Gemma Hurditch, lecturer and naturopath at the College of Naturopathic Medicine shares her top tips for immunity this winter.

There are a great many traditional ways for easing up the symptoms of colds and flu, rest and good hydration being two of the most important ones. If you are looking to expand your repertoire here are a few helpful ideas:

1. Gargle with salt water

The solution should taste like sea water, no saltier. Salt water may be disruptive to some bacteria and viruses. Alternatively, use just plain filtered or distilled water. Regular gargling with water has been shown to reduce the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections. Gargling with water where you have introduced a few drops of colloidal silver can also be effective.

2. Eat pure raw honey

Preferably get your honey from a local supplier or from an organic source; try health food shops and local farmers markets. Honey is a great cough soother and has the added benefit of being antibacterial – it’s even good
for your teeth! The antibacterial action could help reduce the likelihood of
secondary infections that may prolong colds or flu.

3. Go for garlic

Eating raw garlic increases immune system activity and reduces inflammation, which is great for fighting cold and flu symptoms. You can also use garlic-infused honey throughout the day as a cough remedy, or stirred into hot water for a soothing drink (see below).

4. Make garlic-infused honey

Preferably find locally grown and organic honey. Get a small 125ml jar; roughly chop five cloves of garlic and let them sit for 15 minutes to activate. Add to the jar and top with honey to cover. After 2-3 days you will have your garlic-infused honey. It’s best to prepare this now to have to hand over the cold/flu season.

5. Add medicinal mushrooms

These are another great remedy for boosting resistance to colds and flu. Reishi and Maitake are great ones to try and Shiitake mushrooms can be
eaten cooked in a little oil; two medium Shiitake mushrooms per day
are understood to have therapeutic amounts of their health promoting
properties. Where possible go for organic-certified products.

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Click here to read some diet and lifestyle tips from CNM to help you reduce pain in your body.