Amanda Clifford’s Tips on Winter Wellbeing

by Amanda Clifford

It’s that time of year again… the changes in temperature and weather often spark an influx of cough and cold symptoms. In truth, it’s actually a good immune response to have a cold every now and again – a way for the body to naturally detox. Obviously, if it’s a regular occurrence and not shifting, then you need to address it by seeing your GP.

Here are some ways you can build your immune system naturally:

Get regular sunshine, even in the winter months – because we need vitamin D; it helps the immune system stay strong. At least 30 minutes of sunshine a day is required and preferably more.

Some form of exercise is important. It produces good endorphins which help keep us healthy.

Eat nutritious meals, avoiding processed foods as much as possible.  At this time of the year, soups and stews are a wonderful way of getting our vitamins and minerals while warming us up. Keep up with fruit intake. Preparing juices and smoothies at home is an easy way of getting what your body needs.

Make sure you get enough sleep and drink lots of water: six to eight glasses a day. We tend to drink less water in the colder months, but we can opt for hot water instead.

Try to sort out stressful situations. Burying your head in the sand and not tackling what needs to be addressed adds emotional stress on the body – which is known to lower the immune system and make you more susceptible to being ill. Remember to do things that make you happy! Laughter, as they say, is the best medicine, and I feel there is definitely something in this!

If you are suffering from a cold, here’s some practical advice:

Rest. Listen to your body. We all tend to push ourselves, rather than tune in and take the time we need to properly recover.

Drink plenty of fluids. Hot water and lemon will also help. Opt for herbal teas rather than too much caffeinated coffee or tea. Reducing your intake of milk and certain dairy products will reduce the mucus that forms naturally, especially in those who are sensitive to dairy.

Eat fermented foods that are naturally good for gut health, such as sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir which help keep gut flora in balance.

You may find taking echinacea or oregano oil very helpful in building your immunity. Lemon is fantastic at increasing pH and a great all-rounder. Garlic is beneficial for treating sore throats and infections, a natural antibiotic without any side effects. Cayenne pepper, turmeric and cinnamon are all good options for helping with cold symptoms. Adding fresh ginger to a cup of warm water and allowing it to infuse with the juice of half a lemon, some local honey and your preferred spice is the perfect soothing hot drink. Organic rosehip tea or elderberry tincture have many beneficial qualities.

Essential oils such as peppermint, tea tree and eucalyptus are also very effective. Adding a few drops to a bowl of hot water, covering your head with a towel and inhaling is a great decongestant. But please be careful not to burn yourself. Also, be aware that some people do have allergies to these essential oils, so always follow the instructions on the bottle.

Treating yourself and your loved ones with homoeopathy for simple everyday acute problems can be easy.  I regularly run “Introduction to Homeopathy” courses which empower you to treat your family in a safe and effective way.

With homoeopathy, less is more, and you give a remedy that best fits the symptoms at hand. You take one pill and allow it to melt gently on the tongue, trying not to eat or drink for 15 minutes before and after taking it. If after three to four doses there is no improvement, reassess the symptoms and look for a remedy that fits better. I am available for acute advice daily, Monday to Friday, 9am-10am; 07414 802826.

Here are some common homoeopathic remedies that may help.

Aconite – sudden onset, early stages, usually brought on by exposure to a cold wind.

Arsenicum Album –  streaming cold with burning discharge from the eyes and nose.  Restless, anxious and chilly.

Bryonia – painful cough, felt in the head and chest. Must hold the head or chest when coughing. Dry cough.

Gelsemium – cold, flu-like symptoms, with aching, trembling and a heavy, dull head.

Kali Bichromicum – stringy and tough catarrh. Violent sneezing with stubborn congestion and a ropy, stringy or sticky discharge. All symptoms are better for heat.

Phosphorus – outgoing, expressive people who require reassurance.  Can be prone to nosebleeds; and symptoms can start from a change in the weather or from moving in and out of heat or cold. Cough can be tickly; sometimes a burning sensation in the chest while coughing. 

Pulsatilla – colds that thicken, leaving nostrils blocked. Discharge is usually yellow/green. Sticky eyes. Clingy. Weepy.

As with all illnesses, if you are concerned, contact your local GP or out-of-hours service for advice.

Homoeopathy is all about getting to the root cause, following ancient principles that have a proven track record, working with the body’s own healing mechanism.

That’s why I love the process of using energetic medicine – safe, gentle yet very powerful; suitable for all ages, from conception, pregnancy and birth to end of life; offering first aid and treating acute and chronic illness, whether physical, emotional or spiritual.

Amanda Clifford is a natural health practitioner and homoeopath, running a busy practice in Pembrokeshire; 07414 802826 and online consultations via Skype. 

Kitty Parsons

Kitty Parsons

Kitty is an incomer, with five summers under her belt and the knowledge that even the wettest and greyest of winters have not diminished her love of Pembrokeshire. She knows she will never live long enough to be considered a local but hopes to leave some small mark through writing about this beautiful county and its people.

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