Change of Season

With monotonous regularity, at this time every year I get panicked by the large number of patients ringing up complaining of sore throats, hot and cold sweats and copious amounts of green mucus. ‘What is happening?’ I ask myself…

…’Is this biological warfare? A mucus plague?’ Then I look at the calendar. D’oh! It’s change of seasons.

Although we live in a high tech age, we are still creatures affected by the rhythms of nature. Change of seasons, particularly summer to winter (the only two seasons there are in Sydney!) is a vulnerable time for our immune systems. Coincidentally, it also seems to be a time of flux in people’s emotional lives. Like the scouts motto -‘Be Prepared’ or is it ‘Dib, dib, dib, Dob, dob, dob’? In any case, building up your immune system now will help you through winter with a minimum of mucus and feeling-awful days.

Echinacea, garlic, vitamin C and zinc are a wonderful immune combo. There are tablets around that combine all four. For a couple of weeks take the highest dose, then for another month stick to a middle range dose. If you wish, you could extend this for yet another month. Over indulging in sugar, alcohol and stress will also place a strain on the immune system. Desist. I know I am going to sound like your mother, but remember to keep warm, especially your throat and head. Getting chilled really can trigger a cold or flu. Pull out that scarf and balaclava, and create a look.

One of my favourite (and successful) remedies is this recipe for lemon and ginger tea. Make some the instant you have a sore throat, or drink a cup or two a day in your preventive regime. The juice of one lemon, half a lemon rind (chopped), one quill of cinnamon, honey, half a bunch of fresh thyme and 3cm of sliced ginger root. Put all of this in a big tea-pot or plunger and fill with boiling water. Leave to steep for four or five minutes. This tea is seriously good, and one of the few naturopathic remedies that tastes nice. Take a thermosful of this tea to work.

Put a note in your calender (hey I could use this idea!) so that at the change of seasons every year, you boost your immune system to ward off infections and mucus plagues.