Are you looking to keep your immune system fighting fit this winter? This time of year there are all sorts of nasty cold and flu bugs going around. How can we keep ourselves well?
First, make sure you’re eating a healthy, varied diet. My advice to everyone is “eat a rainbow”: fruit and veg of as many different colours as you can as the different colour pigments contain different nutrients. Plenty of water and herbal tea to allow your body to flush everything through. Garlic, ginger, onions, mushrooms, spices…these all have anti-viral/antibacterial properties.
What not to do? Eating too much sugar and processed foods, stress, smoking, poor sleep, lack of exercise…all these factors are bad for your immune system. If you do go out and people are coughing and spluttering everywhere, wash your hands as soon as you can and try and avoid touching your face and transferring viral particles to your nose/mouth/eyes.
I have a number of patients who like to take herbs to keep well over winter and so I mix up specific blends for all of them. There are a few herbs that I use for most people, such as elderberry (Sambucus nigra, see above), as it has been found to inhibit the growth of different strains of flu and other viruses. However, no two people are the same and so for those with “weak chests” (from growing up in smoky homes for example) I can use herbs specifically for this; or for those who generally have blocked sinuses I can help get rid of the catarrh. I can help with stress and sleep issues too! As we all know, viruses don’t respond to antibiotics but secondary bacterial infections can get in, and I have a number of antibacterial herbs that I can use if this happens. I also frequently work alongside prescribed medication so that isn’t a problem.
If you’d like to talk about keeping your immune system tip-top then please get in touch!