Winter health remedies to avoid feeling rundown this Christmas

The Good Life Letter

Friday 23rd December 2011

  • Winter health tips to boost your immunity 
  • The fat tax dedate rages on
  • Watch this space for a fascinating new Manuka honey discovery...

Seeking out natural winter health remedies seems to have become a national past time.

For me the drive has always been to try and connect with all that is natural, and avoid all that is synthetic.

In most cases our ailments are not life threatening but do cause hassle in our lives.

As we get older our bodies need a little tonic or two to overcome some of the effects of a busy life well lived.

My knees, back and neck are a constant reminder of days spent charging around rugby fields and evenings spent in the bar celebrating afterwards!

Those who read the Good Life Letter know how passionate I am to re-connect with ancient wisdom regarding health, and also to seek out the lies told to us by commercial pharmaceutical companies.

I hope, over the years, you will recognise that I am a realist when it comes to such things, and donít often jump on the bandwagon Ė but prefer to take a little time to consider what the latest news or fad is all about.

Before commenting I have learnt to let the first hyped news items wash over me, and to seek out the truth behind them.

This week though I stumbled across the Daily Telegraphs Health Website where they were running a feature on the 10 best home made remedies.

How could I resist a gander at that one?

Well there were a few unexpected surprises lurking for me in there, as well as some well loved favourites.

Before I show you the first five though, cast your mind back to a few weeks ago when I told you about the Danish fat tax. Remember I told you that several countries were adding a tax on fatty foods in a poor attempt to get us to eat healthier? Well, it seems the media are finally catching up!

Just yesterday The Guardian ran an article shunning the new fat tax and revealing that the UK wonít be adding tax to foods with absurd amounts of salt, sugar and saturated fat.

The reason why is just disgusting. Itís because the money-grabbing food giants donít want to reduce their big fat profits! Unless our government drastically cleans up their act, the kids of today and future generations will be robbed of good, hearty wholesome food and face a heap of health problems from heart disease to osteoporosis.

Read the whole article here

And now for the first five home remediesÖ

There was a big range of conditions considered but Iím not sure I agree that they have always found the best natural remedy, see what you think;

1) Chicken soup for colds.

Well I canít argue with this one, however, I think they missed a trick here because a well made chicken soup is a real health marvel, especially if you add plenty of garlic, celery and ginger.

The reason that this soup works well for colds is because it has the ability to clear the sinuses and fight inflammation. Research from the University of Nebraska has shown that an amino acid in chicken called cysteine helps think mucus and inhibit inflammation that causes sinusitis and sore throats.

It is true of most soups, but especially a chicken one that the effect of warming the body also helps ward of infections and control the nasty bugs that are around at this time of year, plus it just makes you feel better.

I have several Jewish friends who swear by the power of their own grandmotherís chicken soup recipes Ė citing them as the reason for healthy lives lived long - who am I to argue!

2) Clove oil for toothache

Again a bit of sound advice, and one straight from my own Nanís medicine chest; she would dilute a little clove oil with vegetable oil and dab it the affected gum and pack the area with cotton wool liberally soaked in the oil and clove mix.

I still use the same remedy myself now, however, I also use raw garlic crushed with a little sea salt which makes a paste that I rub over the gum. Similar results can be obtained with raw onion for those who arenít fans of garlic, plus I have a pal who says he only ever uses a slice of lime and a grating of black pepper.

3) Bicarbonate of soda for an upset stomach

I am a big fan of Ďsodium bicarbí as my Mum insists it is called, but more because of itís anti viral properties, especially when dealing with chickenpox or verrucas. Made into a paste with a little water and applied to the area it reduces reddening and itching and helps the skin heal cleanly.

When our kids developed chickenpox we used to bathe them twice daily in a Ďbicarbí bath to remove the sticky fluid that comes out of the blisters and it used to help them sleep better.

One of the little known uses for this traditional baking agent is to help treat cystitis, because the bicarbonate of soda changes the pH level of the urine, making it less acidic and therefore less irritating to the bladder.

I have even heard that it can be used as a natural antiperspirant and a real odour eater if sprinkled inside your shoes.

As far as stomach problems go I donít think you can beat a green tea containing camomile, cinnamon ginger and mint can be beaten.

4) Whole milk for cold sores

This one confused me, and I must confess I had never heard of it before.

The Herpes Simplex virus that causes the unsightly blisters is notoriously difficult to kill, even with expensive pharmaceutical treatments, however, I have always found that a combination of ice to numb them and hydrogen peroxide on the tip of a cotton bud helps fizz out the ooze and heal quicker.

A drop of Echinacea also works wonders and helps boost the immune system to prevent any secondary bacterial infection.

5) Honey for sore throats

Need I say more... honey is one of the great cure-alls, and Manuka honey especially so.

I canít get enough of this golden elixir, and have spent many years hunting down the many uses that it can be put to, and where I can get the really good stuff.

In the last few years I have concentrated on real, raw, unpasteurised Manuka honey from New Zealand Ė and my toast has never been so blessed.

Well thatís my thoughts on the first five, and Iíll be back next Friday with the other half, so keep a look out for that one.

Thereís no letter on Sunday for obvious reasons, and it just remains for me to wish you the merriest of merry Christmases.

Iíll be back in the New Year with some fascinating new discoveries on Manuka honey Ė you saw it here first!

Festive felicitations to all Good Life Letter readers, everywhere.

Yours, as always






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