Tagged with 'Boost Immune'

Why you should keep ginger chews in your purse

Why you should keep ginger
When you think about your daily purse essentials, you probably think of having your phone, wallet, keys, lip balm…but have you thought about keeping something for emergencies when you’re not feeling well? Some might call it being over-prepared, but you can’t predict the next time you start to feel a little run down or under the weather. It’s the worst when you’re out of your house and unprepared to start treating your symptoms right away!   The solution? It’s as simple as keeping a few ginger chews in your bag. Ginger is the perfect herb to keep on hand for many unpleasant occasions. Not only is it anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial, but you can also often find them as sweet-tasting ginger chews or candies. This means that your ginger stash can be part of your emergency medicine bag as well as your go-to snack option. What’s so good about ginger chews? Soothes nausea Whether you’re in your first trimester of pregnancy, feeling carsick, or just eating something that has gone bad, ginger is the best remedy to keep on hand for these uncomfortable symptoms. Ginger contains active compounds that relax the muscles in the gastrointestinal tract, blocking the body from producing more nausea-inducing chemicals. It is extremely effective and has even been recommended by doctors to help chemotherapy patients deal with nausea. Relieves period pain As a powerful anti-inflammatory herb, ginger can protect against the inflammatory chemicals that cause period pain. Having a small number of inflammatory prostaglandins is normal, but in the cause of extreme period cramps, there is usually an overproduction of inflammation. Ginger is one of the most studied herbs to decrease inflammation and alleviate period pain. Its effectiveness has even been compared to that of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Aleve and Advil. Reduces bloat Have you ever felt your tummy stick out after a large meal? Feeling bloated after a big meal is common and normal, but bloat and indigestion can occur even if you are not completely full. This uncomfortable feeling of stomach distention can feel leave you feeling tight and unable to go about your daily life. Although some carbonated drinks are known to cause bloat, sometimes you don’t know the cause of your bloat until after you have already eaten. To decrease the chances of unwanted bloat from creeping up, stock up on ginger chews. With ginger in your purse, you can rest assured that your digestion system will be running smoothly, even when you are eating unfamiliar foods at restaurants. Ginger has a calming effect that soothes the digestive tract, alleviates gas and improves blood circulation, making your bloat disappears faster. Fight the first sign of a cold or flu Many cold and cough medicines contain ginger as an ingredient, but why not go straight to the source? As soon as you feel your first sniffle or scratch in your throat, ginger can be used to fight the infection. Ginger chews and crystallized gingers have enough ginger content to exert their antiviral and antibacterial properties. You can also boost your immune system by opting for fresh ginger shots or sipping on hot ginger tea as soon as you suspect an illness. Best options for ginger chews: The Ginger People Gin Gins Chewy Ginger Candy Original 128g Best options for crystalized ginger (candy): The Ginger People Organic Crystallized Ginger 112g Still not convinced about the benefits of ginger? Even though you can buy ginger in capsule form, finding it in chewable or candy form is tastier. The best part of keeping ginger in your purse is that it comes in delicious options. If you tend to want to chew on gum or eat something sweet when you’re bored, ginger candies or chews can help settle that craving while providing you a boost of immune health. Since the ginger is a little spicy, it’s hard to eat more than the recommended serving! Author Grace Tien is a women’s health holistic nutritionist. She helps her clients optimize their nutrition habits so that they can get rid of afternoon slumps and live each day full of energy. Grace specializes in nutrition for healthy periods, you can find out more at @gracetien.ca on Instagram.

