Welcome to the winter! I hope you are keeping warm.
Are you at the mercy of winter each year? Do those dreaded colds and flus leave you and your family with runny noses, coughs, sore throats, headaches, fevers and fatigue through the winter months? These symptoms are often the leading cause of time away from school and work. Now is the perfect time to boost your immune system and defend against cold and flu symptoms. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.
I have included some of my favorite ideas to nip those nasty bugs in the bud. Of course, we all need to get sick from time to time, but who ever said no to a little help in getting better fast!
COME ON – GET THUMPING
How many of you are already Thymus Tapping …
To stimulate the immune system and the release of healthy white blood cells from the thymus gland, firmly tap thymus area three times – at least three times daily. (Your Thymus Gland is located right behind your Sternum, or Breast Bone).
Most important of all … rest – yes, go to bed and get some sleep. Did you know that when you are sick your body requires sleep to increase white blood production … and that a fever helps your body fight of infection?
COLD AND FLU TIPS (FROM THE PANTRY)
Lynette’s wicked cold and flu brew:
Into a shot glass place; 1 teaspoon each of crushed garlic, ginger and manuka honey. Add lemon to taste and cover with nearly boiling water. Throw the whole lot down 2-3 times per day to encourage the body to healthy immune activity.
This is best taken at the onset of any sore throat or feeling of a cold coming on.
Add 1 tbsp of dried mustard powder to any footbath for a head cold, headache or chest cough. The blood will flow away from the congested area to the feet, relieving the symptoms.
Peel and chop onions (red onions are best) cover with some natural honey. Simmer for 10 minutes, then strain and use as cough medicine. Take 1 tsp hourly or as required.
Alternatively place one chopped onion in a bowl, Spoon honey over the top and leave to sit. After a few hours a liquid will form with the honey and onion juice, take 1 tsp hourly or as needed.
Don’t forget … to stop a tickly cough in the night … roughly chop a raw onion and place by the head. The fumes from the onion lay down on the throat and soothe that cough.
With the onset of winter, it’s time to think about warming foods and foods that support the immune system.
Following on from the Spring issue, here are the basics for staying as healthy as possible … Naturally. Remember the basics. Fresh and seasonal food, good sleep, and a routine that works well for your individual needs as well as for your family.
And seasonal food … when a local product is in season, there should be an abundance of it which usually means it’s less expensive, more packed with nutrition and has less or no treatment or processing.
Winter foods follow on from many foods in season from March to June so you will already be familiar with most of them. Now it’s time to turn them into warming foods. Consume vegetables such as peas, onions, spinach, orange kumara, pumpkin, and carrots to provide immune nourishing and antioxidant beta-carotene.
Don’t forget garlic, ginger and spices to warm you from the inside out, and dried or fresh beans and pulses for protein and fibre. Yum!
Seasonal Winter Foods:
Apples, Broccoli, Cabbage (red and green), Capsicums, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber (telegraph), Garlic, Kiwifruit, Kumara, Leeks, Lemons, Mandarins, Mushrooms, Onions, Oranges (in some areas), Parsnip, Potatoes (for most of year), Pumpkin, Radishes, Rhubarb, Silver beet, Spinach, Spring onion, Sprouted beans & seeds (all year around if you sprout your own), Squash, Swedes, Turnip, Watercress and Yams.
Some warming herbs and spices to add to soups, stews, broths and teas.
- Black pepper has antiseptic, and antioxidant properties.
- Cardamom is a member of the Ginger Family and is an expectorant (helps to open the respiratory passages).
- Cayenne is rich in vitamin C, and helps relieve chills, coughs and congestion. (Caution if allergy to Nightshades) Family
- Cinnamon helps dry dampness in the body and warms people that are always cold and suffering from poor circulation. Cinnamon is antiseptic and an excellent digestive tonic.
- Garlic helps one be more resistant to infection and improves circulation by helping to prevent the blood from clumping together.
- Ginger is a natural antioxidant and antiseptic and improves circulation to all parts of the body.
BONE BROTH (Excerpt from “Bone Broths” by Joanna Vinsen Loveys”)
Bone broths are often referred to as a super food – this is because it is a nutrient rich brew packed with minerals and lots of goodies in a form that your body can easily absorb; collagen, calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus, silica and sulphur plus minor trace minerals and essential amino acids such as glutamine, glycine, collagen and proline.
Bone broth protects the joints, is good for the gut, helps to maintain healthy skin and immune function, boosts detoxification and aids metabolism. It is recommended to support the treatment of leaky gut syndrome, food intolerances, to improve joint health and arthritic joint pain, for its anti-inflammatory properties and to boost the immune system.
Roasting and then simmering the bones in water or stock very slowly for a long period of time releases all the goodness. A crockpot or slow cooker is ideal for this purpose. Basically you cook it until the bones fall apart in the pot. You can drink the finished broth or you can use it in stews and cooking. Some people add vegetables and Braggs apple cider vinegar to increase the goodness. At the end of the cooking process you are going to end up with a protein rich stock full of collagen proline, glutamine, glycine, amino acids, minerals and gelatin.
For more information on the constituents and therapeutic benefits of Bone Broth please see our Article “Bone Broth” at http://myremedy.co.nz/bone-broth
Bone broth can be eaten on it’s own, or as a base for soups and casseroles. They are a wonderful way to get excellent nutrition into the whole family.
That’s all for now folks – stay warm and enjoy time with your family. If you can, wrap up warmly and get out to take in some sunlight and fresh air. If you need help with a cold or your immunity I highly recommend seeing a qualified Herbalist, Naturopath or Natural Medicine Specialist who can give you some extra guidance and therapeutic remedies to help you recover.
See you in the Spring!
Lynette Hill (BNatMed)
Naturopath at My Remedy Integrated Natural Medicine Clinic, Auckland. www.myremedy.co.nz