We are sharing a list of simple steps you can take at this time to take care of yourselves and your loved ones (Thanks to Gould’s Apothecary’s (TAS) for some of this information)
This list of suggestions has been compiled with the intention of providing you with some simple steps for actions you can take at home, or recommendations for things that you can access fairly easily. Please Note these treatments have the potential to support your general health and immune resilience, but to be clear, none of them have any proven action in preventing or treating coronavirus infection.
Of Course No 1. regularly wash hands with warm soapy water and practice good coughing and sneezing hygiene.
Eat plenty of raw crushed GARLIC. It doesn’t matter if you smell, it will help with our social distancing protocols and we can all have garlic breath together! Garlic is one of nature’s best antimicrobials, and it is quite amazing in that it appears to be selective in its action – it doesn’t wipe out your good bacteria. You don’t necessarily have to chew it but can cut into small pieces and swallow. However ensure you are eating the raw garlic according to your own tolerance as not everyone can stomach it. You can also add crushed garlic to a meal just before consuming it, or having it with avocado on wholesome bread, this may help its improve tolerability. Local organic garlic is best if you can access it, but don’t worry if you can’t – eat what you can find.
Gargle and drink GREEN TEA. Consuming green tea, in particular gargling it, has been shown to reduce the risk of contracting influenza and the common cold. The tannins in green tea have been shown to have broad antiviral effects topically. In one study, residents in an aged care facility gargling the equivalent of ½ cup of green tea three times daily were more than 15 times less likely (OR 15.7) to catch the flu https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=16970537
Honey and Lemon
Don’t forget the good old fashioned honey and lemon drink if starting to feel unwell, it has possible medicinal benefits and is a comforting drink when feeling under the weather. The use of honey for fighting infections dates back to ancient times. Honey especially the active Manuka honey may have antimicrobial, antibacterial antioxidant properties.
For extra kick add a little freshly grated ginger. Anecdotal evidence suggests ginger may have some antiviral activity.
You may like to consider taking a Vitamin D supplement. Even though we have had a beautiful summer full of sunshine, we do tend to slip, slap slow to help prevent skin cancer and so our vitamin D levels may not be optimum. A number of studies have shown that taking vitamin D, particularly in people who are vitamin D deficient, reduces the chances of developing acute respiratory infections including influenza. Most studies reviewed used adult doses ranging from 2000IU to 4000IU a day, which is known to be safe to take long term even in the absence of deficiency https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=30675873
Probiotics and Probiotic Foods
Eat probiotic foods daily. Consuming probiotic foods regularly such as kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, a probiotic yoghurt (want to have low sugar) or taking a probiotic supplement has been shown to reduce the risk of developing an upper respiratory tract infection. All of these can be consumed daily.
Eat nutritious foods, this is a great time to aim for a rainbow coloured plate of fruit and veg. The different colours contain different phyto nutrients that can support our immune system. Perhaps consider then increasing your plant based foods, including nuts and seeds, fruit and vegetables as these also help to feed your beneficial gut bacteria, which will assist you with immune resilience along with helping to ensure you have a healthy intake of vitamin C and other nutrients important for immune health.
Cut down on processed foods especially those containing damaged fats (hydrogenated) and sugars. These negatively impact your overall health and immune system. Don’t overindulge with alcohol. Binge drinking is bad for your gut flora, and also impairs immune function and increases the severity of respiratory tract infections
Keep your home above 16°C, which is especially important in the winter months. Having a cold home reduces respiratory resilience and increases susceptibility to and mortality from respiratory tract infections. This is especially important for people who are elderly, asthmatic or have other chronic/recurrent respiratory conditions.
Basic Health Guide
- Get enough sleep
- Maintain a healthy exercise regime (can be done at home, put on some favourite music and dance around the room as if no one was watching you)
- Try to keep stress levels in check (try meditating, and belly breathing exercises)
- Eat well
- Find three things to be grateful for each day
- Find Something to laugh at each day
Keep any medicines you regularly use in stock and within date. This includes pharmaceuticals (check your scripts are also in date), herbal remedies and nutritional supplements. If you need extra advise on supplements and Herbal remedies get in touch with us at Simply Great Health (09 4444527)
If you do get sick, don’t panic, most people will experience mild symptoms but please minimise your contact with other people, and follow the guidelines about self-isolation, this will help protect the more vulnerable members of our community. Follow Ministry Guidelines https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus
Finally as our Prime Minister keeps reminding us Be Kind to One Another, look out for friends, family and especially our older generation.
Why not give it a try especially if you are in self isolation at this time.
A number of randomized controlled trials have shown that meditation can:
- Reduce Stress Levels
- Support Brain Health, especially those areas of your brain linked to memory and emotions
- Help with Chronic Pain
- Support Cardiovascular Health, especially with cholesterol levels and high blood pressure
Meditation does not just mean sitting quietly chanting to yourself, but there are a number of different ideas and practices you can do to get the same health benefits. You need to find one that suits you best. Below are a few suggestions:
As mentioned before it does not need to be for long periods of time but little “brain breaks” practised regularly can truly support your health and anxiety levels. The less stressed we are the better we are able to cope with unusual events, especially today. This may well also help support your immune system, how many of us become sick when feeling really stressed?