Immune-Boosting Recovery Foods

BY: JULIA REISS, CNP Baby, it’s cold outside! This time of year, focus naturally shifts to protecting the body from increased amounts of circulating cold and flu viruses. Everyone has a trick and many of these are proven effective! But what’s equally important is supporting your body through and beyond illness so that your immune defenses aren’t lowered long-term and your body recovers from the damage inflicted by a week-long cold. Lowered immunity post-cold or flu creates the perfect opportunity for bacteria and viruses looking for a way in – you want your immune defenses back up to healthy (or beyond healthy!) levels so you don’t get stuck in the uncomfortable cycle of winter cold after winter cold. My tips? Drink a LOT of water or herbal tea and sweat it out at the gym or in a sauna as often as possible to help your body clear out any remaining debris left by bacteria or viruses. Eat often and eat well! Take the burden off your body and provide it with nourishing meals that are light but warming – soups are key here, but make them hearty! See my Anti-cold Soup for a very simple recipe that can work as a side or a main. Don’t stop immune-boosting supplements until 2 weeks after you’ve beaten your cold! Astragalus, mushroom blends, or even just a standard combo of increased vitamins C and D and zinc can be taken for a couple extra weeks to strengthen your defenses. Platinum makes an excellent, well-absorbed vitamin D3 – I usually keep a bottle in my purse to dole out to friends as needed! Don’t ignore your gut! Much of our immunity resides on our intestinal tract and is directly related to the probiotic bacteria that reside there. Make sure your community is healthy by adding kefir or fermented foods to your diet – try a tempeh stir fry or raw sauerkraut or kimchi as a side with your next meal! Most important of all? Let your body heal. Take an extra day off work, if at all possible and indulge in me-time. Nourish your mind while your body heals, stay warm, and sleep whenever you feel like it! There are very few things in life that can’t be delayed by 12 hours if your body is calling for rest and there is very little that’s more important that a healthy body! Stay healthy and stay warm!   Reference: https://platinumnaturals.com/blog/immune-boosting-recovery-foods/

Stop Sneezing Fits With Natural Allergy Relief

A natural routine to stop sneezing fits every allergy season Spring has sprung, and while others are gearing up for picnics in the park, you’re stocking up on tissues. If your springtime routine includes sneezing, watery eyes, an itchy throat or congestion, you know how badly seasonal allergies can affect your life. Learn how to naturally manage your symptoms and stop sneezing fits. What are allergies? Allergies are an inflammatory response from the body. When you encounter something you are allergic to, such as pollen, your body recognizes it as an invader. As a result, your immune system release antibodies specific to that allergen. These antibodies attach themselves to immune cells called mast cells, that trigger the release of histamine. Histamine is the reason you get an allergic reaction. Histamine is the culprit behind your red itchy eyes, the sneezing or the hives. How to stop sneezing fits There are a number of natural remedies that can help stop sneezing fits. Using a combination of supplementation and food as medicine with some minor lifestyle adjustments, you can create a well-rounded holistic routine to get through your allergy season. Natural supplementation options Spirulina – Spirulina is a blue-green algae that was traditionally used by the Aztec civilization. It’s often highlighted for its plant-based protein and iron content. What many people don’t know, is that spirulina can also help to relieve symptoms associated with hay fever. That includes symptoms like sneezing, sniffing, or nasal congestion. Test tube and animal studies have shown that spirulina functions by stopping the release of histamine that causes symptoms. Bee Propolis – Bee Propolis is a resin that bees use to seal the cracks in their hive. It’s a potent source of antioxidants used in Herbal Medicine to relieve throat and mouth infections. Bee Propolis is a great option for soothing a sore throat from constant sneezing and coughing. Keep inflammation in check Eat your omega-3s– Essential fatty acids are fats you need to eat because your body can’t make them. There are two types of essential fatty acids, Omega-3s and Omega-6s. And while we often eat enough omega-6 in our daily diets, our consumption of omega-3s is often far too low. Eating more omega-3 fatty acids is important because omega-3s help to regulate the inflammatory response. Omega-3s are in fish, nuts and seeds. Chia seeds and flax seeds are particularly great plant-based sources. You can also supplement with omega-3s if you don’t eat these foods often enough. Use turmeric – Some herbs have incredible anti-inflammatory benefits, and Turmeric is definitely a superstar in this category. Turmeric contains a flavonoid called curcumin that supports liver detoxification while combating inflammation. It’s easy to use in a number of dishes, and a little goes a long way. Black pepper also helps with absorption. Try mixing it into scrambled eggs, or use it in your stir-fries. Try home remedies Eat local raw honey – Though there hasn’t been much research to prove its effectiveness, anecdotally, local raw honey may help to reduce the intensity of seasonal allergy symptoms. The idea behind it, is that the honey will introduce your body to small amounts of pollen from your area, allowing your body to slowly adapt. It’s an easy enough little experiment to try if you’re an allergy sufferer yourself. But remember, it’s key that you’re choosing local so the pollen you’re exposed to is consistent with the pollen in your region. It’s also ideal to start this prior to allergy season so your body has that period of low exposure with the time to adapt. Use a Neti Pot – Neti pots are like miniature teapots that work to rinse out nasal passages with a saline solution. You pour the neti pot into one nostril, the fluid travels through the nasal passage and flows out of the opposing nostril, flushing out excess mucus and allergens such as pollen. Still overwhelmed by your sneezing fits? Plan ahead. Knowing what time of year seasonal allergens will peak in your local region is key when preparing for allergy season. Making minor adjustments in your day to day life can help you to avoid contact with allergens during peak seasons. Try keeping your windows closed when possible during times when allergen levels are highest in the environment. Avoid outdoor activities on windier days. Wind can increase the number of airborne allergens increasing exposure. Allergens can follow you indoors on your skin, clothing and hair. Wash pillow cases and linens often to reduce allergens. Try an indoor air purifier to help filter air reducing allergens you’re likely to breath in your indoor space.   References: 1. http://drhoffman.com/article/alternatives-to-antihistamines-2/ 2. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altme ...

