Boost the immune system

cherries for JuneHealth stores are doing a roaring trade at the moment, due to  Coronavirus and that’s because people who know about vitamins and herbal medicines are stocking up. So what are they buying?

Vitamin C:  has a reputation for fighting all viruses, and so it’s a daily essential. When you are healthy you only require 10mg of Vitamin C, because that’s all the body can absorb at once (it pees the rest out). When you are unwell the body is depleted of Vitamin C so you need much more.

How to take it: Cherry Active is made from Montmorency cherries and is packed with Vitamin C – take as a juice (which you can dilute and drink hot) or tablets.  Or you can buy capsules, tablets or gel Vitamin C.  See:See Vitamin C fights all viruses.

Cherry Active liquid made from Montmorency cherries. Delicious and packed with Vitamin C, Concentrate, 473ml, £17.15;  30 capsules.

Nature C Vitamin C tablets, made by A. Vogel. Chewable, tasty and made from food.

To purchase these with a 5% discount go to www.superfooduk.com and put in the promotion code: HSoul1

Echinacea: is a herbal remedy that has the ability to boost the immune system and make you feel better. It was traditionally used by native Americans for many illnesses and infections, including snake bites.

Echinacea Hot Drink from A. Vogel  combines  fresh Echinacea root with herb extracts and Black Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) which is very warming and is claimed to prevent viruses entering cells of the body.

A. Vogel’s Echinaforce Echinacea Throat Spray moistens your throat and can prevent coughing.

A. Vogel Echinaforce Echinacea tincture, 50ml.

A. Vogel Echinaforce Echinacea tablets, 42.

To purchase these with a 5% discount go to www.superfooduk.com and put in the promotion code: HSoul1

Zinc – 15 mg daily . Zinc is essential for a healthy immune system and may prevent viruses from entering cells which they need to do in order to multiply.

Bee Health, Vitamin C and Propolis, 60 tablets

Garlic – garlic is antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral and antibiotic. You can heavily lace your food with garlic, which will keep everyone away, not just the devil. Or you can take Allicin capsules – allicin is the active property in garlic that boosts the immune system. antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral and antibiotic.

Allicin Max Veg Caps, 30 – 180.

To purchase these with a 5% discount go to www.superfooduk.com and put in the promotion code: HSoul1

Soothing tips for viruses

lemons

The symptoms of Coronavirus are a dry cough, sore throat, feeling achey and tired, and lacking energy.  You can’t cure it, but as with flu and colds, you can soothe symptoms.

Coughing at night

Dilute a teaspoonful of honey (preferably Manuka honey) in a glass of  warm water and have it by the bedside in case you start hacking in the night. If  it starts as soon as you lie down it’s a good idea to prop yourself up on pillows, which means you might get at least some sleep.  I always like to massage Vicks Rub into the chest area before going to sleep. It contains eucalyptus oil, but for a completely natural remedy a few drops of Eucalyptus or Olbas oil in a carrier oil (almond, calendula, etc.) has the same effect.

Steaming for blocked nose

You can’t beat steaming either – morning and night and even in between, but especially before you go to sleep.  If you put a few drops of essential oil, such as Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, or Olbas oil (a combination of essential oils) into a bowl of steaming hot water so much the better.  Cover your head with a towel and breathe in the pungent vapours. But be careful – if they are too strong it can be quite overpowering so start with a couple of drops and add more if necessary.

Olbas Decongestant Oil, 10ml.

Absolute Aromas Organic Tea Tree Oil, 10ml.

Absolute Aromas Lavender Oil, 10ml.

Absolute Aromas Eucalyptus Globulus Oil, 10ml.

A. Vogel’s Bronchosan Syrup and Cough Spray.

To purchase these with a 5% discount go to www.superfooduk.com and put in the promotion code: HSoul1

Gargling for sore throats

When I was a child we gargled with TCP which was horrible!  Now I prefer something more natural – if you’ve got Himalayan salt crystals put a pinch in a glass of warm water. Or if you’re prepared for another strong taste a couple of drops of Tea Tree Oil in warm water works well on a sore throat/cough.

