Coughs and Colds: The fast pharmacy. (ginger, garlic and lemongrass)

By Ruvimbo Jeche

Coughs and colds are very common. Every year, adults get an average of two to four colds, and two to five coughs per year. They are infections that are caused by viruses that can be spread by coughing, sneezing or transferred by touch and are rarely serious. Coughs and colds usually get better by themselves. However, very rare complications of colds can include chest infections, pneumonia or ear infections. Coughs are usually harmless although they can affect your quality of life as they can be irritating and upsetting to yourself and others.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for the common cold and cough but a local pharmacy may be established right on your doorway. Having a small backyard garden with a bit of spices and herbs ranging from garlic, lemon grass and ginger can be lifesaving. Ginger is an understory plant that thrives in hot and humid jungle-like conditions with dappled sunlight. Growing ginger takes only 8-10 months to grow and requires only rich, loamy well-draining soils. Ginger would require sunny, well drained spot that is weed free and receives regular watering. Lemon grass which is hardy to about 7°C can be planted outside during summer in the same sort of site, as you would grow tomatoes. Lemongrass prefers a rich but free draining soil in full sun to produce the largest clumps. Interestingly, these three can be grown in the ground or in small pots.

Using these three, cough mixtures can be made for dry coughs and chesty coughs however these mixtures work differently for different bodies. Ginger helps in drying running and dripping nose thus help expelling phlegm from the respiratory tract. Anti-inflammatory gingerols in ginger root help in relieving sore throat and also kill rhinoviruses which cause colds. Garlic contains compounds which may have antimicrobial properties. Adding garlic may reduce the severity of cold symptoms. Lemon grass is well known as a snake repellent but it has as well amazing health benefits especially in treating colds and coughs. It also contains Vitamin C essential for the immune system. By boiling fresh lemon grass, helps in breaking down mucus and phlegm build up caused by congestion. These three can be added to hot water or tea as medicants for colds and cough

Drinking plenty of fluids, preferably water to prevent dehydration is however of most importance. These three can then be added to fresh water in remedying colds and cough.

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