As winter approaches so does the frequency of illness and other conditions related to the colder weather, from dry chapped skin to the flu, winter brings along a bunch of unpleasant ailments. For many reasons, you don’t want to rush to the doctor at the slightest hint of a snotty nose, here are 10 simple natural remedies that can be used to prevent and treat some of the most common ailments experienced during the upcoming chilly months.
As a member of the super hero class of foods, ginger has many beneficial qualities. As a tasty addition to a dish, to medicinal properties, a little bit of ginger will go a long way to helping you fight the winter blues. The active ingredient, Gingerol, is said to have anti-oxidant properties, which assist in breaking down the accumulation of toxins and boosting the immune system, thereby improving the bodies ability to fight off ever lurking infections. Combined with it’s anti-inflammatory qualities, it is also helpful in reducing the general effects of ill health. Pop a few bits of raw ginger into your morning smoothie or combine it with some honey for your bedtime drink.
Together with it’s anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial qualities, honey is the perfect natural cough syrup. Honey coats the throat and soothes the irritated nerve endings and, let’s face it, getting your little one to take 2 tablespoons of honey is going to be a lot easier than a store bought cough syrup. Because of its natural anti-biotic nature it can also help soothe and treat wounds, making it an effective remedy for dry chapped winter lips. It is important to note that honey is not suitable for infants.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
The many benefits of apple cider vinegar come from it’s healing compounds. Due to it’s germ busting capabilities it can help with the treatment of a sore throat and is effective in breaking down mucus, helping ease a blocked nose. Mix it with water for an effective throat gargle or add a teaspoon to a glass of water to assist in managing your seasonal allergies. Apple cider vinegar should always be used in a diluted form.
There are a myriad of reasons to have oats in your home, but did you know that skin moisturising was one of them? Oats have a high lipid and protein content which provides them with humectant and emollient properties. For seasonal related eczema or dry itchy skin add some to your bath or mix ground oats with warm water to form a paste for instant relief.
Here’s another member of the super hero class whose medicinal qualities date back to Hippocrates, the ancient Greek known as the “father of medicine”. Elderberries are known as one of the top antiviral herbs with super immune boosting qualities. Studies have shown that the use of Elderberry can reduce the duration of colds and flu symptoms and, with it’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, ease allergies and assist with the management of sinus infections. Elderberries are available in many different forms including tea and tablet, Elderberry syrup is popular for the treatment of colds and flu.
6. Chest rub
A tried and tested must have for everyone’s medicine cabinet. If coughing, a tight chest and a blocked nose is keeping you or your family awake, apply a mentholated topical petrolatum-based gel to the chest and back at bedtime, it will help ease the cough and tightness allowing for a good nights sleep, a very important factor when fighting any infection. There are commercial products available, or make your own using essential oils, there are some great recipes available, but always verify that the ingredients are safe and will not cause harm.
Although great on your pizza garlic also offers many health benefits. The compound allicin found in fresh garlic has both anti-bacterial and anti fungal properties and taking 2 to 3 cloves a day will assist in relieving a blocked nose and building immunity against colds and flu.
Try Eugenie Rowson’s Sinusitis, Rhinities and Post Nasal Drip Formula for natural relief.
Along with winter comes the cold, dry air causing chapped lips, flaky skin and dry, tight sinus’s. Besides the obvious discomfort factor, sinus’s that are dry are up to 50% more likely to attract infection and airborne infections are most easily dispersed in low air humidity. Studies have shown that by increasing the moisture content to just 43% drastically reduces the transmission of airborne infections. The added benefit, of helping keep your skin soft and vibrant during the winter months, makes a humidifier a significant addition to your home. It’s important to remember that humidifiers need to be maintained to prevent bacteria and mould build up, a thorough clean at least once a week with regular filter changes are a must.
You can also try Eugenie Rowson’s Dry Skin Formula for a dry and troubled skin.
9. Nutrition and exercise
With the colder weather comes our tendency towards comfort food and couch time over our usual healthy diet and exercise routine. To fight off infection our bodies need to be in good health, maintaining a healthy, nutritious diet in combination with regular exercise is of paramount importance. Make sure you have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, soups are a great way to stay warm and to ensure you’re getting your daily veggies and with citrus fruits being in season there’s no excuse for not getting your daily dose of vitamin c.
10. General hygiene
Prevention is always better than a cure. To hinder the transference of germs proper hygiene is of the utmost importance. Wash your hands often and effectively, keep anti-bacterial hand sanitizer handy for situations when you’re unable to effectively wash your hands. When coughing or sneezing, do so into a tissue and discard immediately, if you don’t have one available, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hand. Use an anti-bacterial agent to ensure the surfaces in your home and workplace are kept clean and germ free.
Following the above suggested natural remedies will help you keep those winter bugs at bay, but remember that if symptoms persist you should consult a professional and special precaution should be taken for the young, the old and for those who may, for any reason, have a compromised immune system.
These natural remedies for winter ailments are brought to you by Eugenie Rowson and The Remedy Shoppe. Call The Remedy Shoppe or book an appointment with Eugenie Rowson to optimise your health. 076 410 8262.
The Remedy Shoppe is based in Douglasdale, Johannesburg, South Africa. All products are available online at The Remedy Shoppe.