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Herbal Solutions For The Winter Blues with Ciara O' Meara

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Our herbal expert Ciara O'Meara drops in today with some helpful hints and remedies to keep away those winter blues.

Cold and Flu season tips!

The flu is generally experienced in the form of a virus, there are over 200 types of Influenza virus, so we are bound to come across one in the winter months. Here are some general hints and tips for maintaining a healthy immune system.

. Avoid foods high in saturated fats, sugars and preservatives, excessive use of stimulants like coffee, chocolate, alcohol can also have effects on the immune system.

. Ensure you get regular servings of fresh vegetables and fruit.

. Get regular exercise, even if its only 20 minutes three times a week.

. Eat at regular times; try not to eat on the run as it will affect digestion and how the body assimilates food.

Include nourishing foods like porridge in the diet also include plenty of onions and garlic which have anti-infective properties.

If you do contract the flu stay warm, eat nourishing foods like soups, and keep the fluid intake high.

Also think about convalescence, an old fashioned but relevant concept! A day in bed can do wonders for shortening the course of a cold or flu, your job will still be there in the morning!


Herbal Balm

To make this balm,
. Heat up some oil in a saucepan
. Add the herb of your choice
. Add Beeswax and essential oil
. Pour the mixture into a jar and allow it to solidify

This balm is great for loosening phlegm and can be put on both adults and children chests to help them breathe better through the night.

Onion and Garlic Syrup
To make this syrup,
Slice onion and garlic
Place it in a jar with sugar placed between layers of garlic and onion
Leave it in the jar for 4 days and strain the syrup from the jar

This syrup is great as it is anti bacterial and can be consumed to ward off any potential ailments.

Mix a few tea spoons of the dried herbs into boiling water
Leave to infuse for 10 - 15 minutes

Traditional 'cold and flu tea'
Elderflower- useful for reducing catarrh in the upper respiratory tract simultaneously helping to decongest. In a tea it will help to increase circulation promoting sweating which facilitates the body in naturally breaking a fever .It also helps eliminate toxins from the body. Useful with children as it also has a soothing quality on the nervous system.

A hot infusion of Yarrow flowers will also help to promote perspiration. It is also a mild digestive stimulant which can be useful in convalescence.

This herb has a decongestant action as well as tasting very pleasant. It contains menthol which is a volatile oil that also has antiseptic and anti-viral properties.

This is a gentle expectorant and is soothing to inflamed mucus membranes. Also useful in mucus conditions associated with allergy. It is soothing to an irritated cough via an anti-spasmodic action.

Infused leaves can be gargled for their soothing and antiseptic qualities; this is useful if there is laryngitis, or tonsillitis or any mouth ulcers accompanying the infection.

The berries of the Elder tree are jam packed with vitamins and antioxidants and anti-viral properties, can be taken as a supplement or bought as a juice. Inhibits viruses from entering the cells in the body. Trials have shown that it can help speed up recovery from cold and flu.
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