Winter Health Web Tour
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If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, the days have been closing in, the light has been dimming, and with that comes the prospect of winter aches and pains, flus and colds, chilly weather. In short, a general lack of summer. Gone those Days of Azure.
So do we get stuck in a winter rut, with growing mental and physical stagnation, isolate the children from their runny-nosed friends, stop kissing each other, suffer from the equivalence of four months of PMT?
Health professionals are acknowledging the power of the mind in maintaining health, and this may be our most useful tool.
One of the practical things we can do with this mind power tool, is decide ahead of deepest, darkest winter to think positive thoughts, and do the things which will help maintain our health.
Lack of motivation may be the biggest hurdle, but to stay on top is the easy option. When we slide down to the point where there is no choice but to act we’re faced with the long, sometimes expensive, journey back to health.
One of the most important and obvious things we can do to maintain health is get exercise and fresh air. Commonsense, and without it, we risk mental and physical stagnation, and with them susceptibility to illness.
Another easy and everyday thing we can do to fortify our health and thereby stay in prevention mode is eat good food. Fresh, organic vegetables and fruit are among nature's most powerful healing agents, supplying anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals.
A balanced diet provides us with many of the things we need to stay healthy - a natural easy way to stay in the Green Zone. Liken it to a traffic light: the Green Zone being natural, harmonious, easy, light-feeling, vibrant health. Orange, the warning zone, and red - emergency.
Critics’ have said organic food may be worse for your health because the expense may reduce your intake of fresh fruit and veges.
You don’t have to be Hippocrates to work out that organic food is better for you. If you do reduce your intake of fresh food and it bothers you, top up your organic stash with conventional produce. Don’t go without - whether 10% or 90% of your food is organic, its an improvement. Focus on the amount that you do have. It makes a big difference to your health whether you see the glass as being half full or half empty.
Exercise and delicious, healthy food have a direct effect on your winter well-being by shoring up your immunity.
Enhancing immunity, and cold and flu prevention are the subjects of many good articles on the internet. Most of them are from the United States.
Immunising with Food and Happiness
In the article, Preventing colds and flu: natural remedies that boost your immunity, Sally Eauclaire, writing for Vegetarian Times, says that why some people get sick with colds and flu repeatedly and others rarely, is a question scientists are investigating.
One of the possible answers, she says, is that what you eat (or don't eat) may help you stave off colds and flu or get over them more quickly. One food with undisputed value is garlic. She also looks at the subject of eating (or not) when you are in the throes of illness. What Hippocrates really said, by the way, was "If you feed a cold, you will have to starve a fever." Other topics covered are Vitamin C, zinc, mushrooms, mindpower and flu shots (do they work, do you need one?)
This article is based at FindArticles.com, a vast archive of published material that can be searched for free. It contains articles on all topics dating back to 1998 from more than 300 magazines and journals.
Herbs to the Rescue by naturopath and physician Jamison Starbuck is an in-depth article for those who want to dig deeper into the use of herbs to boost the immune system. It looks at adaptogenic herbs which "work on the body as a whole, encouraging a variety of body systems to cope with physical and emotional stress, recover from overwork and protect against disease". Examples include Asian ginseng, Siberian ginseng, ashwaganda, astragalus, ligusticum, shiandra and licorice. While there is no cure for the common cold or flu, writes Starbuck, there are ways to strengthen the immune system and help protect against the season's worst ills. Using adaptogenic herbs, in conjunction with a healthy diet and plenty of rest, should pave the way to a healthier winter, she says.
She also takes a good look at echinacea, a high profile herb, technically an immune system potentiator.
But remember, self medication with herbal remedies should be entered into with care. Self diagnosis and treatment can be dangerous and treatment should be chosen with the help of qualified health practitioners.
For a Winter Skin Care Oil recipe, check out Oil Change, by Susanne Althoff.
If the winter blues are a problem, Herbal Relief for Depression: focussing on St. John's Wort (Hypericum) may be of interest, but again, be cautious about self-treatment. This article is posted on the net by the Natural Health and Longevity Resource Center which is dedicated to natural health, alternative therapies, herbal medicine, fitness, nutritional therapies, longevity research and mental and spiritual health.
The above information and recommended articles are for information and research purposes only. Organic Pathways does not necessarily endorse and cannot control the content of these articles, nor is it responsible for any claims, opinions or information accessed therein.