Winter colds: How to prevent and treat them

November 6, 2007

As many of you may know I am concentrating on herb gardening, cooking and craft information because I am not qualified to say too much about the medicinal use of herbs, although I am learning more every day.

I am therefore very pleased to say that Dr Joshi who is an award winning pediatrician in India who has 28 years of experience and offers online consultations regardless of your ability to pay; you decide how much you can afford (Her website is: www.farawaysister.com) has offered to write a regular article for my monthly newsletter.  Below is the first of these articles, I’d appreciate your comments about it.

Winter Colds: How to prevent and treat them
by Dr Joshi

Winter has arrived and has ushered in the season of coughs and colds and runny noses. A sudden dip in ambient temperature allows the population of winter viruses and bacteria to shoot up in the surrounding air. Not only that, the low temperature coupled with an early morning fog actually makes them more invasive. Respiratory syncytial virus, rhinoviruses, influenza and some adenoviruses abound, as do a few varieties of Streptococci.
Small babies and young children who haven’t been exposed to the current strains of viruses and bacteria are the ones most susceptible to catching an infection, as are the old, whose natural immunity has declined with time.

Apart from taking routine precautions such as avoiding a prolonged exposure to cold air ( whenever possible ) and being suitably clothed to protect oneself, one can add herbal teas made from your garden herbs like:

Ginger root

Elderflower

Fennel seeds

Mint

Chamomile

Thyme

You may add any of the following spices to enhance the effect of the herbs:

Dried ginger root

Cloves

Nutmeg

Cardamom

Cinnamon

Saffron

Honey may be added as a sweetener, or unrefined ( brown ) sugar. This tea needs to be taken for as long as there is a chance of catching an infection, or until an infection that has set in passes over.

Apart from these garden herbs, however, there are more specific ones that prevent and treat respiratory infections more effectively.

But these do not usually grow in gardens, so they need to be purchased in the form of herbal remedies from Homeopathic or Ayurvedic pharmacies in your vicinity.

A judicious combination of herbs very often dispense with the need for antibiotics and other prescription medicines, and even over the counter medicines.

For more information visit Dr Joshi’s website where she offers online consultations. There is a lot of information on the website as well: www.farawaysister.com

Please note that all the advice and opinions in the article are that of the author. Please note that some herbs which are beneficial in small doses can be harmful if taken to excess or for a long period. You are advised that self-treatment for serious or long-term problems without consulting a qualified medicinal practitioner should not be attempted. If you are pregnant or already taking any medication, you should obtain medical advice on whether any herbs or spices should be consumed and whether there are any contra-indications with the proposed herbs to be taken. Taking this into account, before trying any herbal remedies, I recommend that you sample a small quantity first to establish whether you experience any adverse or allergic reaction. I can not be held responsible for any adverse reactions to the recipes, recommendations and instructions contained in the article, and the use of any herbs or spices mentioned is entirely at the reader’s own risk.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Miranda Bell 11.26.07 at 12:07 pm

This is a great posting – was trawling through the Garden Blog webiste after starting up my own in N. Brittany and found yours. I must admit I love herbs and quite often incorporate them into my designs as they provide such a lot in the garden and are great for wildlife too!

It’s good to know there are all sorts of things outside still which help towards keeping healthy over the winter – one of my favourites is a slice of lime, teaspoon of honey and a slice of root ginger with boiling water… delicious! Great warmer after working outside all day!

Keep up the good work… Miranda

2 Madeleine 12.04.07 at 6:04 pm

hello Miranda, I like your blog!

Must try that hot drink combination it does sound delicious, I love lime and the warming effect of ginger.

3 Michael (herbs) Wooller 12.26.07 at 5:53 am

If I look like getting some form of infection I go to the garden and get some echinacae leaves with which I brew a cup of tea. Works wonders. Doesn’t taste brilliant but a little bit of honey will fix that. Another thing I find effective is to take up to 3 grams of a good quality vitamin C everyday. Spread this over the day with meals. Either get one that has bio flavanoids built in or take it with fresh orange juice. Bio flavanoids are important for making the vitamin C availablr to the body

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