Cold and flu are two different common illnesses. There are a few differences between them. Sometimes cough is also accompanied by cold and flu. When one catches flu, phlegm accumulates in his nose in rubbery mucus form. One feels more fatigue while having flu in comparison with cold.
Those who suffer from cold and flu
These illnesses are so common that more or less every second person suffers from them. My master A’la Hadrat Imam Ahl-e-Sunnat رَحْمَةُ اللّٰهِ عَلَيْه has said: ‘Perhaps, since the world came into being, anybody who lived for a few years must have suffered from cold sometime in his life. (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 1, pp. 366; summarised)
Symptoms of cold and flu
Symptoms of these both are almost same, but in case of flu, the symptoms are intensified to some extent.
Symptoms of flu
The common symptoms of flu include slight temperature, runny nose, sore throat, fatigue, sneeze and cough, etc.
Symptoms of cold
Some of the symptoms of cold are as follows: High temperature, acute headache and pain in the body, heaviness/discomfort, weakness and tiredness, runny nose; sneeze and cough. Sometimes eyes get red and mucus comes out of it. The face also gets reddish.
Some benefits of cold and flu
If cold and flu are not severe and are for a short time, they are beneficial rather than harmful. As Mufti Ahmed Yar Khan Na’eemi رَحْمَةُ اللّٰهِ عَلَيْه has mentioned: Cold keeps neurological diseases at bay. A person having cold cannot become insane. If one recovers from flu easily, it eradicates many diseases. Sneeze along with cold and flu causes the brain to become fresh and clean. Health improves. (Mirat-ul-Manajeeh, vol. 6, pp. 395) Flu is beneficial to the body. The Du’a that is recited by looking at an afflicted person is forbidden to be recited on seeing flu-affected people. (Jannati Zaywar, pp. 615)
Effects of cold and flu
If cold and flu do not get cured soon, it is a cause of concern because suffering continuously from cold results in the following complications: Hair turns white early; there is a potential risk of eyesight getting weak; the brain gets weak; it develops ear and respiratory diseases. In addition to them, the possibility of further serious diseases cannot be ruled out. Doctors say that nowadays it will not be a wrong decision to include cold and flu in harmful diseases.
Causes of cold and flu and precautions
Having inadequate sleep, sitting in front of the cold air of AC etc. for a long time, having physical weakness, being in a cold atmosphere for a long time, using excessively dry and spicy food items fried or roasted having hot efficacy, drinking cold water after eating hot food, taking bath with cold water immediately after coming from the hot sunshine and having hot tea or coffee after drinking cold water. Sometimes smoking and staying in the sunlight bareheaded for a long time also cause cold and flu. People suffering from cold and flu should ponder on the above-mentioned causes and should avoid them. Moreover, people suffering from cold and flu should not go outdoors unnecessarily and should wear clothes as per changes in the weather.
Some beneficial food items
The gravy of country rooster, the gravy of mutton without fat, Khichri (a dish made of pulse and rice boiled together), fruits and their juices are beneficial during cold and flu. Nigella seeds are beneficial for those having mucus-related diseases and winter diseases. (Mirat-ul-Manajeeh, vol. 6, pp. 216) Garlic is beneficial to those suffering from cold, flu and cough, but eating raw garlic causes bad smell in the mouth, therefore, it is not permissible to enter Masjid until the bad smell exists. (Bahar-e-Shari’at, vol. 1, pp. 648) Apricot is beneficial for those having cold, flu and sore throat. (Garmi say hifazat kay Madani Phool, pp. 17) By Drinking 3 - 4 times one cup decoction of fenugreek on an empty stomach, one will recover from cold and flu. (Maythi kay 50 Madani Phool, pp. 8) Raisins are also very beneficial to cure phlegm and cold. [Yellow] lentils and spinach are also beneficial.
Avoid these food items
When suffering from cold and flu avoid milk, yogurt, ghee, butter, potatoes, okra, brinjals [aubergines], tomatoes, black gram lentils, ice, cold beverages and sour food items.
Fry Nigella seeds in oil and apply that oil to the hair; it is beneficial for those suffering from headache, cold and flu. (Gharaylu ‘Ilaaj, pp. 110)
Chronic cold and Miswak
Miswak is the best cure for a chronic cold. The patients who are suffering from a chronic cold or flu and are unable to get rid of phlegm should do Miswak with the intention of gaining Sawab (reward) because it causes phlegm to get out and the mind starts getting fresh. (Derived from: Miswak Shareef kay Faza’il, pp. 8)
Two methods of clearing blocked nose
If you have a runny nose while having cold the nasal discharge should not be stopped. If the nose gets blocked it should be cleared by any way because this blockage can lead to many diseases. These two methods can also be used:
Take a breath (into the steam rising from water); its method is to put some water as per need in a clean pot and boil it. Then remove it after boiling and keep it in a place and wrap a thick cloth or towel around your head and then bend your face carefully towards the steam rising from the water and keep breathing deeply into it. If you do it few times, it will اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه cause the mucus and phlegm to get out and flue will be cured.
Put ground turmeric on red-hot burning coals and inhale the smoke. This will clear your blocked nose and the mucus will start flowing.
Three treatments for chronic cold
1. Take a half teaspoon of cod liver oil 2 hours after taking breakfast for 30 days اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه you will get cured of chronic flu.
2. If children catch flu frequently, give them 3 drops of cod liver oil once or twice a day for 30 days.
3. Eating a fistful of un-husked roasted black grams daily at night and then not drinking water or tea or any other drinkables for an hour is beneficial for the one who has a chronic cold.
Home remedy for treating cold
Put one Tola (approx. 12 grams) aniseed and 7 cloves in 2 kilo water and boil it rapidly. When water remains approximately 250 grams, add one Tola (approx. 12 grams) crystallized sugar and take it as a tea. اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه cold and flu will be cured. (Gharaylu ‘Ilaaj, pp. 51, 52)
2 Spiritual treatments for cold and flu
4. Recite Surah Al-Fatihah with بِسْمِ اللہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمط three times (Durood Shareef 3 times before and after) and blow on to the patient daily for three days. اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه he will recover from cold and flu.
5. Recite لَا اِلٰهَ اِلَّا الـلّٰـه
66 times daily and blow on to the one suffering from cold and flu اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه it will prove beneficial. (Treatment duration: Until recovery) (Beemar ‘Aabid, pp. 34, 36)
Note: Use every medicine after consulting with your Doctor or Hakeem.
This article has been checked from medical point of view by Dr. Muhammad Kamran Attari and Hakeem Rizwan Firdaus Attari of Majlis Tibbi ‘Ilaaj (Dawat-e-Islami).