ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Winter health naturally

Updated on January 6, 2018

If you live in a cold climate, staying healthy in the winter is often a challenge, what with freezing temperatures outside, dry heat inside, people crowded into closed spaces, and viruses and bacteria lying in wait everywhere.

Natural health is based on being tuned in to your own needs and supplying them, whenever possible, before a germ takes hold. Many foods and herbs seem to have been designed specifically to support our immune systems and to help us stay healthy. Here are a few suggestions. Although it would be impossible to offer anything near a complete suggestion list here, these are a good start and most of the items are readily available.

WARNING: If you have an auto-immune disease or an immunity deficiency, double-check with your health practitioner before starting on any herbal regimen. Sometimes, in those circumstances, immune-enhancing regimens are counter-indicated.

Food suggestions

Beets

Help keep blood healthy by nourishing it. Disperse congestion, especially in the chest. Aid circulation.

Don't like beets? Ha! Wait until you try this delicious sweet beet relish recipe.

Great sweet beet relish

Scrub 4 or 5 beets and boil, covered, until fork- tender.

In the meantime, thin-slice a small onion, and place in a large bowl, along with a small can of unsweetened drained crushed pineapple, two tablespoons brown sugar, a sprinkle of powdered cinnamon,

and some chopped fresh oregano, thyme, basil leaves

Strain beets when ready, and remove skin with your fingers, under cold running water, because it's hot.

Slice beets, thinly. Or Julienne, if you're fancy.

Add to bowl with onions and pineapple.

Drizzle 1/4 cup olive oil over the salad, and mix gently.

Taste and add more of whatever makes you happy. Measurements are not an issue here.

I always add fresh chopped garlic and a sprinkle of cayenne powder just before serving.

Sometimes I add chick peas (garbanzo beans).

Sometimes chopped walnuts, or pine nuts.

For non-vegetarians, try some shrimp.

Onions

Help prevent stagnation in blood flow. Is one of the herbs of choice in dealing with colds, headaches, constipation, nasal congestion, swelling, bruises, coughs. Add to chopped tomatoes and parsley, add a little olive oil and lemon juice. Eat as is, or add cucumbers, basil, shredded carrots. Add olives, raisins, avocado slices. Add a dollop of yogurt or low-fat sour cream.

Easy healthy onion broth soup

Wilt two sliced onions, a sliced raw beet, and a sliced carrot in a little olive oil until golden and limp. Add a handful of chopped parsley, a diced garlic clove or two or six, and 8 cups of water or chicken broth. Simmer covered for 45 minutes to an hour. Add sea salt to taste, if desired. Delicious soup! As good for the body as it is for the taste buds.

Add cayenne. Add grated cheese. Add chopped tomatoes.

or scramble some egg white into it.

Sprinkle some dried nettle or alfalfa or sprouts in for added nourishment.

Garlic

Helps immune system. Works as anti-microbial against infection and as anti-fungal. Fights flu germs even better than the onion! Works best when eaten raw, so be ready to chew on some cinnamon bark or down some parsley leaves afterward in courtesy to those breathing the same air as you. Even thought to be effective against some forms of cancers.

Apple cider vinegar

Improves digestion. Balances body's acid/alkaline equilibrium. Believed effective against combating bacteria in digestive tract. Reduces swelling and inflammation from bruises. Eases itching from bites, chicken pox, sunburn.

Shitake mushrooms

Might aid against obesity, toxemia, cell destruction, osteoporosis. Widely used in Chinese health-care to stimulate the immune system, retard aging, alleviate stress (making it an adaptogenic...helps the body to adapt to stress, physical and emotional), excrete cholesterol. Buy it dried in a cellophane package and reconstitute with boiling water. Then squeeze out, chop and sauté. If you are a vegetarian, chop it up and use in a spaghetti sauce instead of beef. I think it's better. Meaty. Flavorful. And it is said to promote longevity!

Honey

Soothes inner membranes. Protects throat tissues. Is anti-bacterial. AND tastes delicious!


