Phone: (0274) 837 188
Open: Tues-Fri 10am-6pm
Phone: (0274) 837 188
Open: Tues-Fri 10am-6pm

On my return from a two week trip to China (a bucket list must!) there was a definite change of season in New Zealand, with fallen linden tree leaves covering my street and with a nip in the air in the mornings. A beautiful time of year!

Rapid temperature changes, whether from cold to hot, but more predominantly from hot to cold, are stressful to the human body as we adapt to maintain balance. Add exposure to upper respiratory viruses to this and our immune systems are challenged to fight these bugs off, especially if we already have a health condition to manage to start with.

It is a good idea to continue exercise, particularly when the heart rate is raised and sweating occurs, as the higher temperature helps to kill off the unwanted viruses. Take care, however, not to chill down too quickly afterwards, again because of the stress of changes of temperature.

Remembering to throw a jacket into the car when going to work to allow for temperature fluctuations and to keep warm when the temperature drops in the early evening.

Eating properly is always a foundation stone for good health, and especially when the weather changes from warm to cool. Now is the time to reintegrate hot dinners, soups and casseroles. Using warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and curry powders are beneficial at this time – for instance, Thai pumpkin soup is nutritious and comforting! Ingredients include red curry paste, pumpkin and coconut cream – see for the base recipe, and add Asian fish sauce, onion, garlic, and seasoning to taste.

On the subject of garlic, use it liberally in your diet or if that is not practical in your household, buy some garlic capsules. Garlic has antioxidant and antimicrobial activity, and is anti-inflammatory and anti-viral too. Its immune-stimulating actions earn it a place in our toolkit to combat winter chills and ills. Of course it also has a lot of evidence-based research for its cardiovascular benefits too. The main caution is if you are taking blood-thinning medication, in which case moderate dietary use of garlic is fine, but it is wiser to stay away from garlic supplements.

Vitamin C is well-known in doses between 500mg – 2000mg per day is a must for its immune-enhancing and anti-inflammatory actions.

Herbal medicine is also very effective for immune support. Many people know about Echinacea, but here I want to mention Astragalus.

Astragalus root is originally a Chinese plant, but has been widely adopted by Western medical herbalists as a tonic and treatment for colds, ‘flu and other chronic viral infections, either on its own or together with other herbs such as Echinacea and Licorice. Research has shown that Astragalus activates and stimulates the proliferation of various immune cells. Traditionally, Astragalus is not used in the active phase of an infection (the first 2 days of a cold, for instance) but comes into its own straight after the end of the active phase, when it significantly helps to speed recovery and shorten the duration of symptoms.

If you would like a liquid herbal immune support formula tailor-made for you, or herbal advice, do give Holden Healthcare a call to book an appointment to see me and I can make something up to suit your own individual needs.

Soup photo credit: Pumpkin soup via photopin (license)

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87 Knights Road
Rothesay Bay
Auckland 0630
New Zealand

(0274) 837 188 - Please SMS as we are not always available to take your call.



Legal Medical Disclaimer: Information and statements made on this website and all our associated literature are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. David Holden & Holden Health Care do not dispense medical advice, prescribe restricted medicines, or diagnose disease. If you have a medical condition, we recommend that you consult your physician of choice.
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