Article by Angela Smith
, Naturopath and MNMC Director.
So here we are again getting ready to face yet another cold Melbourne winter. If you are lucky enough to have missed the round of bugs thus far, then watch out as there may be another super bug on its way to knock on your immune system.
Our exposure and resilience to these infectious bugs depends mainly on our current overall health status! Bacteria and viruses are constantly adapting to find new ways of passing our immune system barriers. These bugs love it when you are particularly vulnerable. Most of us are constantly in environments and infection zones that contribute to our vulnerability, including office air-conditioning, child care centres, gyms, swimming pools, shopping centres and public transport.
Sleep deprivation, hard work, poor diet and exercise, low moods and a lack of fresh air are all contributing factors that affect our vulnerability. Let’s face it, we can’t live in a bubble or take a jab to prevent every virus or bacteria looking for an opportunity. It’s actually impossible! The only combat you have is a healthy strong immune system!!
So what is the answer?
Many people consider getting a flu shot which only covers you for a particular strain of the flu virus prevalent in the previous year. And to be honest, I'm seeing a lot of clients who have had the shot, come into the clinic with a mild flu and then another cold only a month later. Then they end up taking an antibiotic for the secondary infection because they couldn't fight the first infection. Don’t get me wrong, everything has a place, we need these drugs at times. They can save lives, however so can a good immune system!!
Unfortunately, jabs and antibiotics can be over used or ill prescribed, leading to a decimated immune system, struggling to deal with the next virus or bacteria on the prowl. Everyone has his or her opinion on this and I'm not about to preach what is right or wrong as there is no such thing.
Here are some simple educational tips to protect you and your family against the latest round of drug resilient bugs this winter.
#1 Boost the immune system.
Our immune system is designed to respond, rebuild and deal with these bugs. So focus on boosting the immune system and maintaining a healthy microbiome (our internal bacterial immune defence system in our gastrointestinal tract). Ultra Flora Immune is an amazing probiotic designed to boost the immune system.
#2 Tap into natures defence.
Nothing builds the immune system like herbs and nutrients!! Oh my goodness…..we have an incredible amount of herbs and nutrients in the MNMC dispensary that serve your needs. From Andrographis (my favourite!) to the amazing throat herb Thyme, Golden Seal for stubborn infections, Elder Flowers for a stuffy nose and Cat’s Claw for a nasty virus. The list goes on! When we combine all these together we get a hit of nature’s defence, protecting and reducing the risk of colds and flu in a low side effect form.
#3 Protect the kids from nasty bugs from school.
Kids can easily pick up bugs from school and share them with the rest of the family. So make sure you keep them dosed up on kids formulas made from high quality ingredients and therapeutic doses of Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin A & D and herbs made palatable for the fussy little ones. Ear Nose Throat (ENT) For Kids is an excellent remedy to boost and fight infections. If they are super fussy then we have delicious Zinc and C Zingles that kids love. Not to mention our Liquid Immune Formula in honey and apple juice designed for fussy kids. A daily dose of these will see the infections significantly reduce, plus the bonus of less sleepless nights and stress on Mum and Dad!
#4 Don't just treat, prevent!
This is how you stay protected. If you want to reduce the amount of sick days at work then take a daily herbal/nutrient formula to boost the immune system. My Dad and Mum are addicted. Since they have started this supplement they hardly ever get sick! Ask our practitioners about Andro NK, 1-2 per day after food, as a great preventive and immune support therapy. If you happen to be unlucky and pick up a bug then increase the dose to 2 tabs two to three times daily after food for a short duration or until you have knocked it out of your system.
#5 Fruit and Vegetables.... of course.
Do not let winter affect your daily fruit and vegetable intake, make sure you eat plenty of fresh whole foods especially carrots, apples, citrus, lemon juice, ginger and raw garlic (raw retains garlics antibiotics quality).
#6 Start juicing.
Make up some Kick a Germ Joy Juice. Check out the recipe below. This one is definitely worth remembering, it has an immediate effect and is made from ingredients you probably already have at home in your pantry.
#7 Don't delay treatment.
Jump straight onto treating that sore throat or runny nose straight away. My clinical experience shows that those who treat the infection immediately have a speedier recovery and are less likely to get sick. If not treated immediately, it’s these clients I often see turning up to their appointment weeks later letting me know they are still sick. Please, if you can’t make it to your appointment because you are curled up in bed, email the clinic or get a family member to call us so we can send you out First Aid Immune Emergency Remedy support!!
Keep First Aid Immune Defence formulas ready to go in the cupboard! Don’t wait until you get sick, have it there at your fingertips. Speak to one of our Naturopaths about what is best for you!!
#8 Old faithful.
Chicken soup cooked with the bones is excellent for immune support. Top it off with some fresh parsley and raw garlic crushed in at the end and POW you have an antibiotic meal. Click here
for our fabulous Naturopath Lina Capovilla
's Fragrant Vietnamese Chicken Soup recipe.
#9 The power of steam and essential oils.
Use a vaporiser with essential oils such as eucalyptus or tea tree when it is dry and cold. Bugs love dry, thin mucous membrane passages in our upper respiratory system. Vaporises make breathing easier and allow you to inhale anti-bacterial essential oils into your lungs. This is an excellent preventative strategy for those vulnerable to upper respiratory tract infections and also as a treatment for anyone already sick.
#10 Rest, Rest, Rest.
Last but not least, if you are feeling sick, do all of the above, stay home and rest up so you do not pass it on. The early stages of a cold and flu are when you are most infectious. Contact us as soon as you feel an infection coming on. Our practitioners can provide you with a phone consult if you are unable to come into the clinic, they can also send out any products you need to kick the bug before it kicks you. This is what we are here for!!