In two parts of this material, we tell why people often get sick in winter and how amaranth can help us survive the cold season without runny nose, sore throats and flu with its unpredictable complications. The first part dealt with why vitamin intake does not always help, with which substances support the immune system, so that external stimuli react in a timely and effective manner, and what role does amaranth play in this support. But a strong immune system will save a person from a cold. And from the flu? Only if you help her by external means.
The arrival of winter – a danger to immunity
The point is not that, they say, it is cold in winter, so the immunity weakens. If it is sustained to support it, it will not weaken due to the fact that it is -10 on the street, and not 0 degrees.
In autumn and spring, the body is loaded just more than in winter. In winter, though the weather is cold, but relatively stable, the person stays more at home, warm, or, on the contrary, temperes as much as he can – in general, he is monitoring his health more actively than at other times of the year. In spring and autumn, the weather often changes dramatically, for some it is an unpleasant phenomenon, for others it is full physiological stress. Plus, a person begins to go out more often, where rain, slush and dampness, which are harder tolerated, than dry and windless even –20 degrees.
But the near-annual epidemics in the post-Soviet space (as in Western Europe) mostly occur in winter. Why?
It so happened that influenza viruses (and sometimes others) run wild here in the winter. And if the immune system adapts to the climate, it cannot physiologically adjust to influenza viruses. One time different strains come, some of them are stronger, while others are weaker. Antibodies developed to one of them are powerless against the other, and immunity against third ones is not maintained long enough to be able to withstand the same third one after two years.
Virus vs. immunity?
Any viral infection is common in areas of large crowds of people – this is an axiom. Although it would be more correct to say that it is common in places of large concentrations of its carriers. For example, in clinics or in the subway, the concentration of the virus will be much higher than at the meeting of connoisseurs of traditional medicine, even with an equal number of people. Unfortunately, a person often has to go to the subway than at such meetings. And almost every person who happens a lot in public, picks up several “walking” infections – in turn or at the same time. “Nothing like that, I do not get sick so often,” you will say.
To catch a viral infection is not to get sick. For some time a person becomes a carrier of the virus, without noticing it. This means that the immune system has reacted and produces antibodies. If the infection is strong or the immune system is weak – at some point the immunity “gives up”, the virus wins, and the person becomes ill. If the infection is weak or the immunity is above average, the person will not notice anything, and so often occurs with a light ARVI. And if there are several viruses and among them – one of the strains of influenza, the first one will defeat the immunity, it will develop antibodies to it, but it will temporarily weaken, and then the second will hit the weakened immune system immediately. In such conditions, she alone will not cope.
Therefore, in the winter she needs additional help. By strengthening immunity in the traditional sense of this expression, that is, using the necessary immunostimulating substances, a person does everything he can, as if from the inside, in the organism itself. You can also outside. Such external remedies include balms, oils, decoctions and other decoctions, as well as infusions and other means that can hit the infection from the outside. Apply them mainly on the skin and mucous membranes. Naturally, you need to use those natural substances that do not just relieve inflammation (because it does not always exist), but complexly affect local immunity. Amaranth with its immunostimulating, anti-inflammatory, astringent effect is one of the best options.
Virus vs. amaranth!
Viral infections enter the body with air, dust and other particles that can be caught. We inhale them, or they can settle on the skin, and then we rub this skin, put something with unwashed hands in our mouth – and the virus turns on the mucous membranes of the mouth and so on. Immediately, local immunity begins to act, from which a slight weakness can appear, which can be easily confused with ordinary fatigue. There are other almost imperceptible signs of the appearance of the flu virus in the body:
- may prick a couple of times, as if from dryness, in the throat or in the nose;
- a throat or some other fleeting unpleasant sensation may occur in the throat or in the nose;
- imperceptible nasal discharges appear that the person removes by automatically sniffing the nose;
- If you carefully analyze your feelings, you can see that a little more mucus accumulates in the throat or between the nose and throat, as if after a greasy meal.
The mucus described in the last paragraph can appear simultaneously in several places: this means that the virus is spreading, and there are already several foci of infection.
All these insignificant secretions are the focus of infection (read in the first part how leukocytes and lymphocytes work). The most correct thing is to wash them out of the body, clean the surfaces they touched, and treat these surfaces.
