By Anni Dahms
Owner of the retail chain
ANNI’s VITAL SHOP.
Nurse- & Health specialist, Biopath and Nutritional Adviser.
It seems that all kinds of different winter viruses and bacteria from all the different countries—whether that be Spain, Denmark Norway, Finland, England, Canada, Ireland etc.—have come together on our Spanish coast, in an effort to attack as many people as possible.
The language is international: achoo, sniffle, and cough. You can hear it everywhere. I even received a call from Mexico, for help with a winter cold.
It was my friend’s friend, who’d asked my friend to seek my advice about what could be done to relieve a stubborn cold. I asked which products he had in his house. A bit uneasily, he answered that he only had Omega-3 capsules left. Seeing as I was quite busy I told him, somewhat impatiently, “then give him some of those” and went on with my business.
I never heard whether or not the capsules helped with the cold, but I did receive a joyful greeting and news that the man discovered that when he takes omega-3 capsules, he doesn’t get a hangover. At least that way he could take care of his job after a bender, which I guess is also not a bad thing.
It‘s all about the immune system
All well-known winter ailments come down to strengthening the immune system, supporting the liver’s functions, and making sure to eat healthy and clean. Especially after all the Christmas and New Year gatherings, and the long-distance travelling all with coughing and sneezing people everywhere. If your energy levels are low, you are more susceptible to infections. Often you don’t need more than minimal contact with an average infection, to be at the risk of getting infected yourself.
Better to prevent than cure
Schools and pre-schools are a hotbed of infection. If you have kids in school or pre-school, there is a high risk of stomachaches, colds, sore throats, and the flu.
Many a running nose and sick days can be avoided and we all know it’s better to try and prevent than it is to cure.
I recommend the following products for boosting the immune system of children in the winter season:
- Bio Strath comes as an elixir, tablets, and taste neutral drops. Bio Strath is an old, well tested Swiss dietary supplement, which contains 61 different vital substances, in an easily absorbed form. It is 100% natural.
- Vitamin-C 300 mg in chewable form, from acerola berries. It has a lovely taste that all children can enjoy.
- A chewable multivitamin/mineral.
- Omega-3 in liquid form, with a child friendly flavor.
The common cold
If you have contracted a cold, then it’s possible to relieve or even shorten it.
The common cold is caused by a virus. The mucous membranes swell, you cough and snot develops, and you may get a sore throat. In some unlucky cases, the cold might even spread to the lower airways and irritate the mucous membranes. It’s also possible that you rattle and squeak when you’re breathing, and you get a fever, and maybe have an accompanying painful cough. These symptoms can be a sign of bronchitis. If this is the case, you should consult a doctor to check for pneumonia, which might need to be treated with antibiotics.
Pneumonia often arises as a complication to a common cold. It could be an average common cold, slowly turning into pneumonia, so caution is advised.
Young children can often experience a very high fever. Obviously a child must be closely monitored. Be sure the child drinks and urinates properly, and if you are in any way unsure about the child’s condition, please consult a doctor.
Teaching you to help yourself
It can be advantageous to mix and match different suggestions when it comes to relieving your cold, sore throat, or flu.
- Echinacea is a natural remedy from the coneflower plant that stimulates white blood cell production and strengthens the body’s immune system. It is often used in treatment, prevention, and relieving of the cold virus.
The product comes as drops, tablets, spray, and as an elixir, where echinacea is mixed with elderberries and enjoyed as a warm drink, for alleviating painful airways caused by coughing.
- I am a big fan of Kan Jang. It is a fixture in my personal pharmacy, and I also bring it on my travels.
The product consists of a Russian root and andrographis paniculate. It is well documented that it helps relieve the common cold and many other infections, and it is also tested with multiple positive results against the flu.
I take the remedy at the very first sign of the flu, cold, or sore throat. I feel that if I take it early enough, then I can often completely avoid the infection.
- If you have a runny nose, it can be a good idea to apply menthol ointment under the nose and on your chest. The scent penetrates the nostrils and eases your breathing.
- It can also be a great idea to sleep with your head elevated.
A throat infection often feels similar to a cold. You should be aware that a throat infection is caused by bacteria, which often come in the form of a streptococcal infection. Your tonsils will be red and swollen and mostly coated by a white residue.
