As with every change of season, our family’s health needs to be maintained to ward off those nasty bugs.

Natural remedies and nutrition can contribute hugely towards achieving a healthy, happy lifestyle.

Young families, can be hit the hardest with countless viruses, as I am sure you have all experienced. They travel fast and make life miserable, so lets protect ourselves now rather than later and reap the rewards that nature can offer.

Natural health is a huge subject and to cover all aspects of its complementary effects on the body is like attempting to write “War and Peace.” Basically every area of health can be assisted with the use of good nutrition, exercise and the use of herbal/homeopathic or dietary supplementation. It complements orthodox medicine and acts like health insurance by strengthening our bodies, building our immunity and reducing the risk of recurrent illness. Of course it does not solve all health issues but it’s benefits are priceless.


Foods rich in Vitamin C, which include, citrus fruits, dark leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli and silverbeet, all the blue and red berries and spirulina contain potent antioxidants which protect the bodies cells and protect Vitamin C within the body. Vitamin C can not be manufactured in our body and must be ingested through our diet. It has many properties, such as immune stimulation, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic actions.

Making a fruit smoothie every day with blue berries, acidophilis yoghurt, and spirilina can be an amazing energy provider and immune stimulator for the whole family. It tastes good too!

Eating veggies and grains that are high in fibre assists the process of eliminating toxins through the bowel, feeds our good gut flora to maintain a healthy immune system and optimises absorption of nutrients.

A hot water with freshly squeezed lemon, ginger and manuka honey in the morning can kick start the digestion, stimulate the immune system, promote healthy circulation and provide energy for the day.

A little gentle exercise every day helps to keep your lymphatic and circulatory systems moving, allowing the body to receive maximal nutrition deliverance to our bodies cells and tissues. Drinking plenty of water helps to flush toxins out of the body, prevents the drying out of our cells and aids metabolic processes to occur more easily. Just carry a water pump bottle with you and do not try to drink large quantities at once. It’s enough to put anyone off.

Start taking Echinacea now to help build your immune system, by increasing the production of white blood cells, our bodies indigenous immune fighters. There are many forms of Echinacea available for all ages.

Garlic is nature’s powerful broad-spectrum antibiotic. Taken every day in supplement form, or eaten raw, is can help to fight bacterial and viral infections, worms and fungi.

For earache crush several cloves of fresh garlic into tepid olive oil and use a dropper to apply a few drops into the painful ear. Block the ear with cotton wool and lie still for 10-15 minutes to allow the oil to reach the inner ear.

Homeopathic remedies are fantastic and so safe to use for the whole family.. Naturopharm have a wide range of remedies for common ailments such as flu-guard and allermed. Available at most health stores.

If anyone in the family has to take antibiotics, always use acidophilus in the supplement form to help replace your good gut bacteria. This is essential for a healthy immune system. Antibiotics strip both the bad and the good bacteria.

Herbally, there are many options when it comes to colds, flu, chest complaints, ear and sinus infections, asthma, allergies, viral and bacterial infections, coughs and throat infections. It very much depends on all aspects of the individuals healt, including emotional, physical and mental wellbeing, current medications and family history as to what herbs should be prescribed for each particular case.


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Tracy Harris is a registered NZ naturopath and herbalist, and natural health writer, who has both a natural health shop and a natural mother & child store in Auckland.

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