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winter blues

Avoid the winter blues

Even though we have passed the winter solstice, the nights are still long and in Joburg it feels like winter is only beginning to show us what it has to offer.

Along with our icy Johannesburg weather it is that time for cold and flu viruses to be rampant.  If you haven’t already been sick with either one of those this winter then you are one of the lucky ones.  They are caused by viruses and have limited duration of infection.

Flu will be more severe than the typical cold and often comes with fever and body aches.

Some of the favorite herbal medicines to assist with these infections include:

  • Echinacea
  • Pelargonium
  • Elderberry
  • Astragalis

These herbs have immune modulating and supportive benefits.

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin well known for its immune system benefits.  Our bodies do not make it so we must get it from our food or use supplements. Good food sources include strawberries, kiwi fruit, tomato and citrus fruits.

Garlic is known for its anti-microbial and immune tonifying effects.  It has been shown to have benefits that help prevent colds and flu as well as to reduce the severity of the disease should you get it.

Ginger is another favorite, excellent for viruses and bacteria including RSV (one of the main culprits of chest infections in young children).

Washing hands is one of the best ways to avoid picking up unwanted germs from people, door handles and light switches.

Always remember the benefits of good sleep, hydration, exercise and nutrition.

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