This is the first in a multi-part series on how water can help us overcome some of the most common ailments.
This is the time of year when we all succumb to coughs, colds and other ailments. As the weather changes outside, our bodies adjust, and sometimes not too well.
Each year, Americans suffer through one billion colds, says the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda. Children catch up to 10 colds a year, while adults average up to four. The yearly economic burden through lost workdays? Around $5 billion! And, there is nothing we can do about it. Or, is there?
Runny nose, fever, sore through, etc. are all familiar (and dreaded) symptoms of the common cold. And despite their efforts, the medical field has not found a miracle cure. In fact, the over-the-counter drugs available only battle the symptoms, and not the cause. The only thing we can really do to get over a cold is to ride it out.
However, the best way to fight a cold is just to prevent it from overtaking the body in the first place. Ways to prevent colds include:
- Wash hands frequently
- Take vitamins
- Avoid people who have them.
But perhaps the most important and easiest form of prevention is of the common cold is sometimes also the most overlooked: sufficient fluid replacement. Fluids flush out harmful impurities and toxins in our bodies, and aid in the production of mucus. Since the body uses even more fluid than usual when fighting off a cold or the flu, the body can be left severely dehydrated without it.
Dehydration, among many things, can result in high fever. This is why extra water should be ingested when suffering these symptoms. In fact, the lack of water can make the cold and/or cough worse.
Water is obvious the fluids of choice, but juice, tea and soup broth are also acceptable. Water in other forms can be of help too. Hot beverages can be soothing to sore throat and can even help with decongestion. Also recommended is gargling salt water, and inhaling moist air, possibly through a humidifier.
In natural medicine, colds are looked at as the body’s way of detoxifying. During the autumn and winter, our bodies actually attempt to harmonize with the season. The body then condenses waste and cleanses excess mucus and congestions from tissue, which will improve circulation and get the blood pumping to keep us warm. However, this process gives flu like symptoms.Drinking more water will help the body detoxify. Exercise and sweating can also help keep the body clear of toxins.
Not only can water help prevent a cold, but it can also help sufferers feel better. More water in essence can build a stronger immune system, so drink up and stay healthy, and actually enjoy the cold season.