Here are some tips that can help you to minimise your winter blues and help you to avoid catching colds and flu.
The change of season from summer to autumn, to winter can be very hard on our body. The change in the weather patterns, grey wet days and long dark nights can contribute to constitutional imbalances, which can manifest in acute conditions such as colds, flu and depressive moods. If you have not started your prevention program, it is important you start now!
Autumn is the time when we must start the prevention program for the maintenance of good health during the winter. It is the time when we must get our bodies ready for the winter months ahead.
- Warm sesame oil massages, either in the morning or evening.
- Practice yoga and meditation.
- Spicy and aromatic herbal teas.
- The diet should consist of warm foods with a sweet, mildly spicy, sour and salty flavor. Cook with spices like turmeric, cardamom, ginger, coriander etc. Start the day with a small bowl of oats, rice or quinoa flavoured with maple syrup, honey or cinnamon. Add to it nourishing seeds like chia, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, ground almonds. For lunch and supper choose nourishing foods such as steamed vegetables or soup. Avoid too much raw salad, cold drinks or ice, as they may destabilise the digestion. If you notice that your digestion is slightly out of balance sip hot water during the day and take fresh ginger tea.
- The most important point is to allow your body and mind time to adjust to the new season – give them time and support them. Ensure that you receive adequate periods of rest and sleep, have a good nutritious diet, and take regular, appropriate exercise and try to maintain a positive state of mind. By working towards this, you will start to re-charge your body and really feel ready and fully charged for the winter.
- A gentle detox program is recommended this time of the year. It can consist of simply “cleaning up” your eating habits, such as allowing four hours in between each meal, sipping hot water during the day and have supper 3 to 4 hours before bedtime. You can also start the day with a warm lemonade (made with fresh lime) and not eat breakfast if you are not hungry. A gentle liver herb would also help with the elimination of toxicity from your body, and taking Triphala 1/2 h before bedtime would help the body to rid itself of toxins during the resting hours.
Herbs and Herbal Formulae
Everyone by now has heard about Echinacea and there is no doubt that this is a miracle herb. The many benefits one can derive from this herbs go far beyond the respiratory system. It is one of the herbs that has been researched for years and the research is still ongoing. The more it is studied the more benefits are discovered. It can be taken as part of a preventative program to enhance your immune system. The minimum dose recommended for adults is 9ml a day. It is important you get a good quality Echinacea, and preferably organic. Please give me a call if you need further information.
Sambucus nigra fructus
Elder berries – Many studies have shown its amazing anti-viral action. This herb also can be taken as part of a preventative program.
There are many other herbs that are considered immune enhancing herbs, like Andrographis paniculata, Olea europea, Zingiber officiale Thymus vulgaris, Achillea millefolium etc. In order to derive the greatest benefit from these herbs it is best to take them in an immune enhancing formula. As a medical herbalist, this is the way I prefer to prescribe herbs. Even Echinacea can work better if taken in a formula. Formulae can be adapted to the individual constitution and therefore the results can be greater.
If you asked me what would be good for a cough I would ask you what sort of cough you have. In particular for coughs, I always combine herbs not only according to the constitution of the individual person but also according to the type of cough. If a cough is dry it requires different herbs from the cough that is productive. Again, there are many herbs that can be used with great success for coughs and chest infections. A delicious Thyme and Liquorice Syrup comes to my mind!
Vitamin C – Everyone knows how important it is to take this simple but very effective vitamin during the Winter season and indeed during the year when life becomes stressful.
Zinc – is found in every cell of our body and therefore is involved in very many functions of the body, including our immune system.
Vitamin D3 4000iu – 3 Winters ago the Ministry of Health requested an in-dept study into this vitamin and concluded that in this country most of us are deficient. It was found that Vit D is involved in many more functions in our body than was previously thought. Essentially, like zinc it is found in every cell of the body. It affects the function of some of our neuro-transmitters, our immune system, our bones our hormones, and the list goes on. The minimum adult dose now recommended is 4000iu and day as opposed to 1000iu a day before the latest research.
Manuka Honey – is packed with minerals and vitamins, in addition it is great for sore throats dry coughs.
Garlic – a great medicine especially for this time of the year. There are already odour free capsules available.
5-HTP and St John’s Wort are known for their effects on serotonin levels and can help to lift the gloomy moods during the Winter season.
Note: Please note that most of these supplements also exist for children. A child usually can benefit from a good multi-vitamin formula plus Vitamin D3 made especially for children.
What should we have in our kitchen cabinet during Autumn and Winter?
- Echinacea and or a good tailor-made immune enhancing herbal formula
- Vitamin C – Time release
- Vitamin D3 4000iu
- Manuka Honey
- 5HTP or St John’s Wort (for depressed moods)
The best prevention program is a holiday in the sun. I always safe nearly all my holidays for the winter season..
Note: I will be away for the whole month of December/17
Have a lovely cold and flu free Christmas and New Year! Remember, moderation in eating and drinking is part of your prevention program…..
Our next newsletter should reach you in the early spring. Just in time to advice on cleansing programs and allergies (like hay fever) etc.
Thank you all 🙂
Disclaimer: The content of this newsletter is for information only. You must always consult a medical herbalist before taking any herbs or supplements mentioned in this newsletter.
Dipl. CNM, MURHP
The Natural Pharmacie
iria(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)thenaturalpharmacie.co.uk
Tel.: 01225 723 894