Dhe days are gray, the nose runs and every public place is a possible virus reservoir. Hardly anyone is spared in the cold season. Lots of tea, fresh air and bed rest: this advice is well known, but the natural cold medicine pharmacy has much more creative solutions to offer.
The traditional wrap or poultice comes in several forms: with or without potatoes, hot or cold, for different parts of the body and symptoms. Pharmacist Ursula Sellerberg explains that all variants are based on a simple physiological bodily reaction. In short: the change in body temperature, says Sellerberg. The cold wrap of the calf is used to bring down the fever gently. If you have a sore throat, compresses with cool towels can be beneficial because they absorb body heat and soothe swollen lymph nodes, Sellerberg said.
If the patient has a cough, a chest wrap may help. For this, damp linen towels would be tied from the armpits to the rib cage. A towel would be placed on it, which in turn would be wrapped in a woolen cloth. The pharmacist advises to wear the package until you sweat. Not only are damp cloths suitable for hot compresses, but boiled and mashed potatoes are also suitable conductors of heat, says Sellerberg.
Plus, there would be even more unusual wraps. For particularly stubborn cases of dry cough, herbal additives like thyme and lemon juice might increase the effect of a poultice, recommends Techniker Krankenkasse. To fight against bronchitis, the mutual offers a not quite vegan alternative: hot lard wraps for the back and chest. An onion wrap can help relieve earaches. Onion juice heated in a cotton cloth stimulates blood circulation and strengthens the immune system.
Sellerberg points to another effect of compresses: we must not forget that caring for one’s child or spouse is also a form of affection. The resulting feelings of “closeness and humanity” should not be underestimated for the feeling of well-being and healing.
“Feed the cold, starve the fever”, as the saying goes. It depends above all on the type of disease, explains Andreas Michalsen, chief physician at the Immanuel Hospital in Berlin and specialist in clinical naturopathy at the Charité University Medical Center. While bacterial diseases often trigger feelings of hunger, patients with viral diseases complain of loss of appetite. Michalsen specializes in nutrition as a natural remedy.
“You shouldn’t force yourself into anything,” advises Michalsen. In fact, a natural loss of appetite can be seen as a sign from the body that a period of fasting is good for it. Intermittent fasting or a short fasting period of around 16 hours would be appropriate for beginners. The brave could also fast for several days. However, according to the doctor, the fasting period should not last too long. You shouldn’t torture yourself, says Michalsen.
Nevertheless, fasting can clearly contribute to healing. Evidence suggests that the body’s immune defenses worked best on an empty stomach. Additionally, cellular self-cleansing can be stimulated and supported by a period of fasting.