Probiotics: Why Yogurt is Not Enough

Unless you live under a rock, you have likely heard about probiotics. They are popping up everywhere, and for good reason. Research shows that friendly bacteria play a key role in the digestive system by improving gastrointestinal functions, enhancing immunity, helping to regulate hormone balance, protecting us from food-borne illnesses such as food poisoning, controlling overgrowth of bad bacteria and fungus, protecting us from developing allergies, assisting in vitamin production & nutrient absorption. Probiotics are like an army in your gut that works hard to protect your health. In fact, inside each of us is about 100 trillion bacteria, most of which reside in the gut. This is 10 TIMES the number of cells in our body! More and more research is showing the link between a healthy gut, strong immunity and even mental health. Since the healthy flora in our gut is destroyed by many factors such as stress, diet, antibiotics, birth control pills and other medications, it is important to supplement. But is yogurt enough? You would need to consume dozens of canisters of yogurt daily to obtain the amount of beneficial probiotics in a single high-potency probiotic supplement. There are so many probiotics available today, so what should you look for in an effective probiotic? 5 Important Things to Look for in an Effective Probiotic 1. CULTURE COUNT This refers to the total amount of bacteria per dose and can vary widely from product to product. For general health or to treat minor digestive issues, most people would benefit from taking a probiotic with 50 billion bacteria per capsule. It sounds like a lot, but if you consider that there are about 100 TRILLION bacteria in our bodies, it is merely a drop in the bucket! If you are treating a health condition or are using antibiotics, you may benefit from a probiotic with 80 to 100 billion bacteria per capsule. 2. NUMBER AND TYPE OF STRAINS Because we all have a different microbial make up in our body, it is important to choose a probiotic supplement with multiple strains. Your probiotic supplement should include many different strains of bacteria including both bifidobacterium (large intestine) and lactobacilli (small intestine). It is also important to look for a formula that delivers both resident (human strain) and transient bacteria. Transient bacteria do not populate the gut, however exert a positive benefit (such as protecting against harmful bacteria and reducing inflammation) while travelling through the digestive tract. 3. TARGETED FORMULAS Most people would benefit from a high potency, multiple strain formula. If needed, you can also choose formulas that are specific to certain areas of concern such as colon health or vaginal support. While you should choose a child-specific formula for kids, adults do not need age-specific formulas. Instead, if you are an older adult, choose a multi-strain formula with at least 30 billon bifidobacterium. After the age of 50, the levels of probiotics (specifically bifidobacterium) begin to decline in number so probiotics are an important supplement to take daily. 4. DELIVERY SYSTEM Most bacteria cannot survive the high acid environment of the stomach. For this reason, make sure that the probiotic you are buying has a delivery system such as an enteric coating. This helps to protect the probiotics from harsh stomach acid ensuring safe delivery to the intestines where they are needed and utilized by the body. 5. GUARANTEED POTENCY Always ensure that the product packaging states that the potency is guaranteed at expiry, not at the date of manufacture. Guaranteeing potency at expiry means that you are getting what you paid for, and most importantly, the health benefits of the probiotic itself.

