As the Christmas season fades in to memory, we move in to cold and flu season. And this was the topic that we were asked to speak of on Daytime Durham.
In general our best defence against disease is ensuring the following:
- Eating a whole foods diet rich in colourful fruits and vegetables
- Getting 7-8 hours of good quality sleep each night
- Staying well hydrated
- Regular exercise
But when cold and flu season rolls around having a natural medicine kit on hand to give an added boost to our immunity and remedies if a cold or flu takes hold is recommended.
There really are so many remedies that could be included in my kit but the ones that I always keep on hand are: Chaga Tea, Oil of Oregano, Manuka honey, Holy Basil tincture, Bee Propolis, lemon, garlic, ginger and a good probiotic. And the reason is that these items play dual roles. They help to build up immunity which aids prevention and they help combat infection when it takes hold.
Chaga is a type of mushroom found growing predominantly on birch trees. Chaga tea is full of minerals, vitamins and amino acids. It is antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral.
Oil of Oregano
Oil of Oregano is packed with vitamins and minerals. It is an immune booster, fights infection and is a strong antioxidant. This is the first remedy my family grabs when we feel anything trying to take hold. It is VERY strong. If you are using it for the first time my recommendation would be to add a drop to one cup of water and sip until finished. As you become more used to it you can build up to taking one or two drops straight on your tongue.
Manuka honey is produced from the pollen of the manuka, or tea tree. It contains more vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants than other types of honey. It helps to boost the immune system preventing colds and flus. It is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory.
Holy Basil Tincture
In Ayurvedic medicine Holy Basil is used often as a remedy for cold and flu. It eases bronchitis, earache and fever. Holy Basil is considered an adaptogen thus helping to normalize body function.
Bee Propolis Throat Spray
Bee propolis is made by bees and is used to cover the inside of the bee hive to act as a disinfectant and to seal small holes and gaps in it. Bee Propolis has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. It also has healing, analgesic, anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties. The throat spray is an easy way to incorporate bee propolis in to your regime.
Lemon is a star in my kit. It has vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc,copper, manganese and selenium. And I use it in combination with honey and ginger to make great tasting homemade cough syrup and lozenges.
Garlic is touted for many medicinal purposes including preventing and fighting colds and flus. As well as containing nutrients such as selenium, manganese and vitamin C, garlic contains an organo-sulfur compound called Allicin. Allicin has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.
Ginger is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and aids digestion. It is a strong antioxidant and is a natural antibiotic.
The seat of your immunity resides in your gut. Probiotics help improve immunity by enhancing gut health.
It’s an easy task putting a natural medicine kit together. Start by using things that are right in your kitchen cupboard and build out from there.