Winter warmers :-)
I am a summer girl and used to dread winter, being all the time cold and getting sick on the drop of the hat.
One day I decided enough was enough, and I went to my homeopath to talk about it. He prescribed me a miasmatic remedy that changed so much for me.
I also started to do a few things to rebuild my immune system, and these small changes made a huge difference in how I felt. They can help you too:
I start my day with half a lemon, squeezed in warm water. It’s a great natural way to detox your system. When we are run down, our bodies start to stress and build up acid and this causes inflammation. Lemon is a proven alkalizer and our immune systems respond well to warm lemon water.
When I’m feeling that my body needs an extra boost, I increase my vitamin C. You can do that by eating vitamin C rich food or get good quality vitamin supplements. Your body will tell you when you have enough. Take vitamin C until you reach bowel tolerance. Your body will only absorb as much as it needs. When your stool is starting to become loose, stop taking vitamin C.
Reduce your sugar. Sugar suppresses your immune system. With sugar intake, instead of working 100%, your immune system can drop to 50% for up to four hours – making you susceptible to nasty bugs. Reduce simple sugars, avoid sugary soft drinks and look out for natural sugar substitutes and sugar-free recipes. Here are some of my favourites:
Drink good quality water, we often forget to drink water during winter. Remember your body is 60% water.
Get good sleep. When I’m feeling less than 100%, I give my body a bit of break by going to sleep earlier. In wintertime, one of the best things in the world is to be under your warm doona.
When you’re stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. A biological legacy, this is our “flight or fight” hormone. As cortisol levels rise, your body is focused on the perceived threat and it has no energy to deal with infections. High cortisol levels have also been associated with sleep problems and weight gain. Do things that make you feel peaceful: reading, walking in nature, gardening, some light exercise. Do anything that makes you calm. When I’m a bit too edgy, meditation and time in nature grounds me and stops me from freaking out.
Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, depression, weight gain, and other diseases. We get most of our vitamin D from the sun, so during the winter months, we may need to take a supplement. You can measure the amount of vitamin D by doing a blood test. The blood test you need is called the 25-hydroxy vitamin D test.
Mine was extremely low when I was prone to infections two years ago. Supplements made all the difference.
We can boost vitamin D by increasing sun exposure, choosing foods high in Vitamin D or supplements. It is important to note you need sunlight on as much skin as possible for proper vitamin D absorption.
Few other supplements which we use during winter are:
Selenium you can eat 3 organic brazil nuts if you prefer it in food form instead of supplements.
Zinc I prefer one in liquid form.
Foods to avoid. Diary, wheat and bananas are mucus forming, which should be avoided if you are already feeling congested due to infection.
Get probiotics in your diet. I like to get them from fermented foods and drinks. I love sauerkraut and kombucha. If you’re not a fan of fermented food get your probiotics in supplement form. Having a balanced gut flora is crucial for the great working immune system. Check this website for fermented food recipes:
If you never have done fermenting here is a great YouTube video with Sandor Katz: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i77hU3zR-fQ
This is great anytime, but it’s a miracle cure for a scratchy throat. I use a teaspoon of coconut oil and swish it in my mouth for 20 min. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties and drains toxin from your body. After swishing, spit the oil out, do not swallow. Swish some warm salty water in your mouth and brush your teeth. If oil pulling creates a gagging reflex that is too much to cope with, you can try scraping your tongue with a tongue scraper.
If you get a cold, remember to use boiling water on your toothbrush in between brushings, this will kill off any virus or bacteria.
Also, we love to take baths, you can have a lovely detoxifying bath using home ingredients such as Epsom salt to relax you, ginger to help you sweat ( I use fresh one), baking soda, sea salt, and apple cider vinegar. You soak in up to 40 minutes, first 20 helps your body to detoxify and the next 20 minutes help your body to absorb the minerals. As you sweat a lot of drinking water during and after is important.
Use the following foods to help boost your immune system.
Eat heaps of garlic. You can mix up a dressing to add to salads, add to pasta or drink with hot water. Some people add honey to their garlic drink, as I am not a fan of sugar in my diet I go with hot water only, and sip on it. Yes, garlic does have certain smelly side effects, but there are also benefits as this proverb about garlic states “A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat.”
Cinnamon. Just like garlic, cinnamon is a natural antibiotic. Add it to your drinks. Try this fantastic winter combo:
1 cup hot water
1 1/2 tsp raw unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar
1 tsp raw unfiltered honey or use a bit of green apple juice
1/4 tsp. organic cinnamon
We also love another winter spicy drink: I chop fresh ginger, lemon, turmeric, add apple cider vinegar and manuka honey when we need extra warmth or if we feel a bit under weather.
This makes perfect anti-inflammatory drink which soothes the throat and helps combat infections. It has a few other extra bonuses: helps with nauseous, heals the gut and helps with acid reflux.
Use turmeric in your cooking. Winter is a good time for curries and turmeric is a spice that makes a fabulous base for a curry. You can also add it to dressings, use it in marinades and to spice up scrambled eggs.
I am a fan of soups, almost every day we have soup on the menu. I use bone broth which is great for our gut and we make various vegetable soups and my boys favourite chicken soup.
These few changes turned me from a winter wimp to a water sports lover. I’m in the ocean all year long on my paddleboard :-)))
And now a few homeopathic supplements which I love!
