I also opine on:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cold Wars

“It takes about 1 week to get over a cold if you don't take medicine, but only 7 days to get over a cold if you take medicine.”
 I am sure you have heard that adage. I can actually see you smirking and smiling knowingly thinking about how some idgits take medicines.
Now, give yourself one tight slap. 

So, the common cold does not, apparently, have a cure. There are hundreds of viruses and no one knows which virus does what and how it can be attacked. Yada Yada Yada. That logic took a major extrapolation to that obnoxious phrase above – a phrase that I took so literally for four years, that I ended up with two nose operations, and put my son through a lot of trouble. 

So, I get this feeling that many people want to punch when I smile knowingly like I have been through worse and their nose problems are paltry by comparison, but I am such megalomaniac like that. Moving away from my character issues, if you have a cold, don’t be a loser, and think of a way to cure it. 
Are you averse to allopathic cures? Welcome to the hundreds of thousands of the members of the paranoid family, who think that all medicines- eat-into-the-stomach-walls-and-weaken the body-and-make-the-bones-brittle-and - OMG I CAN'T BREATHE! I am right there with you (Paranoia is my chief characteristic trait, followed closely by, yes, megalomania. *word of the day*). 
But cold, as much as it is common, can actually be tackled in the simplest of ways: 

  1. Do Pranayam: My worst bout of nose-block was during pregnancy, and my yoga instructor told me to do the Pranayam to “channel the energy of the sun through one nostril and moon through the other. The former will ensure that the child is intelligent, and the latter will ensure that he/she is wise”. Now, I have no idea where my son is in the scales of wisdom and intelligence, but way to make one feel guilty for being unable to breathe in either sun or the moon! 
  2. I digress. Do it. Nothing like Pranayam to clear up the depths of your mucked up castle walls (and rooms if your sinuses are into the act as well). Imagine giant cobwebs full of dirt, and infected with fungi, which can be killed only by clean fresh air. 
  3. Clean that nose: No, not by nose picking *rolls eyes*. That’s like cleaning the chowpatty with a tissue paper. Take some saline water and a pump. Pump in the water in each nostril, while holding your breath (or you daredevils can breathe it in – the sting is enough to keep your eyes wide-open for hours). Bend down, and all the water comes out. You wouldn’t think this is much, but this is like spreading a disinfectant in the ruined castle.
  4. Cave in and use some drops: And again, make sure they are saline. If you have to do step 1 and 2, you need to create some space – and saline drops work well (unless you have a more serious issue – go to the doctor you lazy person!). 
  5. Try the Ayurveda route: Now, the recommendation-post is going to take a slight historical detour. 
  6. In all my maternal wisdom-glory, I strongly refused to give my son ANY medication for his cold except the usual hot water, drinks etc. The result? In about a week, he developed a chronic cold, a very bad chest congestion (I could feel the congestion when I kept a hand on his chest – nightmare I say), frequent vomiting out copious amounts of mucous and a lethargy that was painful to watch. Quite by chance, one of my friends suggested ‘Bal Gutti’ – which is, a packet of some 20 actual jadi-bootis, that have to be extracted in limited quantities and mixed and given (it’s an interesting procedure – ping me, and I will share the rest). The jadi-booti required for each problem was different. Fascinated, I got to work (I am sure all our grandmothers did the same – but we are such a screwed up generation). Within two weeks, the son was back in form. 
    But all this happened after around 6 nebulising sessions, and 2 months of strong antibiotics and steroids. 
So, if you have a cold, don’t sit down, close your eyes and say, “sigh, no medicine will cure it”. Or take a painkiller/analgesic and take a nap. Get off your rear and do something, before it becomes worse.


antbrain said...

hear, hear! full points after all the recent experimentation & trials with the boy!

Somehow 'cleaning chowpatty with tissue paper' makes nose picking feel even more repugnant than it actually should no? and 'mucked up castle walls' too! yuck! :D

Pepper said...

Cleaning chowpatty with tissue paper? Cracked me up. LOL!

Archana said...

:D THank you thank you!

Anonymous said...


hopped onto ur blog thru rsmom. My kid also is having cold since 10 days n I stopped allopathy seeing they aren't effective but after reading ur post am worried.could u please explain me the procedure for bal gutti..pls

Archana said...

Hi Anon,
This is the one that I use:

If you are Marathi, you can read the booklet inside.. or you can get a Maharashtrian to translate it for you (like I did) - or call me, and I will take you through it.

Check this link:
It's not the same packet, but in essence, the steps are the same.

So, you need a Sahan ( a porous stone on which the herbs will be rubbed in a circle) and make a round equal to how many months your son is. (Mine is 35 months old, so I make 35 rounds). Instead of milk, I add a bit of honey to this mix and give it to him - it totally comes to about 5 ml.

BalGutti totally has around 20 herbs with a mix of heat and cold herbs. I dont give my son the whole package, but only the ones needed for his ailment.

For the cold+wheezing+cough - I give the following herbs - Soonth (dry ginger), Pimpli, Jyeshthamad, Wekhand and Kaakadshingi (this is there in the packet by Green Pharmacy). These are Marathi names - I tried finding their Tamil/English names, but can't!

Needless to say, it is time consuming. So, there are Bal Guti syrups available as well but I haven't tried the same.

Apart from this, the other things that have worked for my son are:
1. Dabur Honnictus Syrup - it is natural, and seems to work on dry allergy coughs.

2. Nasoclear drops - they are just saline drops and are OTC medicines.

3. The Oil rub: Take some coconut oil, and add pacha karpuram (raw camphor) to it... heat it till it dissolves. Now rub it on his nose, under it, and on his chest - few drops since the smell is very strong after he is asleep. This worked well.

4. My mom tried heating dry wheat and tying it in a cloth bag making it a sort of a hot compress - again gently massaging it on the chest - I am not sure if this works since I didn't see a lot of change at the end of it.

Please mail me at archana.rajagopalan@gmail.com if you need more - I will give you my no then. Good luck and take care.