It is a catarrhal and inflammatory condition of upper respiratory tract due to viral, allergic or mixed infection.
Symptoms of Common Cough and Cold
Due to vitiation of Kapha, the upper respiratory tract gets inflamed and congested. Kapha dosha having qualities of cold, heavy and damp accumulates in the gut and the respiratory system when one eats fatty creamy cheesy food and cold foods, lack of exercise or other indulgences. Aggravated Vata dosha which is being light, cold and dry may also cause this problem. Vata can be agitated by alcohol, caffeine, exertion, poor sleep, excessive travel, deep stress, advanced ageing and poor nutrition.
Sneezing, coughing, runny nose, heaviness of the head followed by inflammation of the mucus membranes of the eyes and nose, body aches, chills and loss of appetite.
Usually, a bout of cold is not accompanied by fever. However, if that is the case then it may be a sign of the flu or a bacterial infection.
For the first couple of days, the nose will have a watery discharge, but it soon becomes thicker and darker. There are also chances of a mild cough that can last well into the second week.
If you are asthmatic, getting a cold can worsen your condition and it is a good idea to check with a doctor to better manage your condition.
Since a cold can make your asthma worse, check with your doctor to see if you need to change your regular treatment plan.
If you are coughing up thick or dark-colored mucus and/or start running a fever, see a doctor immediately as it is an infection caused by bacteria.
Signs of a cold will start to manifest between 24-72 hours after being infected by the cold virus. Typically, they last for 3-7 days. While common cold symptoms will start to recede after a week, you may continue to feel stuffy for the next week or so.
One is most contagious during the first 3 days of being ill, but generally the first week is considered as an infectious period.
Causes of Common Cough and Cold
A cold starts when a virus latches on the lining of your nose or throat. Immediately, the immune system springs into action by sending out guardian white blood cells to attack the intruders. Unless this particular strain of virus has attacked you before, the attack fails and your body sends in supporting reinforcements. Your nose and throat start to swell up and produce mucus. With a large percentage of your body’s reserves directed at fighting against the cold virus, you start to feel run down and miserable.
Therefore, a common cough and cold is basically a viral infection that you can catch from another person. This can happen by coming into direct physical contact with an infected person or by touching a surface that has been contaminated by germs – like remote controls, keyboards, doorknobs and cutlery – and then touching the nose and mouth.
Another way to get infected is by breathing in infected droplets that are released when a person sneezes or coughs.
A cough may be caused by the inflammation of the larynx or the pharynx and develops in the chest due to change in weather.
Ayurveda and Common Cough and Cold
In Ayurveda, it is known as Pratishaya mainly due to vitiation of Kapha dosha. But other doshas can also be involved in it:
Vata dosha: Dry cough, little mucus discharge, hoarse voice, headache and a runny nose
Pitta dosha: Fever, sore throat, yellowish nasal discharge and continuous blockage of the nose
Kapha dosha: Thick mucus discharges with dull headaches and heaviness of the head
The real cause of this disorder according to Ayurveda is attributed to the dampening of the digestive for or agni. And what would dampen a fire? The cold weather, of course! As the temperatures start to dip outside, our immunity begins to plunge too.
Now, these dimmed fires fail to burn the body’s toxins (ama). These toxins then start to accumulate in the microchannels of the body and soon clog the bronchial tubes. The Kapha on the body combines with toxins or ama to make mucus.
The reason for higher incidence of cough and cold during winter is the increased intake of catarrh-forming foods such as white bread, meat, sugar, porridge, puddings and pies. Hay fever, flu, sinusitis, etc. are the associated causes of this disease.
Ayurvedic Treatment of Cold and Cough
|Ayurvedic Supplements (to be taken under physician’s guidance – Consult Now)||
Kantara Arya Ava Lehya