Are you ready for winter?

See how easy it is for you to become a bad host for the cold and  flu viruses. 

Bacteria and viruses are all around us all the time. Despite who you are or where  you live, you just can’t avoid these little critters. The fact is, it’s not the bugs that are the problem, not ever. It’s you! It is your ‘terrain’ as Louis Pasteur said on his deathbed, I quote: “The germ is nothing; the terrain is everything.”

What that means is that your health depends on the strength of your immune system and your ability to ward off any bugs that come your way. And come your way they will! This is not a bad thing, as we need to get a cold one or two times a year to keep our immune system activated and  to allow our body to clean up the old dead cells that our body needs to shed. 

You will be harbouring dozens of these little bugs in your body at any given moment. If a work colleague or a family member is actively fighting a bug, you are also fighting the bug. You may not necessarily have obvious symptoms, but your immune system is working overtime to keep your body functioning and keeping you asymptomatic. The important thing is not to take any medication that will suppress what your body needs to do as it deals with any bugs. This is where natural remedies shine!

How can you help your immune system?

  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Eat good amounts of vegetables and fruit
  • Avoid sugar
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid stressful situations
  • Practice relaxation 
  • Stock up your healthy medicine chest

Your medicine chest for Winter

Vitamins

Vitamin C

Take a regular dose of 1,000mg a day throughout winter. If you are around anyone that has a cold or flu, up the dose to 2,000mg a day and continue with the higher dose for 5 days, then go back to the lower dose. You can keep the higher dose all through winter which is a good idea if you work in a large air-conditioned building or ride the bus or train. If you do succumb to the power of those little bugs, up your vitamin C to around 8-10,000mg a day. Depending on bowel tolerance. These are adult dosages only.

Echinacea

Have this valuable herb in your medicine chest, ready for use if required. Take this herb at the first sign of any form of respiratory illness. Echinacea helps to boost the immune system stimulating macrophage activity. 

Zinc Lozenges

You can definitely lessen the duration of a cold when you take zinc. It needs to be taken in the form of a lozenger that you dissolve in your mouth for best results.

Selenium

Selenium is a very valuable trace mineral. We don’t need much but because our soils are now so deficient in trace minerals, and selenium is one of them, we do need to add it to our vitamin intake on a regular basis. Take up to 200mcg daily during winter months.

Siberian Ginseng

Siberian ginseng in particular is a valuable herb for winter. Together with echinacea if forms a formidable ali against winter bugs.

Herbs & Spices from your kitchen

Onion – antiviral and antibacterial. Onion is excellent for coughs, and for upper respiratory tract infections.

Garlic – antiviral and antibacterial. Also good for any upper respiratory tract infection.

Ginger – anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. 

Sage – this is the herb for sore throats and coughs. Also good for a congested sinus. (Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding).

Thyme – antibacterial and antiviral. It also acts as an expectorant. A great herb for upper respiratory infections and for coughs.

Lemon – well know for using during winter along with honey for a sore throat. Lemon is high in vitamin C, and can help to lessen the duration of a cold or flu.

Cayenne peppers – one of the great all rounder remedies, but especially good for colds and flu. Use of these hot little peppers can shorten an established cold, or prevent one if taken early enough.

Honey – antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiseptic. Best if you can buy a local honey, and as unprocessed as possible. 

Tissue Salts

Tissue salts are minerals that are found in all cells of the body. When there is a deficiency of one of the salts, then the cell won’t be able to function optimally, so the dis-ease process begins at a very deep cellular level in the body. Tissue salts are easy to use and safe for everyone including pregnant women and babies.

Ferr Phos – this is indicated for the early stages of a cold, sore throat or just general upper respiratory symptoms.

Kali Mur – this tissue salt is useful for any upper respiratory symptom and particularly to support mucus membrane.

Kali Sulph – relieves inflammation of the mucus membranes of the respiratory tract. Excellent for when the mucus has become  yellow.

For prevention of colds and flu: take 2 or 3 tablets of each remedy, take them separately about 10 minutes apart. Take once a day for two or three months during winter.

For treatment of colds: take 2 tablets of each remedy about 5 minutes apart, and each hour repeat until symptoms settle.

Salt water nasal rinse

Remember to wash out your sinus with a mild salt water solution, or you can buy the Fess Nasal Spray from the chemist. Do at least 2 or 3 times each week during winter. Helps to keep the nasal passage clear of bugs.

Homeopathy

Oscillococcinum is one of my favourite remedies for winter. 

If you feel you are succumbing to a flu, this is the remedy to rely on. When taken at the first sign of cold or flu symptoms, and taken every 4 hours, you can stop the virus in its tracks. 

You can start to take it as a preventative measure, taking a dose once a week, and when you are around anyone that is coughing or just unwell, you can up the dose to 3 times a day for a few days. 

Other homeopathic remedies to take are dependent on the symptom that is presenting. Here is a list of a few that are good to have in your medicine chest for when needed.

  • Aconite
  • Belladonna
  • Allium cepa
  • Gelsemiiun
  • Bryonia
  • Eupatorium
  • Apis mellifica
  • Kali bichromicum
  • Pulsatilla
  • Phytolacca

Aromatherapy

These two oils live in my bag during winter, everywhere I go, these oils go! Especially good to put a drop of each on a tissue and place in your shirt when you are out in public, and particularly when flying on a plane.

Lemon Oil – not only delicious to smell, but lemon oil has very strong healing properties. Antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic. 

Eucalyptus – antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties. Excellent to help break up mucus congestion. Used in vaporisers, inhalations and chest rubs. This oil is excellent to put a drop on a tissue and pop it under your pillow at night, or during the day pop the tissue in your shirt and you can have the benefit of breathing the oil all day. 

Your Winter Wellness Kit

At the clinic you can get your ‘Winter Wellness Kit’, with everything you need to get you through winter. Having a good range of products at your finger tip for that middle of the night hacking cough or waking up feeling like you are coming down with something can make the difference between getting crook or staying well.