A few days before Eid I caught a very bad cold that resulted in flu, dry cough and sore throat. As weather is changing so these viral infections are very common these days. If a proper care is not taken then it can turn into something severe like ear/sinus infection, pneumonia etc. Anyway, it’s a pure nightmare to live with a stuffy nose. Firstly you can’t breathe and sound different and the worst is when you blow it to breath, nothing comes out. Now that is also a sign of inflammation, which is caused due to swollen blood vessels and build–up of fluid in the tissues of the nose. Steam therapy is a best way to ease symptoms and get you back on your feet quickly.
Almost everyone has heard of steam inhalation as an old folk remedy for colds, whether it’s by standing in a steamy hot shower or your head over a bowl of hot water. Steam inhalation does not cure flu, cold or any infection though it helps to relieve symptoms while your body fights it off. However, warm water stimulates the cells that fight infection and thus aids in fighting cold/flu.
Taking facial steam relaxes the nerves and muscles, releases pressure and allows you to have a sound sleep at night.
Key respiratory benefits of steam therapy are as follows:
- Alleviates dry cough and throat inflammation.
- Moisturises nasal and mouth passages, makes breathing more comfortable and prevents nasal bleeding.
- Eases congestion by liquefying mucous, resulting in clear secretions, which are easy to expel through coughing or blowing the nose.
- Relaxes body’s muscles, dilates vessels and consequently overall blood circulation improves.
- Heals and clears skin via releasing toxins that get trapped under the skin due to environmental exposure. Steam unclogs the pores and removes dirt, impurities and lifts away dead skin cells which results in an even toned skin.
- Steam bath reduces the production of stress causing hormone called as Cortisol and helps in feeling relaxed & focused.
Have you heard of facial steamer? The device uses warm steam to cleanse and hydrate your skin. It’s not expensive when compared to a spa treatment and provides a spa experience from the comfort of your home. Facial steaming leaves your skin looking fresh and healthy as it also dilates the vessels and hence, boosts blood circulation. You can either use water alone or add some essential oils for more benefits.
I used an over the counter nasal inhaler from Healthpoint, which is very effective in clearing the airway. When I read the ingredients it was not surprising as the essential oils like eucalyptus, clove, peppermint etc. are known to improve respiratory conditions.
Above everything, keep yourself hydrated and eat nutritious food to strengthen your immune system. For example, citrus fruit, nuts, milk, blueberries, green vegetables, carrots, yogurt and tea are among the super foods that are known for fighting cold. Soup is a great way to consume a good dose of wholesome nutrients that sooth cold and flu symptoms. According to a scientific study, chicken soup also has anti-inflammatory properties. Here is an authentic recipe including the vital steps to make a delicious chicken corn soup in less than an hour!
- Chicken 6 pieces (half)
- Chinese sale 1 Tbsp
- Corn flour 2 Tbsp
- Black pepper ½ teaspoon
- Egg white 1
- Corn paste 5Tbsp
- Onion 1 small
- Carrot 1 sliced
- Cabbage 1 cup
- Water 4 ½ cups
- Salt (according to taste)
- Soy sauce
1) Take half of the chicken meat with bones; add 4 ½ cups of water and a small chopped onion in a pot. Leave it to boil for about 25 minutes until it’s fully cooked. Skim off any fat or scum that floats on the top.
2) Remove the pot from the stove and take out the chicken pieces. Let is cool for a few minutes and then separate meat from the bones and shred it. Put the bones back in the broth and further cook for about 5 minutes.
3) Now almost 4 cups of broth is ready, turn off the flames and strain it. Put the broth in a pan and when it reaches boiling point add ½ teaspoon black pepper, shredded chicken, carrots, corn paste* and cabbage.
4) When it’s boiling well, add corn flour mixture to thicken the soup. It is prepared by mixing two tablespoons of corn flour in 5 tablespoons of water.
5) Beat an egg white and after you’re happy with the consistency/thickness of then soup then slowly pour an egg white while continuously whisking the soup. Egg whites will cook instantly as the hit the broth.
6) At this point, after turning off the heat I added 1 tablespoon of vinegar and soy sauce in the soup.
7) Serve hot with vinegar, chilli and soy sauce.
To prepare corn paste, add half can of corns and a few tablespoons of water in a grinder/blender and run it for a minute.