Surviving the Winter Months with Good Health
There’s a saying, "You don’t catch a cold - it catches you.."
The fact is, the annual cold isn’t such a bad thing. When the days become shorter and the chilly nights set in, we often find ourselves spending more time indoors and exercising less. Add to that an already overburdened system due to stress, poor diet, late nights and alcohol, our body goes into overdrive in an attempt to eliminate all those toxins. It's kind of like sending a garbage removal truck to come and collect all those overflowing bins. The phlegm starts flowing, our throat gets sore, our temperature goes up, we sleep more, we eat less, we drink more water and we slow down - hopefully!
All of this is designed to bring the body back into balance and we emerge stronger than we were before.
Problems can arise when colds are recurring or drag on due to a depleted immune system, or worse, turn into a more serious bacterial or viral infection. This is why it’s so important to either prevent getting a cold in the first place through practising those healthy habits now, or support the process correctly when it does occur. We can do this with medicinal herbs and nutrients, some good ol’ home remedies like chicken soup and by avoiding the common go-to’s such as Panadol and Sudafed. Both of which are designed to dry up your mucous membranes, lower your temperature and mask symptoms, preventing the detoxification your body is needing and setting you up for further sickness down the track.
So how do I avoid getting sick?
Firstly, our immune system begins in our gut. That’s right, in our digestive system - 80% in fact! A healthy gut supports a healthy immune system. This means ensuring the right balance of good bacteria and making sure we are digesting, absorbing and eliminating at an optimal level.
Stress is another major factor in weakening our immune system, which is not surprising when we realise that our enteric nervous system originates in our gut and is literally our ‘second brain’.
So yes, gut health is pretty crucial!
Herbal and nutritional medicine can make a huge difference to the body's immunity, as do the foods we eat. Medicinal foods such as raw honey, garlic, ginger and turmeric are fabulous inclusions in our daily regime due to their potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects. Adding in some extras like vitamin C, zinc and immune-modulating herbs such as Echinacea can also be beneficial.
Talk to us now about how we can help get you primed for those Winter months.
We help prevent sickness by assisting you with stress support, a healthier gut and improved diet and lifestyle, in conjunction with herbal and nutritional medicine.
If you do end up with that ‘not so bad’ annual cold, we can assist with acute care too, which will avoid those unnecessary trips to the pharmacy, as well as supporting your body’s natural detoxification processes. All this will enable you to come out stronger and even more robust!
Kacey Grieves is your friendly Perth Naturopath, available for consultations to assist with you and your families health and wellbeing.