A streptococcal infection can be diagnosed by a doctor taking a swap-sample from your throat to see if it is a bacterial infection that needs to be treated with antibiotics since it might otherwise lead to more sickness later in life such as problems with valvular functions in the heart or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Make sure that you drink plenty of water when afflicted by a throat infection. You can also drink a lot of elderberry juice or spoil yourself with a lovely (steaming) elderberry soup. It instantly eases the pain in your throat.
- Gargle, for instance with saltwater, use half a tsp. of sea salt to one cup of lukewarm water.
- Doing the time, whilst your throat is infected, avoid all dairy-based products as they are mucous forming.
- Avoid sugary foods, they reduce the effectiveness of the immune system.
- “Gone Tomorrow” are lozenges with peppermint and colostrum from Danish cows. It can alleviate irritation in the throat.
- Oils with eucalyptus or menthol-oil terminates bacteria and eases nasal congestion as well as a sore throat.
- Make sure to get extra vitamin-C. You should be taking 1000 mg 6 x daily, during the peak of the sickness. If you start early enough, then you may be able to prevent the sickness completely.
- A strong multivitamin/mineral should be taken daily. Choose for instance, Longo Vital, with its specific combination, it makes it a great immune system booster. You should also consider taking double the doses, whilst your sickness is at its peak.
- You can further strengthen your immune system by taking Astragalus. It is a plant which strengthens and boosts your immune system and improves your cardiovascular circuit. It is also great against feeling sluggish and tired.
- Remember to take your daily supplement of Vitamin-D. If you are in doubt, as to whether you need this vitamin, you can have yourself tested at a laboratory.
- Supplement with extra selenium, as it’s an important antioxidant.
I have unfortunately experienced that a cold always comes together with a cough, it is very tiresome and disturbs the night’s rest. When I was pregnant many years ago with my youngest son, I had a terrible cough. I was in the hospital and I was terrified of loosing him. I begged for codeine drops, which at the time was the only thing I knew that would help me with my coughing. The staff thought I was on drugs. They finally gave in, and they gave me the codeine drops that I wanted. I slept peacefully and kept my 3rd child, who now runs administration at Anni’s Vitalshop.
- I have later learned to take care about my coughing. I take lemon from the garden and mix it with a couple of tea spoons of honey and a glass of warm water. It instantly eases my discomfort and I can repeat the procedure if I need to.
- I love all kinds of honey. When I take honey for the coughing and the cold, then I usually spare no expense and go for Manuka honey. Manuka honey is a medicinal honey, which is made of bees that live off the Manuka bush, located in New Zealand, the honey has an antibacterial effect and tastes wonderful.
- You can also get a natural cough medicine in spray form.
- Remedies with licorice root and propolis can also help with many kinds of coughs.
- Influ Zink is a lozenge which alleviates you cough. It consists of zinc and Vitamin C.
- A piece of dark chocolate can also help, whilst also being refreshing.
The flu is also an airway sickness, caused by a virus. Your entire body typically hurts as if you’ve been beaten, accompanied by a fever and a headache. The flu often arises in epidemics, where many people are afflicted at the same time. It usually lasts about a week and you should treat the flu with respect because it can cause a load of other ailments, such as inner ear infections, (which often targets children) sinusitis, lung infections etc.
The flu is spread through the air, and is often transferred through the nose, throat, lungs, or hands if they are contaminated with the virus from a cough or a sneeze. You can infect others with the sickness a day before your own flu starts to show symptoms, and until a day after your fever has disappeared.
The flu can be very dangerous for elderly and/or weak people. If you are infected with the flu, try to keep to yourself.
- Eat plenty of vegetables. In the old days it was said that if there was kale in the garden, then the doctor never had to visit due to a winter ailment.
- Eat chicken soup. Not only because chicken soup is delicious, but the warm soup is also great for a sore throat, and the soup also prevents inflammations and mucous formation.
- Drink tea with ginger and/or chamomile.
- Colloid silver water has contracted many followers. It is said to be able to kill the flu and colds.
- Eating garlic is also thought of as having a preventing effect on both viruses and bacteria.
- Make sure to get a good night’s rest.
- Avoid stress.
- Keep your feet warm.
- Forget your exercise program whilst infected.
- Enjoy life and sprinkle it with laughter and delight.
Photos by Tiina Arminen