Common cold, as the name suggests, is the most common reason for making people sick.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is the most frequent reason why children miss school, and adults miss work.  While adults, on an average, might have two to three infections every year, it is even more prevalent among the children.

cold

Common cold generally referred to as cold, is a disease caused by viruses in the upper respiratory tract .  It all starts with the nose.  The nose contains curled shelf-like structure (on the side wall on the inside of the nose) called turbinates, which help trap particles entering into the nasal passages.  Material deposited in the nose is transported to the back of the throat in 10-15 minutes.  Cold viruses are believed to be carried to the back of the throat where they are deposited in the area of the adenoid (a lymphatic tissue situated where the nasal passage blends into throat).  Cold viruses attach to adenoid and this is how you catch a cold.  A cold virus may even enter your body through your mouth too.

When you have a cold, mucus fills up your nose, causing runny nose, congestion, and mucus to drip down your throat, which can cause a sore throat and cough.

Cold is caused by about 200 different viruses, among which viruses such as rhinovirus and coronavirus are the most common virus found around.  These viruses are contagious and can spread through droplets in the air when someone who is sick coughs, sneezes, through hand to hand shake, and also by sharing contaminated objects, such as utensils, towels, toys or telephones.  If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth after such contact or exposure, you're likely to catch a cold.

Symptoms –

People sometimes confuse cold with flu.  Though their symptoms are more or less common, flu is worse than common cold and its symptoms are more intense.  The symptoms of a cold develop slowly, while on the hand, the symptoms for flu may appear more quickly and suddenly. 
Some of the common symptoms of a cold are:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Weakened senses of taste and smell
  • Scratchy and sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Headaches
  • Body aches

Though cold generally do not result in serious health problems, it may take about 10 days for the cold symptoms to finally go away.

Prevention –

Since cold is caused by viruses, consuming antibiotics may not help in cold.  Instead, it will only develop resistance towards the antibiotics, which is not beneficial for your health and can harm you in long terms.
There is no specific antiviral treatment against the viruses which cause colds, but following these simple yet effective tips will help you (and others) prevent the common cold altogether.

Protect Yourself –
Viruses that cause colds can spread from infected people to others through the air and close personal contact.  This can happen when you shake hands with someone who has a cold, or touch something that has viruses on it, and then touch your eyes, mouth, or nose.  Avoiding cold or not, washing hands with soap and water is a healthy practice any way.  This five-step system provided by the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention will ensure you a proper hand wash.

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold is desirable).  Turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands with the soap by rubbing them together.  Be sure you do not miss the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails (that is where most germs are).
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.  More is okay, less is not.  At least 20 seconds.
  4. Rinse your hands completely under clean, running water.
  5. Wipe your hands dry using a clean towel or air dry them. Viruses that cause colds can enter your body through eyes, nose or mouth.  Avoid touching them with unwashed hands.
    Maintain a healthy distance from people who are sick.  You may end up getting cold yourself through close contacts with them if you are not careful.

Protect Others –
If you have a cold, follow these tips to avoid spreading it to others:

  • Though missing school or work is not necessary, but if you are suffering from cold, it is advisable that you stay at home until you feel well.
  • Avoid close contact with others, such as hugging, kissing, or shaking hands.
  • Move away from people before coughing or sneezing.  Good etiquettes never hurt anybody.
  • Wash your hands clean after you handle soiled tissues or touch your nose and throat discharges.
  • Put up a second hand towel in the bathroom for healthy people to use.
  • Cold viruses are highly contagious.  They may spread rapidly on to other bodies.  Cover your mouth and nose with a clean handkerchief or your upper shirt sleeve, completely covering your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.  Do not use your hands as you’ll have to wash them over and over again.
  • Several viruses live for several days on surfaces (for example telephones, door handles, computer keyboards, etc.).  Wipe down all frequently touched surfaces with disinfectant using a clean cloth.


Other Risk Factors –
These factors can increase your chances of getting a cold :

  • Age - Children younger than 6 years are at a greater risk of colds, especially if they spend time in child-care settings.  One study found out that children who had frequent colds when aged 2 or 3 years were twice as likely to experience frequent colds at year 6 compared with children who had infrequent colds at 2 or 3 years.
  • Weakened immune system - Having a chronic illness or otherwise weakened immune system increases your risk.
  • Time of year - Both children and adults are more susceptible to colds in fall and winter, although you can get a cold any time of the year.
  • Smoking - You're more likely to catch a cold and to have more severe colds if you smoke.
  • Exposure - Social exposure is another reason for a greater risk.  If you're around many people, such as at school or on an airplane, you're likely to be exposed to viruses that cause colds.