Magnesium Really is Mighty

Most people are not aware that Magnesium is needed in pretty much every area of our bodies from muscle recovery to heart to digestion. In fact, every single organ in our body requires magnesium in order to function properly. Most people are also not aware that the majority of the population is deficient in magnesium! In fact, it’s even more staggering when you consider that a whopping 20% of adults are so magnesium deficient that it can and likely is affecting their overall health. If you suffer from unexplained fatigue or weakness, abnormal heart rhythms or even muscle spasms and eye twitches, low levels of magnesium could be to blame. Magnesium is present in all cells of the body and is involved in over 300 biochemical processes – including energy production. Magnesium deficiency is one of the most common mineral deficiencies in North America and it can lead to a multitude of symptoms and health concerns. It surprises people to learn how they could potentially become magnesium deficient; overly sweet or gluten-laden foods, caffeine, pop, alcohol, too much stress, and some prescription medications are all contributing factors to magnesium deficiency. It’s easy to tell by that list if you might be deficient, as so many of us overly indulge ourselves in foods and drinks that are bad for us, and many of us live with constant stress. To be absolutely certain if your body is depleted in this utmost important mineral, you could go ahead have a blood test through your medical practitioner to see if in fact you are. However, only 1 percent of magnesium in your body is distributed in your blood, making a simple sample of magnesium from a serum magnesium blood test not entirely useful. Magnesium deficiency can make one feel upset or anxious, restless, and causes sleep issues, such as falling or staying asleep. It can also cause or exacerbate muscle aches or spasms, such as Restless Leg Syndrome or shin splints. What magnesium does for our body is help the muscles to relax so they aren’t in a constant state of contraction. It helps with muscle recovery so is popular among runners. But so many more of us could benefit from taking a magnesium supplement: It makes the kidneys, heart and digestive tract function better when our magnesium levels are optimal. We feel an overall better sense of wellness, and who wouldn’t want to feel less stressed or depressed? There are many different forms of magnesium, but magnesium bisglycinate has been shown to be more readily absorbed and bioavailable compared to other forms of magnesium, and can be found in a powder form such as our own MagSense. Most magnesium is stored in your bones and organs, where it is used for many biological functions. Yet, it’s quite possible to be deficient and not know it, which is why magnesium deficiency has been dubbed the “invisible deficiency.” Some medical professionals are even going so far as to declare it a medical epidemic. Recommended daily amounts of 310 to 320 milligrams (mg) for women and 400 to 420 for men are required for the optimal magnesium balance. You can find magnesium in foods such as dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, yogurt, bananas, dried fruit, and dark chocolate, and you can safely supplement to make up the difference. Magnesium supplementation may be helpful for: Muscle cramping Supporting cardiovascular health Restless Leg Syndrome Headaches & migraines PMS & menstrual cramps Insomnia Mood stabilization & depression Metabolic syndrome & blood sugar balance Maintaining strong, healthy bones If you are interested in learning more about how and why our bodies become deficient and how we can go about repairing the damage magnesium deficiency causes, please read Mighty Magnesium: The Unlikely Health Hero by Bruce W. Cole. It is a thorough read and will show you where you can find magnesium in food and how to avoid becoming depleted. To Your Good Health! This article has been provided to you by Preferred nutrition blog. 

Probiotics: A Novel Way to Fight Colds & Flus

Our friends at The Natural Path have again extolled the virtues of supplementing with a great product. Our Ultimate Probiotic is 100% BB536 and is a great, shelf stable probiotic, so you can travel without worrying about needing to refrigerate. BB536 has now also been proven to help boost your immune system on top of it’s other virtues. Read on about a study that was conducted! Many of the most famous vitamins, minerals and herbs–like echinacea, vitamin C and zinc lozenges–won their fame by knocking out the cold and flu. Well, here’s a new supplement that prevents colds and flus. . . . Stress is known to weaken the immune system and increase the risk of catching a cold or coming down with the flu. So, researchers gave 581 students who were stressed due to exams either a placebo or various kinds of probiotics for six weeks. Over the six weeks, the number of people who suffered one or more colds or flus was significantly lower amongst students who took the probiotic Bifidobacterium bifidum. They had a greater number of healthy days, and, when they did succumb to cold or flu, their symptoms were less severe. Earlier research has also shown that probiotics help fight colds  (Adv Ther Respir Dis 2010;4:271–8). So, in addition to all the other reasons for taking probiotics, they also may help you to stay healthy this winter.  This article has been provided to you by Preferred nutrition blog. 