Echinacea Throat Spray is fantastic for soothing the throat and can be kept by the bed for topping up at night.

Dr Jen Tan of A. Vogel, recommends plenty of hydration with hot drinks and water, but avoiding mucus-forming milk.  He also endorses lemon and honey which can be mixed together and sipped, and plenty of Vitamin C.

Echinaforce SoreThroat Spray with Echinacea and Sage extracts, 30ml.

To purchase  with a 5% discount go to www.superfooduk.com and put in the promotion code: HSoul1

Some other favourites: 

Comvita Propolis Herbal Elixir with Manuka Honey & Propolis, 100ml,  has a soothing effect on throats.

A. Vogel Echinacea  lozenges, 30g.

Potter’s Chest Mixture with Lobelia, 150ml.

Cherry Active liquid made from Montmorency cherries. Delicious and packed with Vitamin C, Concentrate, 473ml,  30 capsules.

To purchase these with a 5% discount go to www.superfooduk.com and put in the promotion code: HSoul1

 

 

Colds, coughs, flu

cherriesEveryone’s got colds at the moment but there’s not much the doctor can do when you have a cold or flu,  because antibiotics won’t work for viruses. But there’s plenty you can do yourself.

  • Regular Vitamin C – especially as Montmorency cherries.
  • Echinacea daily – you can take it all winter.
  • Garlic – many people swear by garlic capsules, or if you can stomach it, plenty of raw garlic.
  • Blackcurrant – in various preparations.

 

COLDS Serious illnesses are not cured with complementary medicine, but symptoms can sometimes be managed with a healthy eating regime and use of therapies. We’re more likely to get colds when we’re run down, stressed and tired. They are most common between September and March with the peak time around Christmas (when you may be stressed and worn out). People still work when they have a cold, but rest and sleep are the best solution because the body heals itself when you sleep. Symptoms include:

  • sneezing
  • runny nose
  • blocked up nose
  • sore throat
  • earache
  • sinus pain
  • low grade fever
The way to avoid colds is to eat and sleep well, manage stress, exercise and take regular Vitamin C, zinc and Echinacea in winter. Once a cold is in full force the aim is to get over it as quickly as possible.
  • Keep taking Echinacea to boost the immune system and help to clear up the cold faster.
  • Chew grapefruit seeds or take the liquid extract, according to Suzanne Woodward, medical herbalist.
  • Steam inhalations help to clear stuffed up noses – put a few drops of eucalyptus, tea tree, or lavender oil in a bowl of boiling hot water and breathe in the vapours.
  • Try ginger root tea– one inch of peeled and chopped ginger boiled in water.
  • Cherry Active is made with Montmorency cherries and is absolutely packed with Vitamin C. It tastes nice and helps to keep you in top form.
A great combination is Yarrow, Peppermint and Elder, often prescribed by herbalists as a tea – Yarrow fights fever, Elderflower eases catarrh, and Peppermint cools and calms.

The other great soothers for colds:

  • Plenty of Vitamin C – nutritionists claim that 200 mg a day or more is safe when in need
  • Garlic boosts the immune system – take capsules or if you can bear it put it raw into soups and casseroles.

Cautious note: always check with your GP if taking prescribed medication BEFORE having herbal remedies as they may contraindicate the medicines.

