Teresa Fuller MD, PhD
We all know that feeling of waking up with a stuffy nose and scratchy throat. That feeling of dread that “I’m coming down with something.” It’s that time of year when we’re are about to be bombarded with the winter viruses, bringing their familiar illnesses such as the common cold, bronchitis and influenza. How many times have you been caught unprepared for the illness? I’m going to suggest that you winterize your home now by stocking your home medicine cabinet (and kitchen pantry) with natural and effective tools you’ll need to fight back against the illnesses that are surely coming your way.
Here are 7 things that you should have around to be ready for the winter:
1) Zinc is great for the immune system, and studies have shown that it can shorten the duration and the severity of a cold. When the scratchy throat starts, have some zinc lozenges in the house.
2) Vitamin C: As soon as that runny nose or cough hits, you want to load your body with vitamin C. Make sure you keep vitamin C rich foods, like bell peppers, broccoli and strawberries, on hand all through the fall and winter. And also, have a vitamin C supplement on hand. The last thing you want to do when you’re sick is drag yourself to the market.
3) Garlic is a natural antibiotic with both antiviral and antibacterial properties. Crushing fresh garlic releases its immune-boosting properties.
4) Ginger is both antiviral and anti-inflammatory. And it also settles an upset stomach. So if the stomach flu hits your home, you’ll definitely want this on hand for relief.