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BEAT THE BUGS
Did you know that the only reason we get more colds and sniffles around the winter months is that we spend more time huddled indoors with other people? That means more chance of passing germs around at this time of year than there is in the Summer.
The good news is that a good night’s sleep boosts the immune system, making you more able to fend off winter bugs. Here are three more natural ways to bump up your immunity and help yourself stay well this winter.
Change your sheets
Germs can be passed from person to person or indirectly by touching unclean equipment or surfaces and one place where they love to hide is on grubby bedsheets.
Cleanliness experts say hygienic cleaning will help prevent germs spreading in the home. Hygienic cleaning involves focusing your efforts on areas in the house where germs are more likely to spread from and cause infection. "Good hygiene is not a once-weekly, deep-down clean," says Professor Sally Bloomfield, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Here's the advice from NHS Direct on how to make sure your bedding doesn't help germs to spread:
- Wash your hands after handling dirty laundry.
- To prevent the spread of germs, all underwear, towels and household linen should be washed at 60C (140F) or at 40C (104F) with a bleach-based laundry product.
- Run the washing machine on empty once a week, either at a high temperature or with a chemical disinfectant to prevent the growth of germs.
- Don't leave laundry in the washing machine, as any remaining germs can multiply rapidly.
- Ensure bedding is thoroughly dry before storing away or putting back on your bed. Dampness helps any remaining germs to survive and, if there's enough water, multiply.
Eat your greens (and your orange and reds)
Like any fighting force, the immune system army marches on its stomach say the experts at Harvard Medical School. People who are malnourished are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. There is some initial evidence that various micronutrient deficiencies — for example, deficiencies of zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E — alter immune responses. The easiest way to ensure you are getting all the nutrient s your body needs is to keep your diet varied and ensure it contains a broad range of colourful food. 'Eat the rainbow' as they say. Not only will it helps you fend off the bugs, it will also support skin cells and ensure you keep your natural glow through the colder months.
Did you know?
Vitamin C isn't in fact the cold cure we thought it was. In fact, there’s little evidence to suggest that stocking up on Vitamin C has any impact on how likely you are to catch a cold and only minimal impact on how speedily you get better. What it is brilliant at though is helping your body heal and repair. In particular it’s a skincare essential as well as an effective anti-oxidant and can boost collagen production – the stuff that keeps our skin looking youthful and glowing with health.
Echinaecea at the ready
Echinacea is an herb that is native to the United States and that's also grown in Canada and Europe. It's leaves, flowers, and root was used in traditional herbal remedies by the Great Plains Indian tribes and later by the American settlers who followed their lead. Echinacea seems to activate chemicals in the body that decrease inflammation, which might reduce cold and flu symptoms.
Laboratory research suggests that echinacea can stimulate the body's immune system. Scientists from the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy reviewed over a dozen studies on the effects of echinacea on people's risk of catching a cold and concluded that echinacea could reduce a person's chances of catching a cold by approximately 58 percent. They found that the herbal remedy also reduces the length of time a cold lasts by 1.4 days.
Because of this it's widely used to fight infections, especially the common cold and other upper respiratory infections. Either take it at the first sign of a cold, to suppress its effects. Invest in a well known brand to ensure quality of active ingredients. Holland & Barratt have a good selection
Caught a cold? Our DREAM Bath Oil can help
Even if you do get a cold, don't despair - Kiss the Moon can help. Our favourite tip is to take a long relaxing soak in a warm bath loaded with a generous helping of our DREAM After Dark Bath Oil. Not only will it work wonders to ease aching muscles, the combination of Lavender, Bergamot, Cedarwood & Chamomile oils are super-soothing and work to decongest the airwaves (the Cedarwood is the secret) - helping you to breath easy and making it possible to have a good night's sleep.