Nasopharyngeal washing: amaranth decoction
The first task is to thoroughly wash the discharge from the nasal cavity and lymph node area. When the mucus is small and thick, it is difficult to do this, as it settles on the epithelium and due to its consistency, the fruit clings to it, combining with new secretions. In order to “unhook” all this, you need a good astringent. An ordinary infusion does not always help. Amaranth decoction has a stronger astringent effect, however, it is most effective to use amaranth decoction.
Decoction is a peculiar combination of infusion and decoction, which allows you to use the medicinal properties of amaranth more fully. The main difference in the preparation of decoctions is that they only need highly crushed raw materials. The more crushed the leaves, the more nutrients they can “transfer” to water during infusion and cooking.
Preparation of amaranth decoction
There are two recipes: the first involves the preparation of a decoction on the basis of fresh leaves of amaranth, the second – on the basis of dried. Both are suitable for washing.
The first thing you need to cook amaranth infusion of a medium degree of concentration. To do this, you need 80 g of fresh amaranth leaves or 50 g of dry. Fresh leaves should be chopped very finely. Dry can even be crushed in a mortar or rub hands. Then boil 500 ml of water. After it boils, it should be turned off, wait a bit until it cools down to about 90 degrees. Then, the crushed raw materials need to be poured, covered with a lid and left on a hot plate for about 30-40 minutes. The infusion is ready.
This base must be placed in a cool dark place (or just kept in an opaque container under the lid) so that it will cool completely and the process of giving away the properties of the substance to water will be greatly slowed, until it stops. Directly the decoction is prepared before use.
After you have returned from work, meetings, walks in the cold and so on, pour 60-70 ml of infusion into a metal (preferably aluminum) vessel. Try to get the amount of raw material proportional to the liquid in the vessel. Put the pot on the fire and cover with a lid. When the infusion boils, make the fire quieter. It is necessary to boil amaranth for 7-10 minutes. After that, the decoction can be cooled to the desired temperature, filtered and used as intended.
For quick cooling after boiling, transfer the decoction to another metal container and place it in a container with very cold water. You can add ice cubes to the water.
Use of amaranth decoction
Clean your nose in the usual way for you (blow your nose or wash it with warm water). Then put a little decoction in the palm and draw the liquid in with the nose. It should not be too weak: it should wash the lymph nodes between the nose and throat and get into the throat.
Be careful! Too much force should not be applied either, because with a very sharp, strong intake, the liquid rushes upwards through the nasal cavity and can get into the frontal sinuses of the nose or into the ethmoid labyrinth – the nasal sinuses are at eye level (both nose, they can be felt next to the eyebrows or eyes, where the nose begins). This is fraught with the ingress of fluid, and with it infection in the eyes.
Spilled liquid should be spit out. Repeat the same action again.
After washing the nasopharynx, rinse with a throat. Rinse need to carefully, trying to keep the liquid in the throat in the rinsing process more than 10 seconds. It is advisable to tilt the head as far as possible so that the decoction has completely washed the throat. Rinse it too should be at least two times.
Rinse thoroughly with mouth debris.
70 ml of decoction is enough for double washing of the nasopharynx and double gargling. If it seems that this is not enough, you can prepare more liquid and wash the nasopharynx or throat not two, but three times.
Note! You shouldn’t wash your nose and throat more than four times: this is how you can wash off not only the harmful secretions, but also the natural fluid, thereby drying the mucous membranes and making them more vulnerable.
Nose treatment: hard amaranth balm
After washing on the mucous membranes, especially in the nose, where they are dried the most, it is appropriate to apply a balm or ointment with a high content of fat. There are quite a few such funds, but those that would have had an immunostimulating effect are much less, and few are suitable for these purposes. But the immunostimulating balm can be prepared independently.
Preparation of Solid Amaranth Balsam
For cooking will need:
- 5 tablespoons of butter (high fat oil is necessary: you can take 72%, but better – 80%);
- 2.5 tablespoons of dried leaves and flowers of amaranth.
If desired, you can add essential oil to the balm. Eucalyptus and fir have an anti-cold effect. Oils will need 3 drops.
Stages of preparation of balsam:
Prepare a water bath. On it in a metal pot, put melted butter.