Featured products
Echinaforce Echinacea tincture A. Vogel (Bioforce) 50ml
Cherry Active Concentrate Cherry Active 473ml
Cherry Active Capsules Cherry Active 60
Coldenza homeopathic combination Nelson’s 72
Ester C Vitamin C Viridian Nutrition 30 veg caps
Citricidal grapefruit seed extract  Biocare 25ml
Eucalyptus oil Tisserand Aromatherapy 9ml
Tea tree oil Tisserand Aromatherapy 9ml
Lavender oil Tisserand Aromatherapy 9ml
Sambucol Elderflower Sambucol 120ml
Get 5 per cent discount with the code HSoul1 at www.superfood.co.uk 
 
 
Antibiotics
  • Antibiotics don’t work for viruses, such as colds and flu
  • Taking too many can lower the body’s defences when it needs to fight more serious infection

COUGHS Respiratory tract infections take up more of the GPs’ time than anything else, but while pneumonia and bronchitis can be serious some coughs linger after cold and flu symptoms have gone.Trudy Norris, herbalist and president of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists, suggests an infusion of thyme which is antiseptic, clears phlegm and fights chest infections . ‘Put a heaped tablespoonful of dried thyme into a litre of boiling water and fill a thermos flask. Add a teaspoonful of honey to the mixture to relieve irritation and keep near day or night.’ Just sipping a mixture of one teaspoonful of honey and warm water can prevent persistent coughing at night as well.

Featured products
Propolis Herbal Cough Elixir Comvita 200ml £10.99
Santasapina Cough Syrup A. Vogel (Bioforce) 100ml £5.71
Herb and Honey Cough Elixir Weleda 100ml £9.50
Get 5 per cent discount with the code HSoul1 at www.superfood.co.uk 

 

FLU:

Echinacea can be taken at the first signs of aches and pains (unless you are on medication in which case you should check for contraindications), as well as homeopathic remedies:

  • Gelsemium for aches and pains, rising temperature and constant aching;
  • Rhus Tox for aches and pains which get better when moving around;
  • Belladonna for sudden high fever, with or without sweating, cold hands and feet.

Boneset is an excellent herbal remedy for someone who has had flu for a couple of weeks, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better.

Featured products
Echinaforce Echinacea tincture A. Vogel (Bioforce) 50ml £9.15
Gelsemium Nelson’s 84 £5.30
Rhus Tox Nelson’s 84 £5.30
Belladonna 30c Nelson’s 84 £5.30
Get 5 per cent discount with the code HSoul1 at www.superfood.co.uk 

  SORE THROATS: Antibiotics should only be offered for infections like tonsillitis but natural remedies can help to soothe the throat. If a sore throat seems to be signalling the start of a cold the homeopathic remedy Aconite can stop it progressing. Over recent years doctors have been advised to cut down on handing out antibiotics yet research shows that 44 per cent of people who see doctors when they have a cold are given a prescription for antibiotics. The downside of this is that when they get a serious illness they may be antibiotic-resistant (as we’ve seen with many hospital infections). Propolis is made by bees from natural ingredients to protect their hives from infection and invasion, and gargling with it soothes a sore throat. Gargling with a few drops of tea tree oil or a pinch of salt in a glass of warm water also eases the pain.

Featured products
Propolis Herbal Elixir Comvita 100ml £6.59
Echinaforce Echinacea Throat Spray A. Vogel 30ml £8.65
Propolis Lemon & Honey Lozenges (or Mint) Comvita 75g £4.99
Aconite 30c Nelson’s 84 £5.30
Get 5 per cent discount with the code HSoul1 at www.superfood.co.uk 

 

HEADACHES

Too many painkillers can suppress headaches and make them recur. The causes of a headache may be tension, hormonal imbalances, blocked sinuses, or back and neck problems. If headaches persist you should always consult a doctor, but if there is no serious problem you might find that a chiropractor or cranial osteopath can find the problem and ease the pain.

Trying to get rid of a headache can be really difficult, and one approach is to put strong smelling eucalyptus or camphor on the skin above the sinuses or on the forehead as so many headaches are caused by blocked sinuses. There are now several sticks available that make this easy to do, except you must be sure not to get it too near your eyes or they will pour.

Feverfew is the herbal answer to painkillers and Belladonna homeopathic remedy, is good for a throbbing headache, particularly in children.