Remedies –

Though there is no cure for common cold, there are several remedies that can be followed that can help you when you’re suffering from cold and also prevent them altogether.


1)  Consume Garlic –
Garlic contains compounds called allicin that are known to fight against viruses causing cold
A research, published in Advances in Therapy in 2011, was conducted among 146 volunteers, where in they were given placebo (a substance or treatment with no active therapeutic effect; given to a person in order to deceive the recipient into thinking that it is an active treatment) and allicin-containing garlic tablet: one capsule daily, over a 12-week period i.e., between November and February. 

They used a five-point scale to assess their health and recorded any common cold infections and symptoms in a diary.  It was found that the garlic tablet group had significantly fewer colds than the placebo group.  The placebo group recorded significantly more days challenged virally (366 vs 111) and a significantly longer duration of symptoms. 

Furthermore, volunteers in the active group were less likely to get a cold and also recovered faster than the other group, if infected.  Also, volunteers taking placebo were much more likely to get more than one cold over the treatment period.

How to –

  • Mince 2-3 cloves of garlic and add it to 1 teaspoon of honey.  Consume it daily until the symptoms settle down.
  • Eating raw garlic is way more effective, but it is not for the faint hearted.  But if you can, peel 1 clove of garlic and chew it as is.



2)  Consume Ginger –
Ginger can be helpful when fighting cold .  Due to its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, it is considered to boost up your immune system and is highly beneficial.

How to –

  • Mix 1-inch piece of minced ginger to your hot tea and savor it 2-3 times a day for more effectiveness.  This will also sooth your sore throat, and might ease congestion by increasing mucus flow.
  • Mince a 1-inch piece of ginger, and mix it with 1 teaspoon of raw honey.  Consume it daily.


3)  Consume Chicken Soup –
Hot chicken soup is beneficial for your cold in many ways.  Firstly, it is hot.  The steaming hot soup clears congestion in the nose and acts as a mucus stimulant.  Secondly, it provides the body with necessary hydration to flush out viral bugs and.  Thirdly, chicken contains cysteine, a natural amino acid, that helps in flu and respiratory infections to help thin out the mucus.
No reason to say No.


4)  Gargle with Saltwater –
Saltwater for the purpose of gargling is very efficient for sore throats.  A saltwater gargle can help you relive your sore and scratchy throat.
How to –

  • Take 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in 1 glass of warm water, and use it to gargle.  Spit after gargling.  Do not consume.


5)  Consume Oranges and Orange Juice –
Vitamin C helps to boost immunity giving your immune system to fight against the viruses that cause a cold.  Food items rich in vitamin C such as orange and orange juice will help you recover the cold.  Plus, oranges are also rich in calcium, which is needed for the cells to absorb vitamin C.
Further, it also gives your body that extra fluid it need due to the dehydration caused by cold.


6)  Stay Hydrated –
When you catch a cold, your body needs more fluids because of all the runny noses, coughing, and sweating.  Staying hydrated by drinking water and other fluids is the best way to avoid dehydration which can make you feel more tired.  Plus, it also works well for you don’t like eating much when you’re sick.

The Institute of Medicine determined that the requirement of fluid (including water and everything else) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day, and accounting to about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day in women.   
Also, avoid alcohol, coffee and caffeinated sodas, which can worsen the situation.


7)  Take Rest –
Your best bet for when you’re suffering from cold is taking proper and adequate rest.  With the nose all running and throat all coughing, your body becomes tired and feel fatigued to carry out even the daily tasks.  Taking rest ensures that you sustain the energy and helps heal the body effectively.


Further, to ensure extra care, see a healthcare professional if:

  • the symptoms last 10 days or more without improvement,
  • the symptoms are severe or unusual.

During the winter days, many people complain about dry and chapped lips. Cold temperature and dry indoor air take away the moisture from the lips and make them dry and chapped.

With a little extra effort and few home remedies you can solve the problem of chapped lips. In addition, these home treatments are pocket friendly and you do not have to worry about side effects.

Here are some of the easy homemade treatments for dry and chapped lips.