Attention! Oil should not become completely liquid. Try not to miss the moment when it will be easy to stir, but it will still be a little thick.
While the oil is in the water bath, carefully chop the leaves and flowers of amaranth. It is possible, as in the process of preparing a decoction, to use a stupa or to grind them with your fingers.
Very slowly, gradually pour the amaranth into the oil, without removing the last from the water bath. Try in the process of falling asleep to rub leaves and flowers even smaller. Stir well.
4When all the raw materials are filled, another 5 minutes, stir the resulting mass. After that, make the fire as weak as possible and leave it under a lid in a water bath for 50-60 minutes.
After 50-60 minutes, look at the state of the mass. Now the oil must be completely liquid. If it is not sufficiently liquid, turn on the fire harder (but do not overdo it).
Remove the liquid mass from the water bath and strain through small and strong gauze (or you can use a double layer of normal). Carefully squeeze the gauze.
Add essential oil if desired.
While the mass of liquid, pour it into a glass container. It is better to take a vial or a jar of dark glass.
Put the balm in a cool place.
If the glass is light, you need to store the balm in the dark. Medicinal properties of this tool saves for 1 month. After 3 months it is not recommended to use it at all.
Use solid amaranth balm
The first rule: the nasal cavity before applying the balm should be thoroughly cleaned. To do this, you can use amaranth decoction by the method described above, and other means up to soap (but you need to be careful with it, as it dries mucous membranes and can cause damage to small vessels in the nose).
After cleaning, you need to apply a balm on all available mucous membranes of the nasal cavity. Care should be taken here not to damage the tissue. Theoretically, the balm can be applied with a well-washed finger with a short-cropped nail, but this method is suitable mainly for women whose pinky is narrow enough for such a procedure. Mainly used special devices, the material of which has no absorbent properties and at the same time is safe to work with thin fabrics (not too hard, has no protrusions, etc.). Such devices can be purchased at the pharmacy, you can do it yourself.
The balm should be applied in such an amount that there would be no feeling of dryness, but there was also no sensation of a large amount of extraneous 6757451 substance in the nose. For the first half hour or an hour, try to keep an eye on the reflexes and not sniff your nose, even when there is some insignificant discharge in it. After about an hour and a half, if there is a feeling of “something in the way”, the nose can be flushed. If not, leave the balm soak until the end.
Apply it is desirable:
- every time after returning from places of large crowds of people;
- each time after freezing, including a minor (even if you are cold while at home);
- not less than 3 times a day, if you feel a general malaise, if there is a feeling of an approaching disease;
- 2-3 times a day with an active lifestyle in the winter;
- 1-2 times a day with a normal lifestyle in the winter and in the absence of signs of disease.
Before use, the balm can be left for some time close to heat sources, so that the mass slightly melted and warmed: so it will be more convenient and pleasant to apply.
If after washing with amaranth decoction there is a feeling of dryness, it is recommended to use amaranth oil. Preferably the oil is from amaranth seed germ. It will lubricate the mucous membranes, while not leveling the effect of the decoction, but supporting it. In contrast, the effect of other oils may contradict the therapeutic properties of amaranth decoction, which makes the use of the latter lost.
To moisten the mucous membranes of the throat, half a teaspoon of amaranth oil is enough.
Attention! Do not eat a whole teaspoon – it does not enhance the effect. If there is a feeling of an approaching disease in the throat, it is better to gargle with a decoction as often as possible and use oil more often than to do it rarely, but over time. It is not the quantity that is important, but the frequency.
Prevention of diseases of the throat is appropriate to combine with the prevention of the oral cavity. Rinsing one am2 only a throat will not help if the infection has settled on the mucous membranes of the mouth. To clean the mouth, you can use a decoction, and the usual decoction or infusion. We wrote about this in detail in the article “Oral health with amaranth”.
When there is a period of high incidence or, worse, an epidemic, remember: it is always easier to prevent a disease than to cure it. This is especially true of the flu, which has the unpleasant property of giving complications such as bronchitis, tracheitis and subsequent pneumonia, as well as sinusitis for a couple with other sinusitis and even conjunctivitis and otitis (unfortunately, the ears and eyes are very closely connected with the nose and throat, therefore infections there is nothing to get there).
Carry out regular preventive maintenance – and let you not be afraid of any epidemics!