Winter Coughs and Colds.


Abbigail Langstone- Wring. BSc  FETC  MAR FHT MCThA.

At this time of year to try and avoid the common cold virus is near on impossible. Whether you are suffering from a blocked nose, sore throat or cough these symptoms although deemed not life threatening can be debilitating.

Viruses mutate at an alarming rate. They are passed from person to person very easily in other words they can be highly contagious. Very young children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems are more vulnerable and therefore their risk of contracting a viral infection is greater.  Health professionals advise that if you are suffering from symptoms it is best to stay at home in a constant temperature and to administer some TLC to yourself.   

Prevention is always better than cure, so if you have been lucky enough to avoid catching a virus, keep your immune system strong. If you are suffering symptoms or on the road to recovery following a bout of coughing or sneezing my holistic advice is give your immune system some support.

Vitamin C and Zinc are the most commonly recognised supplements to help support the immune system. However, Selenium and the B vitamins can also be very helpful. It might be worth considering taking a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement through to Spring. Homoeopathic and Herbal remedies have been found helpful for some people Echinacea for example is widely accepted as a support for the immune system. A note of caution, if you are sensitive to the daisy plant family avoid Echinacea.

Homoeopathic/Herbal remedies are widely available in Health Food shops and pharmacies. Please be aware that just because something is deemed a “ Natural Remedy” does not mean that it won’t  be contra-indicated with prescriptive medications. Please check with your pharmacist if you are taking prescribed medication by your GP before taking any form of remedy.

We are fortunate in having a local Homoeopathic pharmacy in Dorset.  Galen Homoepathic at West Stafford is well established and extremely helpful you can contact them  01305 263996 they can make up prescriptions for you and offer a postal service.

Homoeopathic suggestions include Aconite, Pulsatilla, Hydrastis and Kali Bich.

Herbal suggestions include Ginger, Garlic, Lavender, Sage and Rosemary.

Personally, I find the lack of sleep that accompanies cold symptoms the most debilitating. Generally, when the quality of sleep is affected very often other health issues will appear. Whether though not being able to breath properly through the nose or being kept awake by coughing anything that inhibits a quality restful sleep leaves you feeling at the very least below par and at the worst exhausted the next day. This does nothing to help the immune system in it’s efforts to disperse the virus.

Bacterial infection can be the legacy of a viral infection. Very often a chest infection can develop in the latter stages of a viral infection. Bacterial infections will require anti-biotic use so please do visit your GP if you suspect this is the case. ©AW/2018