Last two months climate in Chennai has been comparatively (for Chennai) cooler and there is common cold in the air – with every other person I see being affected for few days one time or other this season. I find that I am more prone for picking up common pollution caused allergy, which in turn triggers common cold and sore-throat in me. Though the running nose gets cured in few days, the side-effects of cold & dry-cough stays for a longer time – usually for 1 or 2 weeks, affecting my work and productivity. This time I have been suffering with this for more than 2 weeks – with me deciding not to take any drugs, which I got sick of taking every time this happens and as I said I am very prone for this. I asked my Homeopathy doctor and she advised I take Steam Inhalation few times every day with the water mixed with Tulasi leaves (Ocimum tenuiflorum). I have been trying this for last few days and it has been effective, especially clearing the nasal blockage and allowing me to sleep better in the night without breathing through my mouth (and aggravating the sore throat).
I used the below Facial Steamer that I got few years back from a Utensil shop in Pondy Bazaar, Chennai for Rs.200 (US$4) – for curiosity when I checked in Amazon today similar facial steamers sells for an average $25 in USA.
Tulasi leaves are commonly seen in Vaishnavaite temples in India and they are given as the first offering to the lord, households in south india normally have this plant in a specially built structure in the back of the house. If you are in India, the easiest place to buy Tulasi leaves is in front of "Vishnu" temples – you can get a handful for just few rupees.
References I found while doing a web search on the above: