Cold and Flu Season Survival!

by lrmetcalfe

The dark cold nights and frosty mornings are starting to draw in on us and the season of colds and flu is nearly upon us. So don’t be unprepared, fight back- get your immune system and medicine cupboard in the best condition to wage war with the season’s germs and nasties!

I cannot live without the following five items during the cold season:

1. Vitamin C 1000mg

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin and is essential for the healthy functioning of the immune system.

Vitamin C is anti-viral and studies show that it can shorten the severity and duration of most colds and flu viruses. Look for a timed release formula and avoid chewable and effervescent vitamin C tablets, as they are often packed with sugar and sweeteners to make them tastier.

Take a 1000mg tablet with a meal daily throughout the cold season.

2. Manuka Honey

One of the most revolutionary health products of recent years, manuka honey is anti-bacterial and has been shown in studies to be an effective antimicrobial agent against forms of MRSA.

A great remedy for sore throats, take a teaspoon morning and night and let the honey slowly trickle down the throat. Don’t stir into your tea or spread on your toast, as heat can deactivate the effects of this powerful honey.

Make sure you buy ‘Active’ Manuka Honey, it should also state the ‘UMF (unique manuka factor)’ number. UMF is a measure of the honeys antibacterial properties, the higher the number, the stronger the effect; for sore throats, colds and flu an ‘Active Manuka Honey UMF 10+’ is an ideal choice.

3. A.Vogel PoHo Oil

One of my favourite products, I am never without a bottle of Po Ho Oil. It contains a blend of peppermint, eucalyptus, juniper, caraway and fennel oils.

If your nose and sinuses are blocked during a cold, sprinkle a few drops on a hankerchief, your pillow or in a hot bath. Try steam inhalation or make a rub to loosen mucus on the chest by mixing a drop with some petroleum jelly.

4. Bio-Strath Elixir

Another medicine cupboard staple, this Swiss yeast and herb tonic, although not very pleasant in taste, really keeps you going in the winter!

Take 1 teaspoons 3 times a day at the onset of a cold or if you start to feel tired or run down.

5.  Echinacea

A herbal remedy which in studies has been shown to shorten the length of a cold. Look for a licensed, standardised supplement, such as ‘A.Vogel Echinaforce’ tablets. Take daily for a month, then take a break for a week, continue in this way throughout the winter to enhance immune function.

Echinacea is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral. It’s anti-viral properties make Echinacea a great choice for those who suffer from cold sores when their immune function is lowered.

There are also many lifestyle and dietary changes we can make to keep our immune systems in top condition.

Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates; instead opt for brown rice and wholemeal varieties of bread and pasta. A teaspoon of sugar weakens the immune system for 5 minutes! Alcohol and caffeine have a similar effect.

I realise this is hard advice to follow; especially when  all you want to do on dark, chilly night is drink warming mugs of hot chocolate and as the party season starts our alcohol intake increases, not to mention our intake of tins of chocolates!  However if you try avoid these naughty treats the majority of the time and eat a balanced diet full of lean sources of protein, wholegrain and wholemeal carbohydrates and fresh fruit and vegetables, your immune system will thank you.

To fight off infections, you could also try making your own anti-microbial hand gel, mix 2 drops of tea tree oil with 300ml aloe vera gel and use as needed.


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