HORSERADISH & GARLIC – Get set for the cold season.
Traditionally people have prepared for the dark winter months by changing their diet and lifestyle to be in harmony with the season. Traditional Chinese Medicine, for example, is based on the philosophy that we should live in harmony with the natural cycles of our environment. The cold and darkness of winter urges us to slow down.
This is the time of year to reflect on our health, replenish our energy, and conserve strength.
To stay well and keep your immune system healthy make sure you maintain regular exercise though the winter (at least 30 minutes daily), avoid excessive alcohol consumption, give up smoking, and consider some stress management practices such as yoga, meditation or just spending more quality time with family and friends.
There are also some traditional foods you can consume to help during the cold season. Horseradish and garlic were used as natural remedies for infections centuries before it was discovered that they are rich in compounds with immune boosting, antibacterial and antiviral activity.
Historically, horseradish was used during medieval times for coughs and colds. During the 19th century the famous microbiologist Louis Pasteur recognized the antibiotic properties of garlic and used it to treat infections.
A number of studies have found that natural products containing garlic and horseradish can help with infections like the common cold by relieving symptoms and reducing the time you are sick. Horseradish may also have a decongestant effect, making it ideal for the nasal congestion and discharge, sneezing, cough and sore throat that often accompany a cold.
Taking horseradish and garlic with some Vitamin C and Zinc is a good idea as several studies have found that vitamin C can shorten the time to recover from a cold at doses of 1000-2000 mg per day. Zinc was shown in a large review of 15 clinical studies to significantly reduce both symptoms and severity of the common cold.
If you have a cold or flu, consider:
- Drink fluids to maintain hydration.
- Regularly wash your hands to prevent infecting others.
- Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke.
- Take time out to relax, rest and recover.
- Maintain healthy eating.
- Take high quality evidence-based supplements.
More information from your local specialist IAHS health store. Food supplements do not replace the need for a varied and balanced diet.