Best cure for a cold this winter

The Good Life Letter

Friday 11th November 2011

  • Discover the best natural cure for a cold
  • Find out how a Welsh hero provided a great natural cold remedy 
  • Follow the simple six point guide to avoid chesty coughs

Earlier on this week I had to give vent to my frustrations about scare stories for killer flu epidemics, and I felt better for it.

Today I want to give you a few natural cold remedies to help ward of the traditional colds and coughs which affect us all at this time of year.

In reality we are not likely to contract some new strain of intercontinental virus, but we may catch something nasty that the kids bring home from school.

Over the colder months of the year, our bodies are at risk from the bacteria and viruses that thrive in such conditions and attack us when we are out of sorts.

If you have got a dose of the sniffles or a chesty cough there is help at hand

In our house the kids are usually the first to succumb to any bugs, mostly due to the fact that they spend their days in the bacterial soup which is school. Not all children get the daily dose of honey and lemon that ours do, so are likely to pick up anything going.

Eventually, despite our best efforts to bolster our young ones immune systems, the weight of pressure against them wins through and they get a few glum days with the old hanky.

It happens, and I think modern life is making the transfer of good old British coughs and colds more likely than it was in the past.

Let me explain how my thinking goes on this.

How cars are transporting germs as well as kids

I was sitting idly watching the school run mums busy themselves parking their huge 4X4 monsters outside the local Co-op the other day.

It's like watching the army on manoeuvres at times round our way.

Generally the revving and shunting is over and done with in ten minutes or so, with a few close calls and a sprinkling of lost wing mirrors providing entertainment for the locals.

On this morning though, the delivery lorry was also trying to thread its way through the melee... oh what fun there was. Not to mention the language that would have made a navvy blush!

I was passing the time with a chum having collected my newspapers and we watched with interest as the old parable about the irresistible force and immovable object played out in front of us.

We were in the process of offering helpful advice about shoehorns and Vaseline in order to ease the situation when the good officers of the law showed up and began to restore order.

I did think they could have left it a little longer before spoiling our fun.

When I got back home two things began to play in my mind, which at first didn't seem connected but then the light bulb came on.

You see, I had noticed just how many of the kids were coughing and had streaming noses, as well as looking bored and isolated in their parents cars.

I thought back to my own childhood where we used to walk everywhere, meeting up with the other kids on the street for an impromptu game of rugby as we made our way to the school gates and doing much of the same on the way home.

I was always JPR Williams making headlong dashes for the corner flag, or swivelling around and opponent in order to lay off the perfect pass to a team mate.

Innocent and healthy fun.

We had the odd cough and cold, but our mums dosed us up with various home brewed linctuses and syrups to stave off the worse effects.

Our coughs didn't last, our mums didn't rush us off to hospital and we didn't care.

For us hardy Welsh boys and girls being outside in the fresh air actually helped us fight off bugs rather than weaken us - and that's what modern kids miss out on.

Cosseted in air-conditioned cars which delivers them to the school gates they don't build any natural resistance or immunity, and diets heavy in sugars and fats deplete their bodies ability to wage war on the bugs they encounter in school.

So, how can we take steps to avoid the traditional coughs and colds?

Six tips to stave off winter bugs

I'm pretty sure these half dozen bits of advice would be second nature to our mums, but just in case you've forgotten;

1) Eat well. Getting plenty of green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits in the diet provides all the vitamins and minerals which are essential to keeping our immunity levels high. Furthermore, slap in the spice - chilli, pepper and garlic as they are all well known ways to cleanse the body and fight off infection with turmeric being the king of spices to improve respiratory function.

2) Exercise regularly. I'm not talking about breaking out the Lycra and getting sweaty in the gym, all you need is a brisk walk to the shops or a good half hours digging in the garden. Open the lungs out and get the heart pumping twice a week as a minimum... certainly you need to make the kids walk to school!

3) Act responsibly. If you have a cough don't go to the pub and spread it around, likewise always carry disposable hankies so that you can blow your nose and then dispose of them straight away. The really important thing to do is wash your hands often to kill any bacteria or viruses which are living on them.

4) Early Nights. Tiredness lowers the immune response and makes us vulnerable to infection so get three early nights a week to keep your strength up.

5) Drink healthily. The body uses fluid to help flush out invaders so don't skimp on warming drinks or those high in vitamin C like orange juice.

6) Stock up on remedies. Make sure you have a good supply of honey, lemons and a good natural cough remedy in the medicine cabinet to beat off any bugs that do get through your defences.

Remember that if you are at risk of flu get a vaccine booked, but if not follow the six steps to a healthier winter above and laugh off the scaremongers in the press.

Yours as always,






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