Every winter, the cities in upper and central part of Pakistan wear a blanket of fog; which is primarily due to a particular climate zoning, but the problem is getting worse with each passing year.
The problem has intensified as during the past few decades due to rapid and sustained industrialisation and addition of millions of vehicles which emit smoke in the air. Some experts blame the coal-based industry in India located close to the border, the smoke of which is carried by wind into Pakistan.
According to rankings released by the World Air Quality Index (AQI), Lahore ranked the second most polluted city on Oct 29
Air quality in Lahore has dipped as the city is engulfed with smog. If this is not the time to take urgent action to protect yourself from smog, then what is?
With such hazardous levels of air pollution, you must make efforts to stay indoors as much as possible. Whenever outside, wear a pollution masks that fits your face well. It is quite likely that you will experience respiratory illnesses like cough, cold and congestion. It is going to be even more difficult for people suffering from asthma, bronchitis, COPD and breathing problems.
There are a few types of teas that can detoxify your lungs during high levels of pollution.
1. Ginger honey lemon tea
Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce cough and congestion. Honey can reduce the frequency of your cough and lemon contains Vitamin C which can boost your immunity.
Grate ginger (a medium-sized piece), add a tsp (or more) of honey and a few drops of lemon juice in water and put it to a boil. Reduce the mixture to half and strain in a cup. Sip it warm to detoxify your lungs naturally.
2. Green tea
The benefits of green tea can be put to use this time of the year. Apart from offering weight loss benefits, green tea provides you with antioxidants and caffeine that can make you feel pumped up during times when you are feeling under the weather. Antioxidants in green tea can remove toxins from the body and also improve digestion.
3. Masala chai
Yes, the traditional, age-old masala chai has stood the test of time for treating ailments like cough, cold, congestion and breathing problems. A variety of spices go in preparation of masala chai like ginger, cinnamon, clove, black pepper, cardamom and tulsi. All these are medicinal herbs and spices are anti-inflammatory in nature. They can clear your throat and reduce throat irritation. Congestion and cough can also be effectively reduced by consuming masala chai.
Mix all ingredients and ground them to form a coarse paste. Add them to boiling water. Then add black tea leaves and some sugar to taste. Sip on warm masala chai regularly to beat the ill effects of air pollution.
3. Licorice (mulethi) root tea
Licorice root tea can be considered to be a staple for reducing cough and congestion. Studies show that licorice tea has antiviral and antimicrobial properties.
All you need to do is take a one-inch piece of licrorice root and beat it. Add it to boiling water and let it infuse for five to 1o minutes. Add honey or lemon juice to balance out the flavour. If you have a itchy throat, you can also gargle with warm licorice water with salt.
Take appropriate steps before air pollution takes a toll on your health and causes more serious problems.
5. Turmeric and ginger drink
Medicinal properties of turmeric can prove to be excellent for controlling cough, congestion and cold. You can make a turmeric ginger drink or even the traditional haldi doodh or turmeric latte as it is now popularly called.
Curcumin in turmeric is the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancerous agent. Ginger can you heal from nausea and reduce congestion.