DEFEND YOURSELF AGAINST COLDS AND FLU

As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. With the arrival of cooler weather, many of us are bound to get stuck at home with yet another case of the sniffles. Prepare yourself to fight cold and flu bugs this season with these helpful tips: Good hygiene is important for preventing the spread of viruses. Wash your hands frequently and avoid rubbing your eyes, nose or mouth. Sneeze or cough in a tissue or the crook of your arm.  Drink lots of fluids. Dehydrated cells offer an easy path for viruses to enter your system and cause infection. The Immune Enhancer. Echinacea can help minimize the duration of cold and flu symptoms and alleviate sore throats. Echinacea works by increasing the production of infection-fighting cells, leaving your body better prepared to fight off cold and flu viruses. Try: Jamieson FluShield™ - A potent strain of Echinacea augustifolia, Jamieson FluShield™ is the result of 12 years of research and selective breeding for the purest and most powerful species of this native North American wildflower. The Echinacea angustifolia found in FluShield™ is a premium and uniquely bioactive botanical extract that was chosen from among 40 plants for its high concentration of immune-boosting properties. With FluShield™, Jamieson has taken the purest natural source and used state-of-the-art science to produce your best defense for the cold and flu season. Stock up on nature’s best remedy. Vitamin C is among the most popular supplements during cold and flu season. Shown to reduce the duration of viruses and the severity of their symptoms, vitamin C supports a healthy immune system. Try: Exxtra- C 500 mg or 1,000 mg – an advanced timed-release delivery system that provides superior absorption and bioavailability of vitamin C over a 24 hour period.  Let the sun shine! The reduction in sun exposure during fall and winter months means our bodies produce less vitamin D at a time of year when we are more likely exposed to viruses that can cause infection. Research shows that a vitamin D supplement may help fight off winter colds and flu by boosting the body’s own immune system. Try: Chewable Chocolate Vitamin D 1,000 IU – a delicious all-natural chocolate-flavoured chewable tablet with no artificial colours or flavours. Made with Quali™-D, the world’s purest Vitamin D3 and the same form that the body naturally produces when skin is exposed to sunlight. Probiotic supplements can give you natural immune protection. More than 400 species of bacteria live in your digestive system and the good ones are known as probiotics. Their role is to keep your intestinal tract healthy. Try: Advanced 4-Strain Probiotic - Provides four probiotic cultures to help maintain and restore the intestinal balance of good bacteria. For a convenient, on-the-go formula, try Jamieson’s Probiotic Sticks – a delicious plum-flavoured powder that dissolves directly in the mouth. This probiotic formula is also perfect for travelling as it requires no water or refrigeration. Need more anti-flu remedies?Stress can also weaken your immune system, so pack a B Complex like Jamieson’s Timed Release Vitamin B100 Complex to help restore these stress-depleted nutrients necessary for energy production. If you feel a scratchy throat coming along, grab some Honey Lemon Zinc Lozenges with Vitamin C and Echinacea to soothe your throat and boost your immunity.And remember, a healthy immune system depends on good nutrition, adequate sleep and regular exercise. Be sure to make time for all 3 no matter how busy your schedule. This article has been provided to you by Jamieson's blog. 

