The cold doesn’t cause a cold – but being cold makes it less likely that you can defend yourself from one!
There is no doubt that immunity is a BIG issue this year as COVID continues to create chaos, but of course, we still have the usual yearly cycle of coughs and colds running underneath the pandemic as normal.
As the temperature drops and we get used to the rainy, darker days, so to our bodies can struggle to fight off even benign viruses. Old wives tales often make a huge amount of sense, and medical herbalist, Pamela Spence, says that ‘Keep warm or you’ll catch your death!’ is one she certainly remembers.
Even traditional medicinal philosophies agree- in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) you’re most likely to catch a cold from an invading pathogen that makes it through your defensive layers on a cold blast of air. I think of it like the body being so busy heating you up that it takes its eye off the ball when it comes to its defences.
So, it’s true that the cold doesn’t cause a cold – but being cold makes it less likely that you can defend yourself from one.
Pamela says, “It is no surprise that one of the key pillars I promote is keeping yourself warm at this time of the year. This doesn’t just mean adding an extra layer, but also changing diet away from cold drinks and salads and embracing hot drinks and nourishing soups and stews.
She adds, “My favourite herbal ally for this time of the year is elderberry and I’ve just been out gathering it and making delicious elderberry syrup to keep both patients and family healthy. Elderberry is full of vitamin c and even better, contains and anti-viral component that has even been shown to destroy H1N1 flu strains. I like to make mine with star anise, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom for a really wonderful tasting medicine that no-one grumbles about taking daily!”
Many aromatic spices and herbs help support our immunity and I love to start cooking and making herbal infusions with many of them just now, particularly cinnamon and ginger. It’s the perfect time of year to drink Chai – just go easy on the sugar because that depresses immunity.
So, go ahead and wrap up warm, make yourself a hot mug of something spicy and warming, get those big socks on and relax at home. It’s officially time to get cosy!
If you are looking for a dynamic new approach to health Pamela Spence is a medical herbalist, dedicated to empowering you to take back control of your health and wellbeing.
To do this you need to look at the whole of you and not just try to fix your symptoms.
Through herbal consultations, writing and teaching Pamela tries to reach as many people as she can to help them figure out what is going on with their wellbeing. Is poor diet a factor? Do you need medicine to help your situation? Is your lifestyle causing a problem? Are there old emotional blocks that are causing you pain? Whatever the answers it is her challenge to support you to uncover the root cause and work out how to help you change it.