6 Natural Cold Cures to Kick Nasty Bugs to the Curb
With winter now in full swing, naturopath, herbalist and organic food, health and lifestyle educator, Anthia Koullouros says there are natural ways to bolster the immune system when the nasty winter bugs hit.
Lemon myrtle leaf.
Traditionally used as an anti-microbial by the Australian indigenous community. It has been used to treat allergies, colds, sore throats, gastric disturbances and infections. The key ingredient in lemon myrtle is the high concentration of citral in its leaves. Citral comprises 90-98% of the essential oils in lemon myrtle, as opposed to less than 10% in lemons and limes. Consume as an organic herbal tea infusion. Steep 1 teaspoon of the dried leaf per cup of boiled water for 3-5 minutes and drink 3 times per day.
Olive leaf extract.
During winter an extra boost may be necessary to support the immune system and help keep bugs at bay. Olive leaf extract is traditionally used in Western Herbal medicine to support the immune system and relieve symptoms of coughs, colds & flu, sore throats and upper respiratory tract infections. The active ingredient in olive leaf extract is Oleuropein – a phenolic compound which is one of the most powerful antioxidants around. Look for an olive leaf extract that is Australian made and ‘fresh-picked’ to ensure it is as close to nature as possible by retaining all of the plant’s phenolics that occur naturally in the olive leaf.
The bulb and sprouts are traditionally used to dissolve mucous and act as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anthelmintic (kills worms), warding off and treating infections of the gastrointestinal and respiratory systems. Take 1 tablespoon of the fresh sprouts in a salad each day. Consume a clove of garlic per day pounded with 1 tablespoon of olive oil or Manuka honey consumed, straight off the spoon or add into food as a salad dressing. Choose high quality Australian grown garlic.
Vitamin C concentrations in the plasma and white blood cells rapidly decline during infections and stress. Supplementation of vitamin C was found to improve components of the human immune system such as antimicrobial and natural killer cell activities and lymphocyte proliferation. Trials document that adequate intakes of vitamin C ameliorate symptoms and shorten the duration of respiratory tract infections including the common cold. Choose a high quality ascorbic acid or non-acidic vitamin C such as calcium ascorbate. Take 1000mg 2-3 per day or as advised by your health care practitioner.
Many cultures prescribe chicken broth or soup when unwell. The nutrition from the bones, marrow and cartilage all contribute to reducing inflammation, aid hydration, thin mucous, relieve congestion and bolster gut immunity. The addition of vegetable and herbs & spices such as garlic, onions and lemon further enhance immunity and relieve symptoms
Natural probiotics found in cultured or lacto fermented foods and drinks. The process of fermenting allows the lactobacilli and other bacteria and vegetable enzymes to proliferate creating an even more nutrient dense food, full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes that support gut immunity and overall general health. Choose high quality, naturally fermented types without additives. These include kim chi, sauerkraut, miso soup made from fermented miso paste, apple cider vinegar, beet kvass, kombucha, yoghurt and kefir.
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