Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 6, Issue 03, Tuesday, January 18, 2011















Winter remedies

Even loving winter has its side effects. No matter how much you love being covered in your blanket with a mug of warm tea in your hands, you can't ignore the winter blues. Catching a cold with the seasonal changes here is as common as the cold itself. Instead of dosing yourself with antibiotics and paracetamols every time you get a hint of the symptoms, here are 12 great ways to prevent the disease at home!

Drink plenty of fluids to help break up your congestion
Drinking water or juice will prevent dehydration and keep your throat moist.

You should drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water daily. Include fluids such as water, sports drinks, herbal teas, fruit drinks, or ginger ale.

Your mother's chicken soup might help too! (Avoid cola, coffee, and other drinks with caffeine because it acts like a diuretic and may dehydrate you.)

Inhale steam to ease your congestion and drippy nose
Hold your head over a pot of boiling water and breathe through your nose. Be careful. If the steam burns your nose, breathe in more slowly. You can buy a humidifier, but the steam will be the same as the water on the stove. Moisture from a hot shower with the door closed, saline nasal spray, or a room humidifier is just as helpful to ease congestion.

Blow your nose often, but do it the proper way
It's important to blow your nose regularly when you have a cold, rather than sniffling mucus back into your head. But when you blow hard, pressure can carry germ-carrying phlegm back into your ear passages, causing earache. The best way to blow your nose is to press a finger over one nostril while you blow gently to clear the other.

Use saline nasal sprays or make your own salt water rinse to irrigate your nose
Salt-water rinsing helps break nasal congestion while also removing virus particles and bacteria from your nose. Here's a popular recipe: Mix ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon baking soda in 8 ounces of warm water. Fill a bulb syringe with this mixture. Lean your head over a basin, and using the bulb syringe, gently squirt the salt water into your nose. Hold one nostril closed by applying light finger pressure while squirting the salt mixture into the other nostril. Let it drain. Repeat two to three times, and then treat the other nostril.

Gargle with warm salt water
Gargling can moisten a sore or scratchy throat and bring temporary relief. Try a half-teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8 ounces of warm water four times daily. To reduce the tickle in your throat, try an astringent gargle -- such as tea. Or use a thick, viscous gargle made with honey, popular in folk medicine. Steep one tablespoon of lemon juice in two cups of hot water; mix with one teaspoon of honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before gargling.

Drink hot liquids
Hot liquids relieve nasal congestion, prevent dehydration, and soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat.

If you're so congested you can't sleep at night, try a hot toddy, an age-old remedy. Make a cup of hot herbal tea with a teaspoon of honey and you can add a squeeze or two of lemon juice.

Take a steamy shower
Steamy showers moisturise your nasal passages and relax you.

If you're dizzy from the flu, run a steamy shower while you sit on a chair nearby and take a sponge bath.

Apply hot packs around your congested sinuses
You can buy reusable hot packs at a drugstore. Or make your own.

By Naziba Bashar


Misty peaks

She isn't like the sneering Everest. With a playful smirk and a teasing smile, she lures the most ordinary adventurers to her lush-green-draped peaks, towering over snow-white misty clouds, like icing or candyfloss. She is Tajindong.

Our road winded through another breath-taking expanse of an assortment of boulders massive in their layers of shades and bizarre shapes littered across Sangu and the Remakri Canal. She introduced herself as Tindu and with sweet whispers of the chilly winds of December, tempted us through the most exhausting and exhilarating, dangerous path.

It “only” took us, city boys, five to six hours from Thanchi upstream by boat, huddling up for shelter for the night at Tindu Bazar Member Bari. Even before the morning sun could peek from the horizon, we were greeted by the ear-splitting cries of roosters at Tindu and by day's end, reached “paradise”. In front of us was the miniature Niagra Nafakum. A surreal vision of lofty grey boulders and foamy white falls.

Yearning for adventure, we pushed through the mesmerising Poddozhiri Path. Clusters of colourful butterflies fluttered around to guide us across the murmuring streams like in the realms of the Elves. Trekking across the clear streams and snaking up three bone-breaking, steep tracks around three majestic hills, we finally looked upon the enthralling Boarding Para. The locals -- Mro -- were short and sweet like their name, showering us with their hospitality and ear-to-ear grins. Exhaustion forgotten, we advanced through another pair of these steeping hills to Sherkor Para.

With aching bones and gasping for breath, we finally trudged towards our ultimate destination Tajingdong; fumbling through dangerous rocky cliffs and steeping slopes for some three long hours. We felt like we had walked a lifetime in those few hours and exhaustion came crashing like waves. Parched from lack of water and starving since morning, some of us could hardly move an inch. Still the three imposing hills peered elegantly down at us, smirking yet whispering words of encouragement. A few yards and there lay our victory, on the peak of the highest hill of Tajindong. Like Caesar once said-“Veni, vidi, vici”- the ACI HR Team came, saw and conquered Tajingdong.

By Tuba Khan


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