When I a bit under the weather let say I feel a bit of head cold I start with Ferrum Phos tissue salt it is so helpful and work fast. It is useful with fevers, redness, inflammation, and minor irritation, congestions, throbbing pain, red sore throats and helps with fast recovery it is cold first aid supplement in my books. If used fast enough it will help nip cold in the bud.
Works well with the kids when they, not themselves, symptoms are not coming yet clearly but you can see they a bit under weather you can dissolve Ferrum Phos tablets in hot water and let them sip on it.
If I don’t have with me I always carry in my bag Ferrum Phos 30C this one is a homeopathic remedy and works in a similar fashion. Good to have both.
Use Ferrum Phos tissue salt as a building block to fight inflammation in your body.
For fatigue, if you not quite sure what your body needs but you feel exhausted use a general tonic combination of twelve salts together is a great remedy for tiredness.
Another one which is must for winter is Kali Mur tissue salt called the glandular tonic.
This is one is good for the sore ulcerated throat, tonsils, cough, sinus congestion characterised by white mucus and white-coated tongue.
Now lets get into Homeopathic remedies I love to use during winter for colds.
My first one will be Oscillococcinum or different name Anas barbarian 200C potency.
It is a great remedy for sudden onset of flu, with high fevers and very painful headache.
Description of pain - bursting and the pain is felt in the bones. Also, painful cough which is irritating and pain in frontal sinuses. Pain in the ears, nasal discharge, obstruction and sneezing. A person who needs this remedy is pale, shivering and may have a tendency to wash hands often there is marked anxiety
Also for sudden onset of symptoms, I use remedy called Aconite you can use it in 30C it is a great remedy, especially for chill after being exposed to cold dry wind. It is the scenario for many mums child is coming home from spending all day outside on cold windy day and during night wakes up with fever, hot burning face, a bit of runny nose and child is restless and fearful and anxious. Aconite given in first 24 hours can stop cold or flu in its tracks.
Allium Cepa- is made of onion and is good for a cold which has the same symptoms you get when you cut onions: a runny nose, burning sensations in your eyes and nose, red and teary eyes etc.
Other cold symptoms that can be alleviated by Allium Cepa include sneezing when you enter a warm room and where you feel worse in the evenings and better with fresh air.
Arsenicum Album is the best cure when you have a runny burning discharge from the nose and eyes, or if you’re feeling anxious or restless. Hugging the heater without feeling warmer, sneezing without relief and a stuffy nose are other symptoms that call for Arsenicum Album especially when symptoms are worse at night and better for warmth.
Any gastric flu symptoms including diarrhea and vomiting, watery burning discharges or being chilly and feeling as though you can’t move are symptoms that respond to Arsenicum Album.
I sometimes know I need Arsenicum Album when I feel a bit run down but need to clean the house and won’t stop until everything is tidy and in order. Fastidiousness is one of the mental characteristics of this homeopathic remedy.
Belladonna Sudden onset can be as specific as 3 pm. High fever, glassy eyes, flushed face, dilated pupils, photophobia. Thirsty mostly for drinks with lemon in them. Can have delirium. Usually dry fever, so not sweaty. Dry barking cough, cough is ticking, short and dry and worse at night, children cry before they cough. Bloody mucus.
Bryonia another great remedy for winter. For people who don’t want to move they lay still, very ache and irritable they want to be left alone and rest, the bed feels too hard.
They are very thirsty for large quantities of drinks and for warm drinks.
The cough is dry and hard and painful they feel like they must hold their chest.
There is mucus which is a reddish or rusty colour
Calcarea Carbonica is the cure for stuffy colds with yellow mucus and unpleasant smelling breath or if your nostrils are dry and sore. It’s the homeopathic cure for colds that are caught at a change of weather and is great for babies with snuffles.
When you’re symptoms include heavy and trembling limbs, shivering up and down your spine without perspiration or you’re feeling very tired with sleepy heavy eyelids, reach for Gelsemium. It’s the remedy when you have a fuzzy head and can’t concentrate or a dry fever without thirst. These symptoms get worse with a change of weather, and are better for stimulants and open air.
Hepar Sulphuris is for a well-developed cold and for people sensitive to colds, those who sweat easily. This is the remedy when discharges are yellow and green if you have a sore throat, problems swallowing or the classic horse throat or barking cough.
Kali Bichromicum is the cure for those with coughs that produce a
stringy green catarrh, sneezing with a ropy stringy green discharge or swollen and burning eyes. All these symptoms also respond well to heat, so keep warm.
Merc Sol -a human barometer unable to regulate body temperature. Too hot or too cold May have a sore throat and swollen glands. Lots of salivation if throat involvement. Very sweaty but no relief after perspiration. Metallic or bad taste in the mouth and much saliva. Symptoms worse at night.
Nux Vomica- you can use 30C. Extremely chilly remedy. Craving for hot drinks. Incredible sensitive to noise, light anything agitates. May have cold symptoms and gastric symptoms.
The potency you can use for 30C potency for colds and flu. You can buy these remedies in health food stores and some pharmacies.
These remedies are just a few examples of how homeopathy can help. If you are struggling with a cold or flu, call me for a short consultation. We can get you through a cold quicker.
If you are healthy at the moment but have a tendency to catch a cold and you want to get on top of it, we can do a constitutional visit to assess your health and help your body to get stronger and more resistant.
That's it, hope it helps! :-)
Disclaimer: This blog and the information provided is for informational purposes only. Please consult with your doctor or other health professional to make sure this information is right for your family.