Natural Winter Wellness Products
It’s that time of year again. The days are growing shorter, the mornings that little bit colder, jumpers are making a comeback, and the BBQ invites have dried up. Fans of a popular HBO drama will know exactly what’s happening: Winter is coming. And when winter comes, Winter Wellness must follow.
This is the time of year where we have to be on our health and wellness A-game. The colds are coming, or worse: the dreaded man-flu. With that in mind, here are 10 preventative measures you can take to stay in top condition over the winter period.
Our top 10 Winter Wellness products
Echinacea is a flower native to North America that was discovered and used as a herbal remedy for more than four hundred years by the Great Plains tribes. The plant’s flowers, leaves and roots are all used to make herbal medicines, and some have proved incredibly effective when it comes to combatting colds.
The University of Connecticut performed a meta-analysis of studies into Echinacea, concluding that:
- Echinacea cuts the chances of catching a common cold by 58 percent
- Echinacea reduces the duration of the common cold by almost 1.5 days
Craig Coleman, the Professor of Pharmacy Practice who led the steady, argues that “The take home message is that echinacea does indeed have powerful cold prevention and cold treatment benefits.”
However, the results of the study did vary according to what parts of the plant and which species and strengths were used. Research shows it increases the number of white blood cells that fight infections, and with a few more studies with stricter variables, we’ll soon get to the bottom of exactly how Echinacea does the business.
Vitamin C is vital for a bunch of important bodily functions, as well as having immune-system supporting properties. It’s not a cure for a cold, but it’s a great, easy vitamin to add to your arsenal of preventative measures.
Studies have also shown that Vitamin C contributes to your body’s ability to absorb iron, according to the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research.
One thing that affects all of us during the winter months is a lack of sunlight. The sun happens to be our main source of Vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium for healthy bones and teeth.
If Vitamin D levels are low, it’s likely that you’ll be low in calcium too, which explains why one of the symptoms of a lack of Vitamin D is aching bones. Others include tiredness, muscle and joint pain, and low mood.
Vitamin D is found in a number of vegetables, but supplements are the best and most effective way to keep your levels high when the winter months come. That’s why Vitamin D is on ur Winter Wellness list.
Sure, the smell of it won’t leave your hands or breath for days, but the mighty garlic has been found to help with the reduction of blood pressure, respiratory, immune, digestive and cardiovascular support. A small amount can stimulate immune system function, and it also has antimicrobial properties that help combat bacteria, viruses, and worms.
Garlic is especially good at helping your body deal with coughs and cold symptoms. It contains compounds that actively thin your mucus (yes, really), so can come in handy when dealing with respiratory infections.
Make sure you add garlic to your shopping basket during the winter. A great way to get your garlic hit is to take it in the form of a concentrated capsule.
Turmeric has long been a staple in Asian cooking, and this natural antioxidant, as well as being delicious, contains curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and helps stop the production of free radicals.
Studies have also suggested that turmeric can help people with cystic fibrosis and rheumatoid arthritis, improve cognitive function, delay the onset of diabetes, and support the cardiovascular system.
Curcumin isn’t absorbed into the bloodstream very well, but one thing you can do is consume it with black pepper, which contains piperine, a substance that enhances curcumin absorption. The amounts of curcumin found in turmeric mean that you’ll need to get through a lot to feel the full benefits. Consider supplements such as Solgar curcumin or Pukka turmeric Active.
Wellness Formula is a powerful multi-supplement that features 28 different nutrients and herbs for immune, respiratory and antioxidant support. Each ingredient has been carefully measured to ensure you have the right amount of the things you need to stay healthy.
It may sound like the surname of an obscure Greek footballer, but Andrographis is actually a bitter herb native to India and Sri Lanka. It’s been found to stimulate the immune system and lessen the symptoms of the common cold. Andrographis is having something of a comeback to western medicine, despite being used successfully in eastern cultures for hundreds of years.
Here are just a few of the other potential uses for Andrographis that you might be interested in.
- It could provide the foundation for a new range of anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer drugs.
- In a 2011 paper, laboratory experiments found one constituent could block the growth of tumour cells and kill cancer cells directly through a process known as apoptosis.
- Andrographis can kill and repel mosquitoes transmitting malaria
- It could be harnessed against dengue fever
- Antiherpes virus qualities appear to exist in Andrographis, which need exploring further
You get the idea: Andrographis packs a punch and is an ideal Winter Wellness remedy.
Chyawanprash is usually made up of between 20-40 Ayurvedic ingredients and as a result has a number of medicinal properties.
For those winter woes, the most notable of these is the impact it can have on your immunity. A key ingredient of Chyawanprash is Amla, a rich source of Vitamin C. Studies suggest that Chyawanprash has a whole range of health benefits, from reducing the potency of allergic inflammation, to boosting the activity of immune cells and reducing the likelihood of infection.
Not all honey was created equal, and the Manuka variety, made in New Zealand with the help of bees that pollinate the Manuka bush, is well ahead of the competition. Evidence suggests that it can help with a number of ailments, from coughs to sore throats, gingivitis and digestive illnesses. For that reason it makes it into our Winter Wellness list.
So what makes it so special? Well, Manuka honey has the same nutrition that you’ll find in every day honey, such as Amino acids, B vitamins (B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid), Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium and Zinc.
The difference? Manuka honey can have up to four times as much of all the good stuff above. In fact, research conducted in 2011 shows that Manuka stops the growth of the bacteria that causes sore throats, Strep. It’s also been approved by the USA’s National Cancer Institute to heal inflammation in the throat after chemotherapy.
No, it’s not a Pokemon.
Goldenseal is actually a winter wellness herb in the buttercup family, and can be found growing in the forests of North America. It contains a chemical called berberine, which has been proven to prevent E.coli from binding to urinary tract walls and boost white blood cells. It’s also thought that Berberine has properties that can lower blood pressure and improve irregular heartbeats. On top of that, early research suggests that berberine can lower both blood sugar and cholesterol.