Featured products
4Head Headache Treatment 4Head £9.95
MigraStick Arkopharma £5.82
Jan de Vries Feverfew A. Vogel (Bioforce) 50ml £9.15
Belladonna 30c Nelson’s 84 tablets £5.30
F Nervous and Migraine Headache New Era 450 tablets £5.10
Get 5 per cent discount with the code HSoul1 at www.superfood.co.uk 

GLUE EAR/EAR ACHE

Often children with ear problems have repeated prescriptions for antibiotics which run down their immune systems. Homeopathy works well for glue ear and Pulsatilla is the most common remedy when there is lots of discharge. In cases of repeated ear infections a visit to a professional homeopath can be invaluable.

For adults earache can be cleared by putting a drop of lavender oil on a piece of cotton wool and placing it in the ear, but the vapours are quite strong and may not be recommended for children. For a desperate child you could try the old fashioned remedy of a baked onion, cut in half, wrapped in muslin and placed on the outside of the ear. Jenny Jones, herbalist, explains, ‘The vapours from the onion oils are antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, and they go into the ear and the heat of the warm onion is also soothing.’

Featured products
Pulsatilla 30c Nelson’s 84 £5.30
Lavender oil Tisserand Aromatherapy 9ml £4.90
Get 5 per cent discount with the code HSoul1 at www.superfood.co.uk 

The National Institute of Medical Herbalists, 01392 426022, www.nimh.org.uk For a list of homeopaths contact: The Society of Homeopaths, 01604 621400, www.homeopathy-soh.org

Jenny Jones, Creative Health Centre, Leamington Spa, 01926 316500

 

 

Overdosing on paracetamol

Echinacea 2Often viewed as harmless many cold and flu medicines contain paracetamol, and when taken with the tablets themselves can result in overdose. Some people don’t realise that many of the conventional products they take for colds and flu do contain paracetamol, and yet a combination of treatments can be fatal.

FACT: the maximum amount of paracetamol you should take over a 24 hour period is 4g or eight (standard) 500mg tablets.

The problem is when someone feels lousy they keep taking doses of pills or remedies, without thinking about whether or not they are taking too much. Always check the instructions on the packaging.

Apparently some people do not realise that many of the conventional products they take for colds and flu contain paracetamol. So a combination of treatments can be fatal. Recent research at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary looked at 663 patients who had liver damage caused by paracetamol. And 161 of them who had been taking it over a period of time, using both the drug itself and remedies that contain paracetamol for other ailments including colds and flu, had unintentionally overdosed.

And the result is often tragic with as many as two out of five of paracetamol overdose patients dying from the overdoses.

There are plenty of natural alternatives when you’ve got colds or flu. For instance, Echinacea has been found to be effective in treating colds and flu. A natural herb, Echinacea doesn’t contain paracetamol. Although it is necessary to consult with a doctor if you are taking medication of any kind, to be sure that it is safe to take a herbal remedy.

Supporting your immune system tips:

• Eat healthily, and include your five a day of fruit and veg, or more.
• Reduce or cut out sugar which competes with vitamin C.
• Reduce the amount of fatty food you consume.
• Avoid alcohol and give up smoking.
• Get a good night’s sleep every night.
• Relax, smile and laugh out loud at least 3 times a day.

You can buy Echinacea from our shop: go to Healthy Soul Shop/Herbal Remedies,   or you can get the new Echinacea Hot Drink to take when you start to feel the beginning of a cold.

Top ten herbal remedies

Arnica, courtesy of A. Vogel (Bioforce)
Arnica, courtesy of A. Vogel (Bioforce)

The top ten herbal remedies are the ones most popular with the public. They provide a more natural alternative to drugs, and are often worth trying (but if you are on medication, check first with your doctor or a medical herbalist that you can take them).

Arnica:  the Arnica flower is native to the Alps but its qualities for healing bruises have been recognised for many years. It cannot be taken as a herb internally but is available as a homeopathic tablet. Arnica Gel or cream is excellent for healing bruises and also for soothing stiff joints, aching muscles and osteoarthritis.

