Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten

Boost The Kids Resistance - And Yours Too

The winter of our discontent is just around the corner, and with it come all the infections that the kids bring home from school. Now is the time for you to start building the natural resistance of the whole family so you can all fight off the winter ills.

Colds are caused by viruses, which are caught from somebody else with a cold. They don’t come from getting wet feet, being out in the cold weather, leaving home with wet hair or not wearing a vest. They are spread by droplet infection and they are much more common in people who spend time on public transport, or in overcrowded, under ventilated and overheated buildings. One sneeze will spread your infected droplets up to thirty feet, so if you get a cold, stay at home. It’s not as anti-social and you’ll get better a lot sooner. We spend millions of pounds a year on cold remedies, but none of these treat the illness, they only relieve the symptoms.

Simple natural remedies are best, as they have no side effects and won’t interfere with the body’s own immune responses.

Inhaling steam with eucalyptus oil as a decongestant, rubbing a mixture of pine, eucalyptus and neroli oils on the chest or using them in a vaporiser, will all help to keep nasal passages clear. But food and drink are the quickest cure. Every two hours take a glass of hot water, the juice of a lemon, a teaspoon of honey and a quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon. This soothes the throat and chest, encourages sweating and prevents mucus becoming thick and sticky through dehydration.

In over 40 years of research the British Common Cold Research Unit suggested that zinc had the ability to shorten the duration of colds – their only positive finding. Make sure you eat spinach, chickpeas, kidney beans, pumpkin seeds and pilchards, which are all good sources. Selenium is commonly deficient in average diets and this is known to improve natural immunity. Get your daily requirements from shellfish, a handful of brazil nuts and whole grains.

Double Nobel prize winner, Linus Pauling, advocated large doses of vitamin C for both prevention and cure of the common cold. Although there has never been definitive scientific proof, the role of vitamin C is important in the healing process and in the optimum performance of the body’s natural immune system. Large quantities of citrus fruits and juices are an essential part of a quick cure. But they should also be part of your regular family disease prevention routine.

Onions and garlic have been traditional cold cures around the world. Onion soup in France and the East of England, whole bulbs of garlic in Eastern Europe, these natural remedies are still used to this day. The antibacterial effect of garlic has been well proven in many scientific studies, so add plenty of both to your salads, soups or even sandwiches.

The UK Consumers’ Association suggests that cold and flu medicines could be a waste of money. Many of them contain ingredients that you might not need and in any case would be better off without. Their advice, and mine - is hot lemon drinks with honey, simple inhalations, lots of rest and lots of water.


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