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Get ready for the winter months with these 7 natural health remedies to boost your immune system and keep you well!
I really can’t believe it’s already the middle of October, and that Halloween is just around the corner! Where has this year gone? I’ve swapped my summer clothes for cosy jumpers, and my flip-flops and sandals for boots.
The nights are drawing in – and my husband has already got the sniffles! “Why do you never catch anything,” he asks? I wonder! Could it be down to the fact that I always have a few tried-and-trusted immune-boosting ‘tricks’ up my sleeve that’s he’s not receptive to?
To help keep you cold-free and fighting fit throughout the winter, why not give my favourite natural health remedies a try?
Pour some oil on it
On Guard is an essential oil blend that is perfect for the winter months. One of DoTerra’s best-selling blends, On Guard protects against environmental and seasonal threats, as well as warding off harmful viruses and bacteria. In fact, there are claims that this essential oil is so powerful that it may even kill MRSA, although this hasn’t been scientifically proven.
On Guard is formulated with a potent blend of natural essential oils – wild orange peel, clove bud, cinnamon bark leaf, eucalyptus and rosemary leaf. It also has a delicious Christmas-y aroma, so it’s perfect for this time of year. A very versatile oil, you can use it in a variety of ways, from diffusing it to taking it internally.
Adding a few drops to a diffuser helps to purify the air and keep germs at bay. It’s also a really effective mood booster, especially if you suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) during winter months. This oil can also be taken internally to maintain healthy immune function. Add 2 to 3 drops to a veggie capsule (you can buy these in bulk from Biovea £3.99 for 100 capsules). It’s also a brilliant natural disinfectant.
I use it as a non-toxic disinfectant to clean surfaces throughout my home – try my multi-surface cleaning recipe using On Guard Protective Oil here.
And it’s also a brilliant natural addition to any natural first aid kit all year round. To make an effective topical antibacterial cream, blend a few drops of OnGuard with some coconut oil, and apply it directly to cuts or insect bites.
A smoothie a day keeps the doctor away!
You all know by now that I love a green smoothie in the morning! It provides a supply of protective antioxidants, energising nutrients and beneficial fibre. This allows your body time to focus its energy on more important tasks such as detoxing, cellular repair and fighting off infections.
If you want to blend-up a potent immune-boosting smoothie, ensure you include a high percentage of alkalising green ingredients, such as kale, spinach and celery. Also try adding lemon juice to boost your vitamin C levels and to support liver detoxing, always a benefit around the Christmas party season!
Stock up on all the essential smoothie-making ingredients here.
And why not try my Green Smoothie Challenge? It’s easy when you are well-prepared!
Keep warm and carry on
My Grandma was always quick to scold me if I wasn’t wrapped up warmly in the winter. “You’ll get a chill in your kidneys dressed like that!” she’d warn, if I wasn’t sufficiently bundled up against the cold! But grannies around the world aren’t wrong.
There is actually plenty of truth in many ‘ Old Wive’s Tales’ and folk remedies. The combination of being wet, along with being cold, is definitely detrimental to our health and wellbeing, making us more vulnerable.
One of the most effective (and easiest) ways to keep thoroughly warm is to dress in layers (which trap warm air), and to invest in a wind and water-proof jacket or coat. There are plenty out there to choose from!
Check out my winter clothing idea list on Amazon.
And remember: Always keep a warm blanket or throw in your car, and if you go out in snowy weather, make sure you have a shovel in the boot, and a flask with a hot drink, just in case you break down or get stuck in the snow. As every boy and girl scout knows, it’s always better to ‘be prepared’ and better to be safe than sorry.
Some Like it Hot!
Being Scottish, I was brought up with hot toddies. In case you’re not familiar with a toddy, it’s a drink made with spirits. Whisky is most common ingredient, hot water and sweetened with sugar, honey or even maple syrup, as is the tradition in Canada. Spices such as cloves and cinnamon and a squeeze of lemon juice are also commonly additions.
Hot toddies have long been used as natural remedies for winter, treating colds and ‘flu symptoms, as well as being preventative against ailments. Honey has long been known to help soothe a sore throat, and is now being recommended by some doctors.
Making a warm honey and lemon drink, with a dash of whisky, definitely helps you feel better.
Whisky is a great decongestant as alcohol dilates the blood vessels, not to mention a good sleeping aid, whisky is also thought to fight off infection and kill off viral bugs too.
For a vegan version, try this vegan hot toddy recipe.
Cook up some vegetable ‘bone’ broth
It’s been well publicised that good bone broth is good for you if you’re feeling under the weather. However, it’s not an option for vegans or vegetarians. When my toy poodle was really ill, I religiously made and fed him bone broth, but I have to say that as a vegetarian, I found the smell really off-putting.
As a result, I searched for a vegan alternative that I could make for myself. This recipe is an excellent natural health remedy for winter. It acts as a pick-me-up when I’m unwell, or feeling like I’m about to come down with a cold.
It’s packed full of nutrient-rich ingredients including wakame seaweed, rich in iron, Omega 3 fatty acids, amino acids, coconut oil, anti-inflammatory turmeric, spinach and coconut aminos, and it’s also delicious! Double whammy!
Try some Turmeric
Let’s face it. As soon as Starbucks bring out the red cups and the Gingerbread Lattes, it feels like Christmas. But let’s not forget that a Gingerbread Latte weighs in at a cool 260 calories (with 11 grams of fat to boot) so it’s best not to get too attached!
My alternative? Why not try a Turmeric Latte instead, a perfect natural health remedy for winter !
Turmeric not only has antiseptic and anti-viral properties, it also aids digestion and boosts immunity. This may help reduce your risk of catching colds and ‘flu during winter months. Oh, and it’s also delicious!
Find my Turmeric Latte recipe here.
If your skin tend to be duller, drier and more dehydrated during the winter months, then it’s time to get brushing! Surprisingly, our skin – the body’s largest organ – is often the most neglected at this time of year. This is mainly because it’s hidden under layers of clothing, so ‘out of sight, out of mind.’
Body Brushing is one of my favourite health and beauty remedies. It not only improves how skin looks and feels, it’s also incredibly rejuvenating, inside and out.
It only takes a few minutes every day to reap the rewards of dry body brushing. These include stimulating lymphatic drainage (the body’s waste disposal system,) removing built-up toxins, boosting the immune system and improving blood circulation.
How to body brush
Start at your feet and brush upwards, always working towards the heart. Move to the hands, brushing upwards towards your shoulders. Next, brush your stomach, using the brush in a circular clockwise motion. Be gentle, it’s more like stroking than firm pressure, don’t press too hard and avoid using a brush with harsh bristles.
Body brushing shouldn’t be painful and to get the best results, using a soft bristled brush and soft strokes will achieve the best results. Brush every day for a couple of minutes, just before you jump into the shower or bath.
Ionic Body Brushing
I’ve also recently read that using an ionic body brush which is a combination of natural bristles and copper wire, can also help to rebalance our electromagnetic energy field, helping to make us feel less sluggish and more energised.
Our own electromagnetic energy can disturbed by external forces, such mobile phones, microwaves and laptops, which all emit forms of radiation. Ionic Body Brushes, £29.95, are available from Annemarie Borlind.
Hope these natural health remedies help you through the winter months!
If you are worried about your alcohol consumption throughout the Christmas party season, check out this plant based elixir as a natural alternative – it’s so good!
Looking for early Christmas presents? These Natural Wellness Boxes make a lovely gift!