COLD AND FLU SEASON "MUST-HAVES"

The first cold snap hits, and you walk into a pharmacy or health food store with the goal of buying vitamins that will help get you through the winter season unscathed by colds and flu. Here’s a shopping list of simple, effective and safe formulas — to keep you feeling your best this year. Best Jamieson Picks: Vitamin D: Good things come from the sun. Well known for its role in supporting calcium absorption to maintain strong bones and teeth, vitamin D also boosts the immune system to help prevent major diseases. In addition, vitamin D increases seratonin, which will help thaw your frosty winter demeanour. For maximum benefit, go for a high dose of 2,000 IU daily from September to April.  Vitamin C: Taken daily, vitamin C supports a healthy immune system and offers superior prevention of and treatment for colds. This classic vitamin influences many vital functions, making it an important nutrient for everyone in your family. Studies show that people feel energized after taking 1,000 mg of effervescent or powdered vitamin C in a glass of water.  Omega 3: Omega-3 oils offer many metabolic benefits. They help reduce inflammation, improve mood, alleviate dry skin, reduce the symptoms associated with stress and increase mental clarity and neurologic function. If you are eating fish more than once a day, your dietary intake may be adequate, but you may be exposing your body to marine toxins. The smarter approach is to take a 1,000 mg daily dose of purified fish oil or krill oil. These provide a safe, clean and healthy source of omega nutrition. Magnesium: A magnesium deficiency affects the health and vitality of every area of your body. Yet North Americans are chronically deficient in this important mineral that helps : maintain strong bones, support healthy heart function, lower elevated blood pressure and increase the production of enzymes that boost energy and promote cell repair. If you experience muscle tension and disrupted sleep — the first signs of magnesium deficiency — take 200 mg to 300 mg daily. Vitamin B: From managing stress and fueling energy to strengthening your immune system, the B vitamins support optimal health. This complex family works together to regulate a variety of vital body functions and must be replenished daily, especially during times of physical or mental stress. If fatigue is your main complaint, take a B complex or a multivitamin containing a high dose of vitamin B (50 mg to 100 mg) each morning. Echinacea: Of all the echinacea species studied to date, only one — Echinacea angustifolia —has been proven effective in preventing colds and flu due to the purified extracts from the plant roots that show potent immune-boosting properties. I recommend taking a proprietary formula, such as FluShield, throughout the winter season.  Probiotics: Half of the body’s immunity comes from a healthy lower intestine. A probiotic formula not only boosts the stomach’s “good” bacteria to help digest food, but it fortifies the healthy balance of microflora so you can naturally fight infection. Stress and excess consumption of alchohol and caffeine can inhibit these important allies to immune-defense, so be sure to boost your body each day with a multi-strain probioitic supplement. And before you buy, follow these important tips: Always select products manufactured by a reputable manufacturer who ensures quality, potency and raw-ingredient traceability Get ahead of the season by increasing your supplement intake At the first sign of a scratchy throat, gargle with warm salt water, which serves as an astringent to help clear mucous Open up your nasal passages and breathe easier with periodic treatments of gentle steam inhalation Oregano oil is a natural anti-viral — gargle first, then swallow Soothe virus symptoms by adding a couple of spoonfuls of honey (the darker the better) to a hot drink before bed to help reduce coughing at night This article has been provided to you by Jamieson's blog.  

