Sniffles – coughs and colds

Wow – today the wind is bitingly chilly. Such a change from the deliciously warm autumn days we’ve been having since the equinox in March. I was at the beach swimming just 2 days ago! Today I’m in long pants, woolly jumper and a coat and scarf.

It’s these sudden changes in the weather that can catch us out – we all know the phrase “to catch a cold” and it is quite literally the truth. You leave work and find the weather has turned and you don’t have your warm jacket with you. You have to wait for the bus/train in the cold wind and then the walk home from the station in the chilly wind.  This scenario puts you at risk of catching a cold. Pathogens are very opportunistic, which is why it is so important to practice preventive medicine.  IF you have a balanced healthy diet of nutritious foods, you exercise at least 1/2hr every day,  and drink clean water and herbal teas you are giving your body a head start to cope with coughs and colds and knock them over quickly.

Suggestions if you catch a cold

  • Make a cup of hot tea with grated ginger, lemon juice and rosehips.  This is warming and stimulating helping the body to fight the cold
  • Peppermint tea with a 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger helps clear out the mucous
  • Rest – it’s ok to move if you feel like it, but nothing too strenuous.  Your body needs to focus it’s energy on clearing out the cold
  • Eat warm nutritious foods like chicken soup with ginger and warm spices; tomato based soups;
  • Avoid dairy as this tends to make the symptoms worse by clogging the mucous membranes
  • Avoid alcohol and sweets until the cold has cleared out of your system.
  • Keep warm!

If the symptoms of a cold are not clearing within 3-4 days and especially if the cough is getting worse, make a visit to your friendly herbalist and I’ll have you back on track in no time.