Winter Good Health

Nov 15, 2014

Although we had a wonderful Indian summer, seasonal coughs and colds made their usual appearance on time, as the school year began and bugs were shared round. IAHS members are often asked what we think about the flu jab, and though we can’t comment specifically, what we can do is offer a wide range of effective immune boosters.

Some are well known such as vitamin C which we can now source in drop form which even babies can use. Others are combinations such as vitamin C, zinc and elderberry. Olive leaf as an anti-viral is increasingly popular, and of course nobody needs to be reminded of echinacea, especially the Irish brand, for both protection and for speeding a cold on its way.


Black Elderberry – Sambucus nigra

Elsewhere in this issue you will read about gut health and probiotics. In recent years, as knowledge about gut bacteria has grown, their vital role in protecting the immune system has been well established. It’s not surprising that a single course of antibiotics can cause an imbalance of these chaps in the gut. Antibiotics destroy good bacteria as well as bad, opening the way to another infection, but this downward spiral can be cut short by taking a probiotic to address the imbalance and restore immunity.

With darker days and longer nights customer uptake of vitamin D increases, lifting mood and maximising calcium uptake as well as boosting immunity. Low mood and anxiety are often issues which customers bring to IAHS stores, not wanting to “bother” their doctor and looking for natural ways to help. An extract of green tea called theanine can be very beneficial, especially in combination with lemon balm and tincture of passiflora is an old favourite.


Kale – The winter green.

Look around your farmers’ market now to check for local seasonal produce. Kale is loaded with nutrition – chop coarsely, stir in a little oil to wilt, add a little water and some chilli flakes, cover and steam for a few minutes.

Try roasting chunks of butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, beetroot and Jerusalem artichokes in the oven for 30 or 40 minutes, tossed in extra virgin olive or rapeseed oil, then mix a couple of tablespoons of local honey with some soy or tamari sauce and toss the veggies in this for their last 10 minutes cooking time, throwing in a tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds for extra flavour. All good stuff and great value.

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