Herb suggestions

Cayenne

Stimulates circulation of blood. Prevents stagnation in blood that adds to pains of arthritis and gout, especially during winter months. Adds an extra dose of Vitamin C to your diet. For cold feet due to poor circulation, some find it effective to mix a LITTLE cayenne with powder to put inside socks. Add it to a hot footbath at the end of a day spent out in the cold or to bring headache pain down and out of body. Also helps fight flu germs and germ-carrying mucus when a few grains are added to a little water for a gargle...keeps infected mucus from settling in the throat.

Medicinally, must be used raw, dried, powdered...internal and external. Such a powerful astringent, it stops bleeding!

Flu-fighting anti-allergy energy tonic recipe

1 teaspoon each apple cider vinegar and honey in 1/2 cup warm water

with a few grains of raw, powdered cayenne (to your taste)

and 5 drops of nettle tincture.

Sip slowly, with feet up, eyes closed, good music.

Mmm.

Ginger

Similar to cayenne, but somewhat more gentle. Good in bath to ease aching joints. Good in tea to ease aching joints. Good in any form to eliminate nausea, even after it has started, in motion sickness, stomach upsets, pregnancy (check with medical practitioner, if pregnant).

Echinacea

In capsule or tincture form. Highly effective in boosting immune system to fight virus and bacteria of flu-like winter diseases as well as allergies. Good as preventative during winter season, but also very effective in combating flu symptoms after sickness has hit. Also in tea. Try a little. Some digestive systems aren't happy with it in a tea. Might take a little getting used to.

Most herbalists cannot say enough about echinacea and are concerned that its present popularity will put it on the endangered list. Used extensively by Native Americans. Grow some in your yard for a natural prairie look and safeguard its health and as it safeguards ours.

Golden seal

Effective anti-bacterial for use against winter flu, in conjunction with echinacea. Take for one week only. So powerful, it can destroy good bacteria as well. But it is among the top ten in germ-fighting herbs.

Nettle & Alfalfa

High source of protein and minerals to keep immune system efficient during winter months. Come in capsule, tincture, or teas. They seem designed to keep liver and kidneys working effectively to keep blood healthy. Remember, healthy blood aids in more effective immune system, less arthritic pain, fewer skin problems, reduced allergy symptoms. Nettle is often an excellent herb choice for reducing allergy symptoms.

Chai from India

As long as you do not suffer from excessive body heat (too much yang energy), this is a wonderful warmer-upper in the winter. It is usually made with black tea, but any tea or herb tea or just boiled water will do, if you are avoiding caffeine.

To make one pint, place 2 cups of water in a stainless steel, glass, or enamel sauce pan. The spices and herbs can be adjusted to taste, but a basic recipe would include a cinnamon stick, 4 or 5 cloves, about a dozen cardamom seeds, and some orange peel. Put a lid on the pot and simmer for 10 or 15 minutes. Traditionally, a little milk is added then, and the brew is simmered for another 5 minutes or so. Add honey and enjoy. Because these pungent spices are good for digestion and circulation, it not only warms the system, but helps flatulence, poor digestion, poor appetite, and just the blues, in general. Good with jazz music, I think. If you're not a purist, consider adding other tidbits. I love candied ginger added to tea, but then, I love candied ginger any way, any place, any time.

NOTE: Reminder: Be aware that allergic reactions are possible to any food or herb. Try anything new in small doses, and watch for reactions.

How to dress for winter running

Other suggestions

1. This may not sound enticing, but cool or cold showers, or cool rinse-off at end of showers, has proven highly effective in promoting better immunity to diseases by helping the body's internal thermostat adjust to external temperature changes. It is especially important to allow the cool water to hit the back of the neck. This has also helped in reducing migraines.

2. Daily outdoor activity in appropriately warm clothes, with head, throat, and feet well-protected. (Mother was right, after all!)

3. Chinese medicine suggests that making sure the kidneys are warm enough, by wearing sweaters that cover area, is also very important to prevent winter bladder infections in those who are susceptible.

4. Make noise! Laugh out loud! Sing! Keep your energy flowing.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      5 years ago from Wales

      Very interesting and useful.I now look forward to so many more by you.

      Eddy.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)