It’s that time of the year where winter bugs, colds and flu are common and people are stocking up on remedies and treatments for all the family.
The Flu Vaccine is heavily promoted and many people are deciding whether to have or not have this jab. Personally I choose not to have the flu vaccine and instead prefer to work towards building a strong healthy immune system for myself and my family, and have a well-stocked natural remedies cabinet.
Here are my top tips for winter wellness
Build a healthy immune system
A strong immune system will be more resilient to bugs and if you do pick something up you will find that you bounce back much quicker.
A diet full of wholefoods, leafy greens and good quality water is a great start, along with looking after your gut health. Pro-biotics and fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kefir which are full of beneficial bacteria – essential to a healthy intestinal tract.
This very important vitamin is not produced in the human body but is essential for our ability to fight infection. I buy a high quality vitamin C powder and take it regularly – and in high doses if I feel under the weather. You can increase your Vitamin C intake until your stools become loose which is a sign your body has enough at that point.
This amazing herb is natures ‘immune stimulant’, it helps to boost your immune system and ward off bugs. I recommend using an echinacea tincture as this absorbs faster than tablets and to only take it when you are coming down with something - if you take it too regularly then your body will become used to it and it will lose some of its effectiveness.
I’ve found if it is taken at the very first sign of a cold it can stop it developing any further.
There are natural cold balm/rub products available which are a must-have to have on hand. I find them really effective to rub on the chest, neck and back area to help clear the airways and congestion. For little ones (and big ones) they can be rubbed on their feet.
Thyme Bath Infusion
I have had many thyme baths over the years as this is my Mum, Lynn’s, favourite treatment for any bug, cold, flu, illness or just when you are feeling run-down.
Thyme is highly antiseptic and I’ve been amazed how many bugs seem to run for miles after one of these baths!
Known as ‘natures anti-biotic’ colloidal silver has been used for over 90 years and has proven itself to be a powerful immune support. I have seen this for myself time and time again and there is always one in the cupboard at home. It can be taken internally as a general remedy or sprayed in the nose, in the ears and on the skin. This is another great remedy for all the family.
I’ve found over the years that I am much more susceptible to picking up bugs if I am run-down or stressed physically or emotionally. When under stress our immune system is suppressed so it makes sense that we are more likely to pick something up.
With pressures of life in this day and age it is even more important to find ways to relax your mind and body that work for you. I have found exercise and mindfulness/meditation really helpful with achieving this.
Homoeopathy is a safe and effective way to treat the whole family. There are some great general remedies available such as AGE for colds and flu and I have had good results using this with myself and the kids. Knowing a Homeopath in your region is a great connection to have and they can recommend other remedies based on the symptoms and the individual person.
There are many winter wellness options nowadays, both pharmaceutical and natural and we are bombarded with marketing about what we should and shouldn’t be doing.
I am passionate about natural wellbeing and believe that we can utilise what nature has to offer to help achieve this in a proactive way – prevention is best whenever possible!
By Sarah Cowan (Managing Director, The Herb Farm)