NATURAL COLD AND FLU REMEDIES

The cold and flu season has arrived and that means many will suffer the notorious  symptoms of sneezing, coughing, congestion and runny nose. Cold and flu are actually the most common infections that affect Canadians. Children typically get 9 to 12 infections per year and adults have about seven per year. Aside from making you feel miserable, these infections are the leading cause of lost work and school days. Staying healthy this fall and winter means being prepared. Now is the perfect time to adopt some strategies to cut your risk of getting sick this season. Washing your hands frequently, getting adequate sleep and regular exercise, and eating a healthful diet are important lifestyle measures to follow. There are also certain supplements to consider taking this time of year to support your immune system and overall health. Here is my list of top three supplements for fall and winter: Vitamin D This nutrient has many important functions in the body: it regulates calcium and phosphorus levels and promotes the absorption of these minerals for healthy bones and teeth; it plays a role in cancer prevention; it regulates blood pressure; and it modulates immune function. Research has found that a deficiency of vitamin D can compromise immune function and increase the risk of viral infections. Our skin produces vitamin D upon exposure to sunlight and we get a small amount through foods such as fortified milk. However, numerous reports suggest that the majority of Canadians are deficient during the darker fall and winter months. Given the vital role that vitamin D plays in immune and overall health, taking a supplement is critical this time of year. Probiotics Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, often referred to as microflora, that are important for intestinal and immune health. They aid digestion, improve nutrient absorption from the intestine and play a role in preventing infections. Probiotics are normally present in our gastrointestinal system but levels of these vital organisms can be depleted by stress, travel to foreign countries and use of antibiotics. A good probiotic supplement can help to keep your system on track and in a good position to fight off germs. Echinacea This herbal remedy has been used for centuries for supporting immune health. Recent research has found that echinacea can help to prevent cold and flu and reduce symptom severity and duration if you do get sick. Echinacea can be taken by those aged two and above for prevention during the cold/flu season. It can also be taken at the first sign of illness. However, it works best when taken preventatively. What to do if you do get sick? Here are a few natural remedies that can help manage cold symptoms: For a sore throat • Gargle with warm salt water.• Suck on zinc lozenges. Zinc has antiviral properties and research suggests it can help lessen cold symptoms and speed healing. To clear sinus congestion • Try a neti pot or nasal wash. For young children, look for nasal sprays or drops with saline (salt water).• Run a vaporizer in your bedroom at night to keep the air moist. To calm a cough • Try a teaspoon of dark amber honey. Honey contains various nutrients with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. It is soothing and can help coat the throat and calm a cough. Don’t give it to children less than one year of age due to risk of botulism. Keep in mind that a cough is the body’s way of clearing mucus from your airway and while it is annoying, it is part of the healing process. Sherry Torkos is a holistic pharmacist and author of The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. www.sherrytorkos.com This article has been provided to you by Jamieson's blog.   

Beat the Cold Bug: 10 natural ways to stay healthy this winter

Our first line of defense against colds and the flu is a group of white blood cells that make up our “innate” immune system. Simple actions can help or hinder their work. Here’s a list of tips that will reduce your exposure to winter bugs and encourage those cells to do their job better. Hand washing. The hand is quicker than the sneeze in the spread of seasonal illness. Frequent hand washing will reduce your exposure to viruses. Break up with sugar. The relationship wasn’t working for you anyway. Refined sugar impedes your white blood cells’ ability to protect you from invading microbes. Be in by 11:00 pm – or earlier. The activity of our immune system varies according to a daily rhythm: it rests at night, and so should you. Your natural killer cells (their name says it all) won’t keep you company while you burn the midnight oil, making you more susceptible to getting sick if you stay up late. Drink up. It’s easy to become slightly dehydrated in the dry winter months. Inhaled viruses cling to the back of the nose and throat – if those areas are moist they do a better job of keeping the bugs out. Parched mucous membranes are less effective at warding off pathogens. Enjoy plenty of herbal tea, soup, and other nourishing winter beverages throughout the day. Get moving. Regular, moderate intensity aerobic exercise boosts immune activity, reducing frequency of the common cold. Slash stress. Excess cortisol will depress immunity faster than you can say “influenza”. Do the D. It’s no coincidence that cold and flu season peaks in the dark winter months when our sunshine vitamin level bottoms out.  Supplementing with vitamin D has been shown to reduce the number of days lost to winter illness. Take probiotics. Studies show that people who supplement with probiotics have fewer, shorter and less severe colds and flu. A recent trial showed that preschoolers who supplemented with probiotics missed less school, had fewer visits to the doctor and took less medication for upper respiratory tract infections than those who took a placebo. Reach for zinc. Got a tickle in your throat? It’s a good time for zinc lozenges. People who take zinc supplements recover from cold symptoms days faster compared to placebo. Our intestines limit the amount of zinc we absorb, but you can by pass that mechanism and achieve a short-tem zinc load with sublingual lozenges. Try tongue-tingling Echinacea. This healing herb was unfairly labeled a dud in the popular media based on studies using dried Echinacea products. When Echincaea is dried it loses up to 80% of its active ingredients. Echinacea must be fresh-extracted, although few companies have ability to do this. Echinamide is a patented extract of Echinacea, grown in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, extracted fresh and standardized to three active ingredients. The actives are blended in a specific ratio that has been clinically proven to help combat winter illness. It is available in a wide range of products, including Natural Factors Anti-Viral Formula, a natural medicine cabinet must-have. What are your cold bug fighting tips? Share them with me in the comments. This article has been prvided to you by Natural factors blog.