Thursday, 3 March 2011

Do you take your health for granted?

I reckon being ill as one of the great pleasures of life, provided one is not too ill and is not obliged to work till one is better. ~ Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh, 1903

What is it about health that we take so much for granted? We often abuse our bodies to the point where we are ill, and only then do we reassess. I am just as guilty of this and I work in health!

I started thinking about this recently as a couple of weeks ago I started developing a scratchy throat, sneezing and had a bit of a headache. Uh oh, I hope that’s not a sore throat and cold coming on?? By the following afternoon I was feeling worse and just about managing to get myself through a full day of work. Immediately I looked back at what might the cause of all this (can’t help it, I am a homeopath after all). Well, I suppose I had had some rather late nights. I hadn’t been eating as well as I ‘should’, I’d definitely felt a bit stressed and had been worrying incessantly about some silly stuff (isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing?)

Generally speaking becoming ill doesn’t have to always be seen as a bad thing. It can be a great time to reflect, relax and recuperate. Often it is the only way the body ensures we slow down and get some important rest. Hence why a lot of us get ill on holiday!

Overnight I became a complete health freak and it got me thinking, if I had only been doing 20% of what I’m doing now, perhaps I could have avoided this and would be feeling in full health? Thankfully due to all my efforts I was feeling a lot better by the following day.

So, lesson learnt, prevention really is better than cure. But, if like me, you’ve been burning the candle at both ends and already displaying symptoms, here is my quick start guide to getting back to health as quickly as possible...naturally of course :)

Acceptance: it might sound crazy but sometimes just simply breathing and accepting that we feel unwell, rather than fighting against it can really help our bodies to heal so much faster.

Remedies can usually be purchased in larger pharmacies such as Boots and cost between £5-8 each. Alternatively they can be ordered from a Homeopathic Pharmacy such as Ainsworth, Helios or Nelsons. Place remedies under or on the tongue, ideally 10 minutes either side of food and drink. Try not to touch the remedy.

·       Aconite Nap. 30c – this is a great homeopathic remedy to use at the first signs of a cold with plenty of sneezing. Symptoms are sudden, violent, brief. Anxiety, fear, restlessness, grief. High temperature with great thirst. Insomnia. Take hourly for the first 6 doses and then 3 times per day until symptoms subside.

·       Gelsemium 30c - Influenza, sneezing, sore throat, symptoms of flushing, aching, trembling, weary with heavy aching muscles, runny nose, vertigo. Take hourly for the first 6 doses and then 3 times per day until symptoms subside.

·       Ferrum Phos 6x (New Era tissue salts) - The remedy for first stage of all febrile disturbances and inflammations before they set in; especially for catarrhal affections of the respiratory tract. Fever starts slowly. Better for cold applications. Worse at night and 4-6 am; touch, jar, motion, right side. Take every half an hour for the first 6 doses then 4 times a day until symptoms subside.

·       Anas Barb. (aka Oscillococcinum) 200c – ideal for the onset of flu and best taken before symptoms fully set in; a more generic influenza remedy. Often used as a preventative. Take hourly for the first 6 doses then can be taken weekly as a booster.

·       Increase intake of Zinc and Vitamin C. Take at least 1,000mg of Vitamin C and no more than 25mg of Zinc daily.

·       Vitamin D – we are often deficient in Vitamin D, especially during the winter months, this has been linked to all sorts of health problems and makes us especially susceptible to colds and flu. Recommended allowance is between 200 and 600 IUs daily.

·       Lemon & Ginger tea with spoonful of Active Manuka Honey (15 UMF or higher).


·       Olive Leaf Extract – excellent anti-oxidant and immune system booster.

·       Echinacea Angustifolia - acts as a natural antibiotic, purifying the lymphatic system and the blood. It is also an immune stimulant.

·       Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis) - has proven very effective against parasites and in stimulating the immune system and for mouth ulcers. It reportedly increases the blood supply to various digestive parts.

·       Astragalus - This Chinese herb is often regarded as Asia’s answer to Echinacea. Studies have shown it to have certain potent anti-viral properties and helps boost white blood cell fighting properties.

·       Cayenne - This is a magical herb and has numerous external and internal uses. Internally cayenne is considered one of the best circulatory stimulants. It stimulates all parts and systems involved with blood flow. Its stimulating properties also extend to the digestive system, by stimulating the flow of saliva and stomach secretions.

If you really want to boost your immune system take 1 level teaspoon of Cayenne pepper (dried form from the supermarket) in a glass of lukewarm water and knock it back – NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED! But will definitely get your immune system going in no time, has saved me for developing numerous illnesses in the past.

Happy health everyone – happy homeopathy!

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