Colds and Flu
What is it?
Our immune system is exposed to many pathogens everyday. Infections are caused by bacteria, viruses
and parasites trying to invade our body to reside and reproduce. If our immune system is functioning well it will usually kill the pathogens before they have time to get comfortable in our body.
The common cold is an infectious viral disease which causes inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose throat and bronchial tubes. Symptoms generally include a sore throat, sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, cough and general malaise. Temperature may be normal or slightly elevated.
Influenza is an infectious virus that affects the respiratory system and symptoms are generally more sever than those associated with colds – headache, fever, hoarse cough, loss of appetite, muscle aches, enlarged lymph glands (in neck, armpits and groin), elevated temperature.
It can progress to a bacterial infection.
Both conditions can be serious in babies, the elderly or people with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma.
What natural therapies can help?
Zinc, Vitamin A and Vitamin C are important to support proper functioning of the immune system.
Bioflavonoids – deficiency is linked to lowered immunity.
B Group Vitamins help our body to handle stress – stress can affect the immune systemand the immune defences.
Andrographis paniculate, garlic and Echinacea – soothe and promote recovery.
Olive leaf – based on unpublished reports from people taking olive leaf, it supports recovery.
Horseradish – was traditionally used as an expectorant. Eaten throughout the day andat meals, it helps to clear mucus.
Astragalus – Supports the defences for recurring ills and chills and protect against the onset of them.
Elderberry or Elderflower – reduces mucous associated with winter ills and chills.
Liquorice has been traditionally used as an expectorant for the chest. Naturopaths often add it to herbal mixtures for these properties plus to improve the taste.
(Lifesense Something for You June 2010)
High Blood Pressure-What is it?
Blood pressure is measured by the amount of blood your heart pumps and
the amount of pressure against the walls of the main arteries.
The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure will be. Blood pressure is measured using the brachial artery in your arm because the pressure is similar to the pressure leaving the heart.
The reading consists of two numbers:
• Systolic pressure (the top number). This is the amount of pressure your heart generates to pump blood out through your arteries.
• Diastolic pressure (the bottom number). This is the amount of pressure in your arteries when your heart is resting between beats.
Blood pressure readings are expressed in millimetres of mercury (mm Hg).
Normal Blood Pressure - for adults a normal blood pressure reading is a systolic range from 115 to 120 and a diastolic range from 75 – 80.
Prehypertension – systolic pressure ranges from 120 to 139 or a diastolic pressure ranges from 80 to 89.
Stage 1 hypertension – systolic pressure ranges from 140 to 159 or diastolic pressure ranges from 90 to 99.
Stage 2 hypertension – systolic pressure over 160 or higher or diastolic pressure over 100.
Symptoms to look out for include; headaches,dizziness, nosebleeds, excessive sweating,muscle cramps, weakness, frequent urination and palpitations.
Why it happens?
Essential or primary hypertension can be caused by aging, genetic tendency, obesity, lack of exercise, cigarette smoking, high salt intake, low potassium
diet, alcoholism and stress.
Secondary hypertension is caused by another primary condition such as pregnancy, certain medications, kidney, adrenal or thyroid abnormalities.
What natural therapies can help?
Did you know?
Garlic; evidence suggests that garlic can reduce blood pressure.
Hawthorn; preliminary research indicates that the proanthocyanidins in hawthorn can lower blood pressure.
Fish Oil; is shown to reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with mild hypertension.
Co Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10); studies have found that CoQ10 can lower blood pressure.
Magnesium; evidence indicates that magnesium reduces blood pressure.
Calcium; helps control high blood pressure.
B group vitamins; support the nervous systemespecially during times of stress.
Bacopa; nerve tonic.
• Get your blood pressure checked every year. If you have history of hypertension you can also monitor your blood pressure at home. Your blood
pressure varies during the day depending on your activities. Measure your blood pressure at various intervals and write down the date, time and what
you were doing e.g. working in the garden or after eating. Take this information with you to your doctor. If you notice changes in your readings or
new symptoms, book an appointment to see your
• It is very common for your blood pressure to rise in the doctor’s surgery this is called ‘white coat hypertension or syndrome’.
• When you find out that you have hypertension it is important that you control it. If it is not treated it can cause more pressure on your heart and increase your risk of stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure, dementia, eye problems and metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, high insulin levels or obesity).
• If you smoke, look at ways to give up – it places extra stress on your heart.
• Follow a healthy diet, limiting or avoiding saturated fats, sodium, alcohol and coffee.
• Chill out – meditation and massage are great ways to unwind. You may need to cut back on extra jobs and learn to say ‘no’ when extra demands are placed upon you.
• Exercise can help shed those extra kilos and place less stress on the heart. Thirty minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day is ideal.
• Consult your healthcare professional before you start exercising if:
You are male over the age of 35 or a female over the age of 45.
Your physical activity causes pain in your chest,fainting, dizziness or breathlessness.
(Lifesense Something for You March 2010)