Devil’s Claw (Harpagophytum): found in the Kalahari desert the natives have traditionally used this herb for digestive complaints. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is therefore very suitable for arthritis, rheumatism and sports injuries. Fears that the herb would become extinct have been alleviated by schemes to grow it sustainably in southern Africa.

Echinacea, courtesy of A. Vogel (Bioforce)

Echinacea: taken as a tincture or tablets it boosts the immune system. The native Indians have used it for thousands of years to put on snake bites and other wounds. More often used now to help resistance to colds, flu and other infections, but has been proven in trials to be effective against respiratory infections.

Ginkgo biloba: from one of the oldest trees in the world the Ginkgo tree was one of the first prehistoric plants on the earth over 150 million years ago. Best known for enhancing circulation and thereby improving the memory it has other uses too. The leaves are used to make tinctures to improve circulation and the function of the brain as well as asthma. The seeds are used by Chinese doctors for urinary problems and wheezing. Read more in Boost Your Memory.

Horse Chestnut (Aesculus): good old conkers that so many children enjoy collecting have another use – they have excellent properties as an astringent to help to prevent and soothe varicose veins. It can be taken as a tincture or the gel can be rubbed into the legs.

St John’s Wort: has become a popular choice for depression but people have to be careful about taking it in conjunction with other medication or even with light boxes (that are used for Seasonal Affective Disorder – see Features, SAD). Also known as Hypericum which is used as a cream to heal wounds. is widely available through health food stores, chemists and at Nutricentre (see the Nutricentre ad). If you are taking medication you should always check with a registered medical herbalist or your doctor before taking herbs to ensure that they do not contraindicate.

Milk Thistle: protects the liver from toxic chemicals and is often useful around Christmas when over-indulgence is the norm. It is sometimes used when people have liver disease but can’t be used as a cure-all for heavy drinkers! It was called Milk Thistle because it was taken by nursing mums to help encourage the flow of milk.

Sage: is particularly recognised as being helpful for hot flushes. You can gather some leaves from the garden, put them in a teapot and sip them if you are going through the menopause or purchase a tincture or tablets. It is also helpful as a gargle for sore throats.

Saw Palmetto: originating in North America saw palmetto has been used by native Americans for thousands of years to help ease chronic congestion. Recent research has shown it to be effective for prostate problems in men without the side-effects of prescription drugs.

Valerian-Hops: 19th century poets and other creative types were known to use Valerian. Combined with unpollenated hops which are renowned for their calming qualities it is a useful herb for helping you sleep or for generally calming down without making you feel dopey in the day.

Source: A. Vogel

Featured Products
Aesculus Gel A. Vogel Bioforce 100g £9.15
Ginkgo biloba A. Vogel Bioforce 50ml £9.20
Aesculus Horse Chestnut Tincture A. Vogel Bioforce 50ml £9.20
Echinaforce Echinacea tincture A. Vogel Bioforce 50ml £9.20
Devils Claw Tincture A. Vogel Bioforce 50ml £9.20
Milk Thistle Compound Tincture with Dandelion & Artichoke A. Vogel Bioforce 50ml £9.20
Atrogel Arnica Gel A. Vogel Bioforce 100g £9.15
Saw Palmetto Viridian Nutrition 30 veg caps £8.70
Valerian Hops Complex (Dormeasan) A. Vogel Bioforce 50ml £9.20
St John’s Wort Organic Tincture Viridian 50ml £7.70
Saw Palmetto A Vogel Bioforce 50ml £9.20
Arnica 30c Nelsons 84 £5.89
Milk Thistle & Dandelion Root (Organic) Kiwiherbs 50ml £10.27
Menosan Sage tincture A. Vogel Bioforce 50ml £9.20
Echinacea Throat Spray A. Vogel Bioforce 30ml £8.65
To order these products go to www.superfooduk.com.  and put in the  promotion code: HSoul1 for a 5% discount.