  • Honey: It is one of the best things for chapped lips. Simply apply a small amount of honey on your lips, massage gently for a minute and then go to bed. Repeat daily for best results. Another benefit of this simple treatment is that it will take care of your dark lips caused by sun rays and excess smoking.
  • Green tea bags: Instead of discarding a used green tea bag, you can use it to treat your dark lips. After making a cup of green tea, keep the green tea bag aside and allow it to cool. Now take the used green tea bag and press it against your lips for a couple of minutes. Follow this treatment 3 to 4 times a week during the winter season.
  • Sugar: You can use sugar to exfoliate your lips to remove the dead skin cells. Mix together ½ teaspoon of sugar and few drops of olive oil. Now with the help of a small brush that has soft bristles, gently scrub your lips for a minute or two. Then wash it off with water and apply a good lip balm. Do this once or twice a week.
  • Clarified butter: It also helps to keep your lips moisturized and prevent chapped lips. Massage your lips with a few drops of clarified butter before going to bed. In the morning wash it off gently and pat dry to enjoy soft supple lips.
  • Cucumber: Cucumber juice is another great treatment for dry and chapped lips. Extract the juice of a small piece of cucumber, and apply it on your lips. Allow it to sit for half an hour and then rinse off with lukewarm water. Repeat this remedy once daily.
  • Lemon: The juice of lemon is another secret behind soft, smooth and well moisturizer lips. To prepare a lip mask, mix one teaspoon of milk cream along with three drops of lemon juice and mix properly. Put the mixture in the refrigerator for an hour. Later, apply it on and around the lips before going to bed. Repeat this procedure daily for best results.
  • Rose water: You can apply rose water on your lips and massage gently for a minute 2 to 3 times a day. Another option is to mix rose water with glycerin in the ration 1:2. Mix it well and then apply it on your lips before going to bed. The next morning wash it off with normal water.

To sum up, with these easy home treatment you can keep your luscious lips healthy and moisturized throughout winter.

Dark lips do not look good and this is why people often desire to have natural pink lips. People can have dark lips for several reasons like prolonged sun exposure, excessive intake of coffee or tea, allergies, and most commonly, smoking. At times, the reason behind dark lips can be genetic also.

There are many simple ways to fix this annoying problem.

Simple tips to lighten your dark lips, are:

  • If you are a smoker, you need to quit smoking as soon as possible. The nicotine and tar present in cigarettes cause discoloration of lips.
  • Too much coffee is not good for your lips as well as teeth. So, to avoid dark lips you must limit your caffeine intake. One or two cups of coffee a day will not cause any harm, but when consumed in excess it can darken your lips.
  • Too much exposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun increases melanin pigment in the lips. This can cause lip darkening. So, before going out in the sun, apply lip balm on your lips with SPF/UV protectors.
  • Chose your lip care products properly as usage of wrong or poor quality lip care products can make your lips dark. It is highly recommended to buy lip care products containing moisturizing ingredients from reputed brands only.
  • Avoid prolonged and excessive use of lipsticks as it can cause lip pigmentation which in turn will darken your lips. Try to use lipstick only when you need them the most and never forget to remove your lipstick at the end of the day.
  • It is very important to exfoliate your lips at least once every week to remove dead cells and dry skin from your lips, and improve blood circulation. Take little bit of petroleum jelly on a baby toothbrush and gently exfoliate your lips. After that rinse your lips properly and apply a lip moisturizer on your lips.
  • Use lip moisturizer. Lips are more delicate than the skin on any other part of our body. Hence, they need to be kept moist to avoid developing dryness and cracks as well as dark lips. This is why regular moisturizing is very important to keep your lips soft and pink. To moisturize your lips you can use lip balm, petroleum jelly or even vegetable oil and milk cream can be used.
  • To enjoy pink lips you need to keep your body well hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep hydrated. Along with water eat more water-content fruits like cucumber, watermelon, orange, grapefruit and lemon.
  • Irrespective of how strong the urge is, you must not suck or lick the lips. Even the habit of biting lips should be avoided as there is the risk of damaging the outer surface of your lips.
  • You can also try some easy home treatments to get rid of your dark lips. For instance, applying few drops of almond oil on your lips. before going to bed helps to lighten lips. You can also mix lemon juice with almond oil and apply it on your lips before going to bed, and leave it overnight to enjoy pink lips.

With the help of these tips you can surely enjoy pink and rosy lips. Follow these tips seriously for some time to get positive results.

Cracked heels look ugly and can compel you to wear covered shoes and sandals all the time. Cracked heels are not just the problem of cold winter months, as one can have cracked heels all throughout the year.

Along with dry and cold winter season, there can be several reasons behind cracked heels. Some of the common reasons include, the way a person walks, poor blood circulation, skin problems like eczema or psoriasis, some kind of fungal infection, nutritional deficiencies as well as improper foot care routine.

