“A-choo!!!” “Bless you…” A familiar sound? Jip, it is almost that time of the year. My granny use to remind me constantly about the old adage: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is true for the majority of conditions afflicting human health.
Prevention is better than cure. This I thought… I ran into every shop. Grabbed an extra box of the 3 ply tissues (noticed how the stock climbed by 15 points), stocked up on bottles of hand sanitizers, refused to shake any persons hand, stayed clear of confined areas, ducked when someone sneezed but somehow still managed to catch the common cold. My obsessive compulsive behaviour let me down… Welcome to Winter-Wonderland!
It is important to distinguish a common cold from other conditions with some similar symptoms ex. Influenza and Rhinitis (Allergies).
Common Cold: A viral infection involving the upper respiratory tract. It is characterized by general malaise, slight fever, headache, watery nasal discharge and congestion of the mucosa. Duration: 3-5 days.
Influenza: An acute infectious respiratory disease caused by the influenza viruses attacking the respiratory epithelial cells. It produces a catarrhal inflammation. Symptoms include: Fever of short duration, chills, headache, muscle aches, a dry cough until secondary infection occurs and severe prostration. Strain-specific immunity develops but mutation in the viruses is frequent. Usually occurs in epidemics. The viruses can cause viral- or bacterial pneumonia.
Rhinitis (Allergies): Inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane. Hypersensitivity to a particular antigen results in a marked increase in reactivity to the antigen on subsequent exposure. Usually allergies presents with no fever, no evidence of infection and there is normally a history of seasonal allergic episodes.
Natural Therapies and medicine assist the body as opposed to suppress the symptoms. Interferon (the potent immune-stimulating compound), released by our blood cells and other tissues during infection, is responsible for many flu-like symptoms. Fever stimulates the immune system to defeat viruses. Eliminating the fever will result in prolonging the flu.
Seek immediate medical attention if: *symptoms of a cold last more than 4 days
*chest pain occurs
*fever higher than 39.4 degree Celsius noticed (in which case one has to intervene).
Get Ready… Action!
- Water – 6-8 glasses
- Rest – sleep 6-8 hours
- Wash your hands often
- Add 5 drops of Eucalyptus Oil in a hot tub / 6 drops in a cup and inhale the steam (do not drink)
- Avoid Sugar – impairs immune function
- Avoid dairy – increases mucus production
- Invest in a humidifier – mucus that isn’t expelled may harden and travel to the lungs (pneumonia)
- Botanical Medicine includes: Echinacea sp., Ginger, Astragalus, Goldenseal, Garlic, Maitake Mushrooms. Please note that some of these are contra indicated in specific illnesses and a registered Phytotherapist / Medical Herbalist must be consulted.
- Nutritional Supplementations include: Vitamin C, Vitamin A (Do not take Vit. A if pregnant) or Beta-Carotene, Vitamin E, Zinc Lozenges (not for more than 7 days : suppression of immune system). Consult a Naturopath re supplementation regime
- Thymus Extract
- Drink Potato Peeling Broth twice a day (make it fresh daily)
Recipe for Potato Peeling Broth
3 potatoes (scrubbed and remove any eyes)
2 carrots sliced
1 celery stalk sliced
1.8 Litres steam-distilled water
1 onion sliced,
and/or 3 cloves garlic, peeled (not advised with anti coagulant medicine / aspirin)
Pinch of Salt & Pepper for taste
- Cut the potatoes in half. Cut the peel from the potatoes, making sure to keep about 13 mm of potato with the peel. Set aside the potato centres for another use.
- Place potato peelings, carrot and celery in a large pot. Cover it with the 1.8 Litres of water.
- Add the Onions and/or Garlic. Salt and/or Pepper in moderation.
- Boil for 40 minutes.
- Cool the broth.
- Strain and discard the vegetables.
Irish saying: “May each petal on the shamrock.
This brings a wish your way
Good Health, Good Luck, and Happiness
For today and every day.”
Let’s start boosting our immune system. An apple a day keeps the Doctor away and 5 greens a day kick the winter-blues away.