Yup, 'tis the season for coughs and colds and general yuckiness!
Follow my top tips to stay well and recover quickly this winter
1. Vitamin C
At the first sign of a sniffle you need to up your vitamin C intake. So if you're not already supplementing then it's a good time to start! It's generally thought that doses of more than 2000mg could cause loose bowels, so stay beneath that and be aware of any changes to your poo as it may mean you're sensitive to it.
Vitamin C is essential for a healthy immune system, provides antioxidant support and is also integral for collagen production, so it's great for skin!
Natural vitamin-c-rich foods include oranges, peppers and kiwis.
As for supplementing, a good brand like Neal's Yard (made by Viridian) or Cytoplan are my recommendations. Neal's Yard are available here and for Cytoplan please drop me a line for your unique link
2. Vitamin D
Also knows as 'the sunshine vitamin' on account of our bodies producing this in response to sunlight, in recent years it has been shown that our levels of Vitamin D are really lacking in the northern hemisphere and so a supplement of this is recommended. What you're looking for is Vitamin D3, which is the easiest absorbed form of the vitamin.
There's very little I'm going to say that you probably can't guess - but sugar is inflammatory and could possibly keep that cold lurking for longer. Switch to fruit over biccies, though I know it's often easier said than done.
As above... dairy is the perfect medium for bacteria to reproduce. Switching to almond or oat milk in your cuppa may be a good idea in the short term and who knows? You may even prefer it!
5. Greens, reds, purples...
5 a day? More like 9! And if you can manage to increase your fruit and veg intake then you'll be getting a wonderful range of your essential nutrients which help fuel your body for fighting off pathogens. Soups are a fab idea, smoothies should be focussed on lower-sugar fruits and incorporating some greens like spinach, kale or broccoli to help keep the overall sugar content low.
This old favourite is pretty well known now! Us herbalists have the benefit of knowledge and experience to know what doses are going to work best for individuals (or indeed if another herb is preferable). It's thought that echinacea works by increasing phagocytosis, so a very broad method of modifying immune function and potentially effective against most bugs and nasties. Drop me a line for more info on Echinacea or to explore a bespoke herbal blend for you
7. Thyme and Honey
Thyme is known as 'the father of the respiratory tract' by many herbalists due to its all-round-greatness for coughs and colds. Thyme is one of my first port of calls for the family - this great syrup has honey in, so not suitable for infants under a year old
8. Elderberry and Propolis Sprat
This IS a good one for the smalls; full of vitamin C and antioxidants plus it tastes gorgeous to boot. If you've not managed to forage and make your own elderberry products this year (ahem, me included!) then this is a goodie. Especially for those rotten sore throats when nothing else seems to touch it
9. SneezeEase Tea
The Herb Garden SneezeEase is a staple over the winter - full of elderflower, catmint, lime flowers, plantain and other herbs, this blend is gentle enough for all the family (under six months under the guidance of a medical herbalist) it's a delicious blend of herbs and made with streaming noses and fevers in mind. Add a splodge of manuka honey to boost this teas magical powers! The Herb Garden do an awesome range of teas other than the SneezeEase, pictured below is the yummy Chill Out (for those worn out over the Christmas period this may be the one for you!)
10. My Self-Care guide
To get your free copy of my guide, sign up to my mailing list by going to the 'Contact' page and inputting your email address and I'll send it over to you. Packed full of ideas and recipes to keep you well throughout the year, not just for winter colds this guide helps you to make and take your own remedies at home
11. See a Professional
Especially if you have a complicated health history, have been suffering for a prolonged period of time with no improvement OR are a parent to a young child then do seek professional guidance; whether that be myself, your GP or a combination of the both of us then it's important you get seen for the very best advice and care
Stay Healthy Folks!