance of health measures, you can take during this time, the Ministry of AYUSH recommends a list of self-care guidelines to boost immunity, with special reference to respiratory health. 

These include practicing steam inhalation with fresh Pudina (Mint) leaves or Ajwain (Caraway seeds) to provide the body with much-needed warmth and help in soothing the system. It also highlights how consuming antioxidant-rich Haldi milk, and practicing Yoga can help balance overall health. 

During winters, many people suffer from breathing difficulty, body ache, cough, blocked nose, headache and muscular stiffness. With doctor visits moving online given the limited access, opting for expert-approved measures will help as the first line of treatment to provide faster relief from cough and blocked nose. 

Speaking on the subject, Dr. Kunal Manek, Ayurveda Consultant, and Panchakarma Physician, said, “Winter season is approaching, and for the next few months, with the temperature drop, the cold dry winds air can make us more susceptible to cold and flu. Strengthening our body’s natural defense against constant change in temperatures is the best way to manage our health. Steam inhalation, as a practice not only provides warmth but also clears the nasal passage and helps you manage cold and cough symptoms common during cold climate conditions. Regular steam inhalation with ayurvedic ingredients like Pudina (Mint) leaves and Ajwain (Caraway seeds), will aid in soothing dry cough and blocked nose. You can also use a medicated rub, which contains Pudina, Ajwain, Kapoor & Nilgiri to help relieve cough and cold symptoms.” 

Viral infections, cold, cough and flu are always at a peak with the fall in temperatures; these measures can ease symptoms like blocked nose, cold and cough. For effective steam inhalation, add one/two teaspoons of a medicated rub in a bowl of hot water (not boiling), place a towel over your head, and inhale the vapours. These rubs are readily available at chemist shops and grocery stores. For pain related symptoms apply directly on the affected area. Always read the label. Use only as directed. Don’t add the medicated Rub into boiling water. Don’t heat or reheat the Rub together with water. If symptoms persist, see your doctor. 

 

 

 

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Puja Gupta can be contacted at puja.g@ians.in