’Tis The Season Of Winter Ills
Antibiotics do not work against cold viruses, and their over prescription has caused the resistant bugs like MRSA. But there are herbal preparations that can help to minimise the symptoms.
Pelargonium is the traditional herbalist’s way of fighting off coughs and sore throats. Because Kaloba is a standardized herbal remedy, you can be certain that you get the exact dose of the essential constituents of Pelargonium every time you take a dose of this registered traditional herbal medicine. At the first sign of symptoms start taking 30 drops three times a day for 10 days.
This herb is not suitable during pregnancy or breastfeeding unless on the specific advice of your doctor but it can be given to children over 6 when it’s very valuable for youngsters with recurring chest infections and tonsillitis.
Eat plenty of citrus fruits and pure juices for vitamin C and bioflavonoids. Eat spinach, chickpeas, kidney beans, pumpkin seeds and pilchards for zinc; shellfish, wholegrain cereals and Brazil nuts for selenium; onions and garlic for their antibacterial effect. Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
Cut down on dairy products and caffeine.
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. Americans spend one billion dollars a year on cold remedies, but none of these, or the same medicines bought in the UK, treat the illness, they only relieve the symptoms and not as well as natural products.
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 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 which you might not need and in any case would be better off without. Their advice and mine is to use hot lemon drinks with honey, simple inhalations, lots of rest and lots of water.
Symptoms Coughs can be short, dry and painful, or loose and productive. They can come singly or in paroxysms of violent coughing.
Eat more raw fruit and vegetables for vitamin C and beta-carotenes; garlic, onions, leeks, chives, thyme for their antibacterial effect; lemons and honey for soothing properties;
Eat less dairy produce and salt.
A cough does not always indicate chest disease or infection.
Dust, atmospheric pollutants, smoke, chemical fumes or even a wrongly swallowed piece of food, can trigger the cough reflex.
The cough expels the irritant from the lungs and so acts as their first line of defence.
A cough however is the most common of all respiratory symptoms and may indicate the presence of asthma, a chest infection, chronic bronchitis, or any chronic obstructive airways disease (COAD). Coughs are generally worse at night or first thing in the morning, and can even be irritated by changes in temperature or weather.
The traditional treatments of inhalation with essential oils, and drinking hot water, honey and lemon do a great deal to soothe the discomfort. Reducing salt intake also reduces the likelihood of fluid retention which can add to chesty congestion and Naturopaths believe that reducing consumption of dairy products lessens the amount of mucus produced by the body.
Lung tissue requires an abundance of beta-carotene and vitamin A, all infections benefit from an increase in vitamin C, and herbalists throughout the Western world have traditionally relied on the antibacterial properties of Pelargonium, garlic, onions and leeks in the treatment of all chest infections. Thyme is a powerfully antibacterial herb and should be used liberally in cooking and on salads. Five drops of essential oil of thyme in 25ml of carrier oil, makes a soothing chest rub.
Influenza is an acute viral infection which recurs throughout the population every year. Approximately every three years flu reaches epidemic proportions as new strains of virus appear, to which the general population has no acquired immunity. Make sure your kitchen cupboard is always equipped with the necessary remedies.
To help with the miserable symptoms of headache, temperature, aches and pains and the dry cough that nearly always accompanies flu, use lots of lemon juice, cinnamon, hot water and honey as a general soother.
Copious amounts of lime blossom tea will help lower your temperature and relieve the aches and pains. Drink lots of pineapple juice for its healing enzymes. Adding a generous pinch of cinnamon to all your hot drinks increases their benefit.
The time to worry about nutrition and flu is before you get it so follow all the tips for immune boosting in this factsheet.
If you’re unfortunate enough to catch flu - and most of us will from time to time - go to bed, go directly to bed, do not pass go, do not collect £200. And stay in bed for at least 48 hours. Do not go back to work, school or college for a week.
For the first 24 hours, take 30 drops of Kaloba three times a day, lots of fluids and eat grapes, berries, citrus fruits and ripe pears only.
In the second 24 hours, add cooked vegetables and salad. On the third day, start eating bread, potatoes, rice, and pasta. By day four you should be able to go back to your normal -and I hope healthy - diet. The restricted food intake at the start of this plan will push up your white cell count and, together with the vitamin C in the fruit and Pelargonium in the Kaloba will give your immune system a much needed boost.
Cold, wet compresses around the neck and on the front of the chest will help make you much more comfortable while you have a high temperature.
During a bout of flu take 1g of vitamin C three times a day, 5,000 iu of vitamin A and a high-strength B complex tablet. After a week reduce the dose to 1g of vitamin C, 1,000 iu of vitamin A and continue the B complex. Keep taking these supplements for at least three weeks.
Avoiding flu depends on the effectiveness of your body’s natural defences. Keep them firing on all cylinders with all this information.
Flu is a serious illness and returning to your normal lifestyle too quickly is the most common cause of secondary chest infections and possibly pneumonia. Struggling on at work with raging flu is foolhardy and irresponsible towards others.
The very young, the elderly and anyone with asthma, chronic bronchitis or other obstructive airways disease, heart disease, kidney problems, diabetes or undergoing immuno-suppressant therapy is at great, possibly even fatal, risk from flu. They should get medical help at once and avoid contact with any obvious sufferers and make sure they have the yearly vaccine. For children this is now available as a squirt of liquid into the nose, so no jab needed!
There is an excellent supplement to help with winter protection for adults and children over three years old.
ALIVE! IMMUNE SUPPORT is a soft jell multi-vitamin containing vitamins A, B6, C, D and zinc, all essential for your immune system.
For info go to: www.feelaliveuk.com/product/alive-immune-support/
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