Apparently, the flu is going to hit worse than ever this winter, and the NHS are gearing up for a severe flu outbreak. Of course, the flu isn’t the same as a cold, they reckon if you really have flu, and there’s a stash of a million pounds at the end of the bed – you just can’t get it, here’s hoping none of us are struck down! But for the common cold and the debilitating winter ailments that do befall us, what can we do to boost our immunity naturally and stay healthy, positive and happy through the winter months?
Let’s start with some tips and wisdom from Naturopathic Nutritionist and yoga teacher Ciara Jean Roberts, she suggests the following:
Oil Pulling – using cold pressed organic coconut oil, take one tablespoon into the mouth and swirl for at least four minutes. This acts to pull toxins from the mouth, supple up the lips, as well as being a great all round anti-bacterial for the oral cavity – very important for preventing colds in the winter months. Spit into the bin rather than the sink. (Make it the best quality such as Tiana Fair Trade Organics Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Coconut oil).
Garlic Shots – yes you need to love garlic for this one – chop up one or two cloves of garlic, place into a glass and add about 100 millilitres of water and drink back. Especially helpful to nip the beginnings of a cold in the bud but also helps regulate lipid profile and overall cardiovascular health.
Bicarbonate Baths -Bicarbonate of Soda is great in bathing, helping to soften and soothes skin irritations. Add 150 grams to your bath and soak for 20 minutes, twice a week.
Kapalbhati Pranayama – fiery yogic breathing exercises to stimulate the circulatory system and build heat from inside the body. In a seated position, either cross legged or if in a chair with both feet flat to the floor, rest your hands on your lower belly and begin with short, sharp exhalations out the nose, but generating the motion from the abdomen. Shoulders stay relaxed. Allow the inhale to happen naturally.
Try three rounds of one-minute duration and tune into how you feel afterwards. This also helps to tone the respiratory tract which is important to keep well during Winter.
Cai Graham Parenting Expert suggests a few quick-fire tips especially for mums and children.
Bach Flower Remedies – Wild Oat is brilliant for tiredness and exam related stress.
Tea Tree is great for verruca’s, one for the kids, but great for adults too.
Lavender Oil – a wonderful sleep aid, add a drop or two to kids pillows before sleep.
Rescue Remedy – amazing for just about anything related to stress and anxiety, a great aid to calmness.
To make you feel good and ward off those Winter aches and pains, remember posture is key – Nadia Smith is a Qi Gong Therapist and author of a book on osteoarthritis – ‘How Did I Get These?’
Posture is the basis of Qi Gong as it’s important to have good alignment for efficient blood circulation and energy flow. Even if one is in a wheelchair as my son is, he has terrific posture while seated.
Try these tips from Nadia for better posture:
Walking with a pretend bucket of water on the head, helps to decompress the spine and walking in a ‘single carriage’ way rather than a ‘dual carriage’ way! Shoulders should be relaxed and back and chest out. As the Masai tribe do in Kenya, for example.
Sitting on the sitting bones rather than the tailbone helps to stack the spine correctly. Imagine you have a tail, and you need to wag it!
Imagine being on a rack in bed at night to decompress and help repair the body during the six/eight hours of sleep.
And a few of my own…
Keep those Vitamin D levels topped up, if you aren’t lucky enough to be able to hit the sunshine, ensure you have good Vitamin D and Omega 3 supplements, (I like the Better You Dluxe oral spray).
Remember the kitchen cupboard remedies are the best – for a cough, coat an onion in brown sugar (or Tiana Raw Organic Coconut Nectar), leave overnight and the next morning strain off the syrup to drink.
For a cold remember the power of steam, add a drop or two of Tea Tree Oil or Eucalyptus and as my kids used to say – boil your head!
Laugh a lot! – it’s proven the happier you are the better your immunity, hole up on a freezing cold day with a hilarious family comedy movie – laughter is the best medicine!