During autumn, cold and humid weather triggers a series of “chest diseases”, often followed by more or less serious consequences depending on our immune system. Cough and a sore throat represent the most common symptoms of respiratory diseases.
Cough is a natural reaction of our organism through which it eliminates foreign bodies blocking the airways ( fragments of food, irritating gases or mucus).
The flu, an acute and contagious disease, is also very frequent during cold weather. Even if it may seem trivial, generally lasting for six or seven days, the flu should be treated with great care in order to avoid aggravating complications.
There are three main types of cough:
Dry cough is the result of the irritation of the airways. It can become very hard to bear and tiring, being repeated at short intervals of time, both during the day and night.
Wet cough consists of the removal of mucosal secretions from the airways (sputum, mucus, nasal secretions, blood) that accompany any foreign bodies existent in the lungs and which carry them out through the well- coordinated rhythmic movement of cilia.
Whooping cough, also called pertussis, is a contagious infectious disease, which, after an incubation of 7 – 14 days, triggers acute airways inflammation, spastic cough (especially during night time), sometimes followed by vomiting. In the bronchi, there gathers large amounts of fluid and then viscous secretions which must be removed in order to avoid suffocation and vomiting. During crises, the patient becomes cyanotic (his/her face becomes suddenly red), the eyes are watery and he/she chokes with his/her own secretions which are piled up in the chest.
Recommended treatments for cough
The most commonly used natural treatment is represented by onion juice, made up of about 100 g of boiled onions, from which you drink 2 or 3 tablespoons daily.
Another recipe is represented by a decoction made of two peeled, finely chopped onions, three crushed nuts, boiled together in a liter of water for 10 – 15 minutes, sweeten with honey and which must be drunk (the entire amount) in small sips, during the entire day. It has emollient expectorant and immune stimulant effects.
A special treatment for relieving the cough consists of an infusion of linden flowers, a valuable natural remedy, which has lots of neurosedative, antispasmodics and perspiration properties . The tea is made from a teaspoon of dried flowers and 200 ml of boiling water. You have to drink 2-3 cups per day, sweetened with honey or sugar.
Other plants which can be used in the form of tea, for treating cough are: elder flowers, coltsfoot, acacia, peony (petals), poppy red (petals), rose (petals), lavender, marshmallow, primrose, candles, peach, blackthorn, peppermint leaves, plantain, sage, savory, thyme, basil, marjoram.
Other efficient products for treating cough are the syrups.
For external use, you can take into account the following:
- Warm compresses on the neck and chest, utilizing a decoction of chamomile;
- Compresses with Swedish bitters put on the chest, after applying a thin layer of marigold cream;
- Warm poultices of mustard flour;
- Hot baths for hands and feet- in the morning and in the evening, which must last 8 minutes and that have to contain marshmallow extract, poppy, mint, parsley and hatchet (in equal parts);
- Massage the chest 3 times a day with a mixture of two tablespoons of ricinus oil and one spoon of turpentine oil. Then, wrap yourself with a blanket.
Besides these homemade treatments, one must increase the quantity of fresh vegetables (cabbage, raw salads, black radish) and fruit (especially quince) consumed every day.
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