Home remedies to fight common cold

Lemon and ginger: Doctors have repeatedly warned that lemon juice is not a cure for coronavirus.

Photo credit: File | Shutterstock

What you need to know:

  • Taking Vitamin C does not prevent the cold, but may help shorten the duration of the symptoms. Lemons provide Vitamin C, which is why they are used in home remedies.
  • However, boiling may significantly reduce the amount of Vitamin C available from the lemons. Ginger may also be beneficial by reducing inflammation and helping fight infections.

Dear Healthy Nation,

Are home remedy concoctions advisable when one catches a common cold?

Dear reader,

There are home remedies that can help reduce symptoms of the common cold or help you manage the illness a bit better. These include:

  • Frequent hydration with water, fruit juice, hot tea or soup. Honey can be added to herbal tea and may help in soothing a cough.
  • Inhaling steam from a humidifier, hot shower or hot water in a container
  • Gargling with warm salty water
  • Using a menthol ointment – menthol, eucalyptus and camphor can help relieve stuffiness
  • Rinsing a stuffy nose with saline drops or sterile, salty water
  • Elevate the head while sleeping, for instance, by adding an extra pillow
  • Rest

Taking Vitamin C does not prevent the cold, but may help shorten the duration of the symptoms. Lemons provide Vitamin C, which is why they are used in home remedies.

However, boiling may significantly reduce the amount of Vitamin C available from the lemons. Ginger may also be beneficial by reducing inflammation and helping fight infections.

It can be chewed raw, or from ginger lozenges or by taking ginger tea or adding ginger to fresh juice.

Dear doctor,

I am not comfortable with my face because of the pimples that are becoming seasonal (going and coming). I don't travel. I keep on scratching my face with hope that they may disappear. Is there any medicine for these pimples and the resulting black spots?
Sally

Dear Sally,

Recurrent pimples, especially on the face, that result in black spots, could have many causes, but the most common is acne. The pimples develop due to a combination of factors, which include hormonal changes, infection and the amount of natural oily substance (sebum) produced by your skin. Some people are more likely to get acne than others, and for some people, it seems to come at particular seasons such as during puberty, pregnancy, at certain times of the month and when stressed. The biggest problem with acne is aesthetic - how you look.

The resulting black marks or scars are not pleasing to look at. Clean your face twice a day; in the morning, and in the evening before bed. Use soap and a gentle towel. Do not scrub your face too much while cleaning it since it is already sensitive.

Take lots of water, fruits and vegetables and also exercise. Avoid pressing the pimples as this leads to the black marks. Visit a dermatologist for advice on medications you can use to control the pimples.

For many people it takes a while before you get medication that works for you specifically, so be patient.

Dear Dr. Flo,

What is Cerebral Palsy? Does it afflict the brain?

A.W.

Dear A.W.,

Cerebral palsy refers to disorders where abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain affects the ability to control muscles. In cerebral palsy, there is difficulty with movement, maintaining posture and balance, and the symptoms range from mild, causing only a slight challenge with movement, to very severe where the person is not able to walk and needs lifelong supportive care.

The muscles may be stiff or lax; there may be abnormal uncontrollable movements; there may be unusual posture; there may be poor coordination and balance; there may be difficulties with swallowing and there may also be reduced joint movement due to muscle stiffness.

The disease may affect one part of the body, one side of the body or the entire body. Cerebral palsy may also be associated with other disorders such as seizures, problems with hearing, vision or speech, problems with the spine or joints and intellectual disability.

About 85 to 90 per cent of cerebral palsy is congenital, meaning it develops before or during birth, while in a small percentage of the cases, the cerebral palsy develops after the first month of life due to abnormal development or due to damage to the developing brain in the early years of life. In many cases, there is no specific cause of cerebral palsy.

In a few instances, a specific cause is identified such as brain infections (meningitis and encephalitis); head injury; poor oxygen supply to the brain during labour and delivery; intracranial bleeding; severe jaundice; infections acquired during pregnancy such as herpes simplex, german measles; or genetic mutations.

Cerebral palsy is usually diagnosed in infancy. The caregiver may notice that the child is very stiff or floppy, and delay and/or abnormality in motor development. The child may also have other developmental challenges such as delayed speech. A diagnosis is made through tracking of a child’s development, and screening and evaluating for developmental and medical challenges.

While cerebral palsy cannot be cured, a multi-disciplinary team can assist the individual reach their highest potential depending on the individual’s specific challenges. The team may consist of a paediatrician, physical, therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, nurse, teacher, caregiver and the individual. There may also need for braces, surgery or medication. The earlier the individual is enrolled in treatment, the better.




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