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  • Fact: The most common human disease in the world is the COMMON COLD.

    Fact: The average person will have up to 5 colds per year.

    Fact: There are over 200 viruses than can cause a cold.

    Fact: Human rhinovirus is the main cause of the common cold and can survive outside the body for 2.3 days.

    What can you do this winter to reduce the frequency and severity of the common cold?

    There's always the obvious... eat whole, unprocessed foods, limit alcohol to 3/ week, stay hydrated with water, veggie juice, herbal tea, and soups, eat loads of veggies esp your leafy greens such as bok choy, kale, broccoli, spinach, watercress, endive, rocket, parsley etc, mix up your protein ie legumes, nuts and seeds, eggs, lean red meat (palm size and not daily), oily fish, unsweetened yoghurt, some cheese. Minimise all sugar in the diet as this depresses white blood cell function, your main defence. Keep strong and fit with resistance exercises using your own body weight or exercise bands or dumbbells, walking, swimming, dancing, boxing... and wash your hands throughout the day.

    But sometimes we need any extra boost to our immunity - that's where Herbal Medicines and nutrient therapy come in.

    The herbs I find most effective in enhancing immune function, calming coughs, and reducing excess mucus are: Echinacea, Elderberry, Andrographis, Elecampane, Thyme, Sundew. The nutrients that complement these herbs are: Vitamin C (mixed ascorbates are gentler on the tummy), Zinc, Vitamin A and Vitamin D.

    I also find homeopathics, cod liver oil (for the Vit A & D), and Cell salts can be helpful at different times, esp for children.

    So if you use public transport, work in an office with several people, work with children or have existing health problems that compromise your immunity, then you may be at greater risk of respiratory infections.

    Now is the time to build and boost your immunity, rather than suffer through winter and feel pressured to "soldier on".

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