Keep calm, meditate, breath and find things to be grateful for each day, all help and are free to practice.
Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine developed in Korea & China about 4000 years ago. It works by the insertion of tiny needles into meridian points in order to help regulate the nervous and circulatory systems, these being two major systems in our body. The ancient clinicians already discovered a number of favourable access points to the nervous and circulatory systems so meridians can be looked at as a combination of peripheral, nerve and arterial pathways as well as helping with myofascial syndrome where referred pain from sensitive trigger points in the muscles can be felt in other parts of the body.
How does Acupuncture work?
The mistranslations of ancient text books of acupuncture into English language have led to a lot of misinformation about acupuncture and what it really is. Acupuncture is not an energy medicine. Acupuncture is not voodoo, religion or magic and there are no invisible energy meridians. Acupuncture is a real physical medicine based on real anatomy not energy. What acupuncture actually does is improve the flow of oxygen (Qi), nutrients (Ying Qi), and blood (Xue) through the circulatory system to nourish every cell of our body.
Acupuncture treats #1 cause of disease:
1. Blood stagnation (Impaired blood flow in the body).
When there is a problem with blood flow to any area of the body, that area cannot function properly. The body will not heal properly without proper blood flow. Acupuncture causes your blood vessels to dilate and therefore helps increase blood flow to specific areas of the body in order to relieve pain, improve organ function.
2. Blocked nerves (Impaired signalling between the brain and the body)
Acupuncture also works by stimulating the nervous system by activating nociceptor, sensory nerves and proprioceptor fibers that travel from the skin to the spine and into the brain. Acupuncture improves the nerve signal to your brain and forces your brain to release opioids (natural painkiller) to shut off the pain signal and help eliminate your pain.
Acupuncture works by treating the 5 main factors that influence your health.
- The flow of oxygen in your body (Qi)
- The flow of blood in your body (Xue)
- The health of your blood vessels (Xue mai)
- The health of your organs (Zang fu)
- The health of your nervous system (Jing mai)
In short, acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural ability to heal itself! Acupuncture treats a number of conditions either on its own or in conjunction with Chinese herbal medicine or other therapies.
So if you are looking for a natural solution to your health problems without drugs or any sides effects, look no further. Get Acupuncture Today!
Christmas should be a happy time, time spent with friends and family, but we all tend to get caught up in the business of the Christmas period and end up stressed, anxious and with never ending “to do” lists. One way to help with stress levels is gratitude. There is always something each day we can be grateful for, be it waking up pain free, having the love of your family, that smile a stranger gave you when passing, the sun shining. Finding things to be grateful for can help our mental health. By focusing on positive thoughts rather than the negative ones can help reduce the affects of our stress hormones.
Below is an advent calendar for you to download and use this festive season, but rather than just counting the days until Christmas I challenge you to fill in at least one thing you are grateful for each day.
Embrace Nature, Embrace Health.
Welcome to autumn – not a time to be sad that summer is over, but a time to admire the beauty of nature all around us. This is the season of stunning autumnal colours. Stop and take a moment from your busy life to enjoy what nature has to offer..
Nature truly has healing powers – from the wonderful plants that nourish us through the food we grow and eat, to the beautiful herbal tonics we can make using plants to help support organs and body system. Who hasn’t tried echinacea when struck down by the cold or flu? (By the way echinacea has many other uses too). Come and see our Naturopaths and Herbalists at Simply Great Health here on the North Shore to find out more.
Just being outside amongst the plants has healing powers too. A number of studies have found that by getting into nature, and better still, living in close proximity to “green space”, a number of health benefits may be experienced. A recent Spanish study published in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 2018, found that “Greenspaces have been associated with reduced cancer mortality among young women. Mechanisms explaining the beneficial effect of green spaces include increased levels of physical activity and reduced exposure to air pollution, which have been both associated with cancer development” (2018).
A study published in BJ Psych Int. found that “Individuals have less mental distress, less anxiety and depression, greater wellbeing and healthier cortisol profiles when living in urban areas with more greenspace” (Barton & Rogerson, 2017).
The Japanese have taken the natural healing of nature a step further and have what they call Shinrin Yoku, which translated means forest bathing. A practice of being connected with nature, recognising and utilising this wonderful health resource provided by our forests and countryside. It is a place where we can engage all 5 of our senses as we wonder through the bush. It would seem to not only help with blood pressure, memory and concentration but also seems to support a good night’s sleep. What a great way to unplug from technology, reconnect with our senses while at the same time getting some exercise and fresh air.
So as we are still enjoying such fine weather, why not take some time to get out into nature, enjoy some of our wonderful bush and give yourself a health boost at the same time. The best part is it won’t cost you anything. Give it a try this weekend and enjoy the benefits!
O’Callaghan-Gordo, C., Kogevinas, M., Castano-Vingals, G., Aragones, N., Delfrade, J. Fernandez-Villa, T., … Nieuenhuijsen, M.J. (2018). Residential proximity to green spaces and breast cancer risk: The multicase-control study in Spain (MCC-Spain). Int J Hyg Environ Health, 221(8), 1097-1106. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2018.07.014
Barton, J. & Rogerson, M. (2017). The importance of greenspace for mental health. Retrieved from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5663018