As the cause behind cracked heels can be many, it is important to find the root of the problem. Often with slight dietary as well as seasonal changes, the problem of cracked heels gets treated. There are even many natural remedies for cracked heel. You can check some sites like www.top10homeremedies.com, www.footvitals.com, www.stylecraze.com if you are interested in some natural remedies.

Also, you can always use a foot cream to maintain the beauty of your heels. Instead of buying an expensive foot cream from the market, you can easily make one at home with some easily available ingredients.

Ingredients for the foot cream:

  • One-forth cup of shea butter
  • One-forth cup of coconut oil
  • Three tablespoons beeswax
  • Ten drops of Oregano Essential Oil
  • Ten drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
  • One-forth cup of Magnesium Flakes

Each of these ingredients has either moisturizing or nourishing properties that can help to keep the heel well hydrated, moisturized and nourished.

Steps to make the foot cream

1. First of all put one-forth cup of magnesium flakes in a small container.

2. Then pour two tablespoons of boiling water in to the container.

3. Stir the content properly until it dissolves and you get a thick liquid. Set aside the thick liquid to cool.

4. Now put a medium sized mason jar inside a small pan with one inch of water. Put in the jar the coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter. Put the pan on medium heat.

5. Once the ingredients melt properly, remove the jar from the pan and allow the mixture to cool down.

6. When the mixture cools down and has slightly opaque consistency, put the content in to a medium bowl.

7. Now with the help of a hand blender, start blending the oil mixture.

8. While blending, add the dissolved magnesium mixture to the oil mixture little by little. Blend until all the ingredients are mixed properly.

9. Next you need to add the oregano essential oil and peppermint essential oils and whip the whole mixture again until all the ingredients get combined properly.

10. Put the mixture in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

11. Take out the mixture from the refrigerator and re-blend again until you get butter like consistency.

12. You can store the content in the refrigerator or at room temp for up to two months.

Your homemade foot cream is ready for use. Use the foot cream on your cracked heels before going to bed at night. Apply a thick coat and wear socks and then go to sleep. For best results, exfoliate feet with dry skin using the pumice stone once to twice a week.

If used on a regular basis, this soothing and nourishing foot cream will solve the problem of cracked heels forever.

If chapped lips are a problem that you have in the winter months, then don’t lick your lips. This may give you temporary relief but in the long run it will worsen the condition of your lips. To soothe your dry and chapped lips, you need to use a lip balm and apply it on your lips several times a day.

There are many types of lip balm available in the market. Most of the lips balms have hydrating and moisturizing ingredients that help to keep the lips soft and supple. Well, if you are not sure as which lip balm you should buy, then it is a great idea to make one at home. To make a lip balm at home you need some simple ingredients that are easily available at home.

Things you’ll need:

  • One tablespoon of yellow beeswax. Beeswax is very moisturizing, can help protect the lips from UV rays, and has a pleasant smell.
  • Two tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil. The minerals present in coconut oil make your lips soft, smooth and kissable.
  • A few drops of vitamin E oil. This oil also has moisturizing ingredients that help to fasten up the healing process.

Steps to make the lip balm

  • First of all you need to grate the yellow beeswax and keep it aside.
  • Now add a few drops of vitamin E oil to the bottom of a measuring cup.
  • Next measure out two tablespoon of coconut oil, and add it into the measuring cup.
  • Then add one tablespoon of grated beeswax in the measuring cup.
  • Mix all the ingredients properly until they blend properly.
  • Now put the mixture into the microwave for about a minute. You must heat until the beeswax melts completely and the oil turns into a nice golden color.
  • Take it out and stir and then pour it into a dry container.
  • Allow the mixture to set up. It will take several hours to harden.
  • Once the balm has a nice cream color and has a solid consistency you can close the container.
  • Keep the airtight container in the refrigerator to increase its longevity.

To help your chapped lips heal faster, first of all lightly use a toothbrush (make sure your toothbrush has a soft bristle and keep it light-handed) and brush your lips. It will help to remove the dead skin allowing your lips to heal faster. Then pat dry your lips with a soft cotton cloth and apply your homemade lip balm.

Re-apply several times a day. Your lips will heal and feel much better in very little time. You can even try some simple and easy remedies for chapped lips. For simple chapped lips remedies check www.top10homeremedies.com, www.doctoroz.com, and www.naturalnews.com

Be it summer or winter, whenever you have dry and chapped lips, the solution is right there in your kitchen. Make your own lip balm and enjoy soft and supple lips throughout the year.

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