Common cold season is upon us and so it's worth refreshing our minds on all the best ways to protect ourselves and which natural remedies are best for boosting our body's defences.
What we refer to as a "cold" is actually the symptoms of a virus, most commonly caused by a Rhinovirus infection. There are thought to be over 200 viruses that can cause cold-like symptoms, with the average adult contracting up to 2-4 colds a year.
However, while colds are common and spread easily between people, they are not completely inevitable. There are lots of preventative measures you can take to increase your chances of staying fit and healthy while everyone around you seems to be dropping like spluttering, mucus filled flies.
Get savvy on ways to put a stop to the season's sniffles and enjoy optimum health all year round!
Supplement with the "sunshine" vitamin
Studies have pointed to the fact that the reason we are so much more susceptible to catching a cold during the winter months is because of a lack of naturally occurring vitamin D, in the form of UVB rays.
In fact, deficiency in the so-called "sunshine" vitamin has been linked to a whole host of conditions, including depression and weight gain, and is a lot more widespread than people think. Therefore, taking a supplement through the winter months could really help to strengthen your defences and improve your overall wellbeing.
Echinacea & elderberry everyday
These are two known powerhouses in the fight against upper respiratory tract infections, aka the common cold. Although the science to back up the claims can be somewhat tenuous, it's worth noting that the research into herbal remedies doesn't have the same financial backing as Big Pharma, so don't write it off completely.
The best advice is to take small doses on a daily basis to build up extra protection from any viruses doing the rounds.Pukka teas do a great blend combining both ingredients, or you can get a range of supplements from a health food shop.
Natural & effective hot tea tonics
Reinforce the body's natural defences using powerful remedies derived from nature. Not only do hot drinks soothe the throat, re-hydrate the lymphatic system and act as a decongestant; depending on the ingredients in your beverage, it can also act as a powerful health tonic.
Some of the best natural remedies are;
Garlic: Contains the compound, allicin, which converts into sulphur in the body and is thought to produce powerful immune-boosting properties.
Ginger: A good source of vitamin C and also contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties which protects against infection.
Apple cider vinegar:Alkalises in the body which creates an environment that infections can't thrive in, thus protecting you. Also boosts immunity by providing a healthy dose of gut-friendly bacteria.
Tumeric: One of the most powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidising substances known to man.
Honey & lemon: An age old remedy for the common cold. Raw, organic honey is as effective as over the counter medicines for soothing a sore throat, or a cough. Lemon is highly effective at detoxifying the liver and providing the body with a vitamin C boost.
Lifestyle tips for optimal health
Steam bowl & essential oils: Sticking your head in steam may take a minute or two to set up, but is really worth it. Not only will the steam act as a powerful decongestant, adding a few drops of eucalyptus and lavender essential oils will significantly increase it's effectiveness.
Good night's rest:You've heard it before and you'll hear it again; sleep is a fundamental factor in your overall health. In fact, research suggests that you could b e as much as 4 times more likely to catch a cold if you are sleep deprived.
Exercise intuitively: Getting the blood circulating around your body is always going to boost health, however overdoing it in your exercise routine can have a negative impact on your body's natural healing abilities. It's about being intuitive and listening to your body's needs.