Colds and Antibiotcs
As this year’s cold seems to be rather persistent and never-ending for some, I thought I would write about colds and antibiotics. Luckily most GPs won’t prescribe antibiotics for colds now as it is well known that they won’t do anything to help it, other than at a placebo level. I’m all for placebo by the way, unless whatever you are taking can damage your health, which we know antibiotics can do. I’m also not saying don’t take them! They can be lifesaving and wonderful when used correctly, and not just taken for the sake of it. So please don’t ask your GP for them and insist on them or say your symptoms are worse than they are to get them. There are many reasons why antibiotic should be avoided unless really needed, so I shall explain a few of them.
- It’s good for your immune system to have to properly deal with a cold a couple of times a year. It makes it work and remember the cold bacteria/virus so if you come across it again, your body can deal with it effectively.
- 80% of our immune system lives in our digestive tract, and taking antibiotics kills off the gut flora that helps our immune system work properly.
- 90% of our serotonin (the happy hormone) is made in the gut by the gut flora, so taking regular/unnecessary antibiotics negatively impacts on this.
- Your body becomes immune to the antibiotics so they don’t work in a positive way when actually needed.
I know that the above might sound a bit negative/scaremongery which you know is the last thing I want to come across as. I have just seen the negative impact of multiple rounds of not always needed antibiotics in my clinic and the upset they can cause.
Luckily there are loads of natural things you can do for you and your family. These are some really simple things, which you can also use over Christmas if you get struck down by the lurgey the minute you clock off from work.
- Sleep! Get at least 8 hours sleep a night. Sleep is vital for a healthy, well functioning immune system (and everything else).
- (Organic) lemon and garlic tea is amazing. It’s full of anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, as well as strong antioxidants like vitamin c. Drink as much as you like!
- Have loads of turmeric – in foods, in drinks, in a juice, and make sure you have it with a bit of black pepper and some fat (coconut oil, milk, cream, yoghurt etc).
- (Organic) Tea Tree essential oil is incredible. Put a few drops on a tissue to inhale during the day and at night. If you have a blocked nose, it will help clear it at night so you can sleep. It’s also safe to use with babies and children on a tissue under their pillow/mattress depending on age or in a diffuser in their room.
- Reduce caffeine and refined sugar (sorry!). These have an inflammatory impact on the body which you don’t want when it’s already inflamed with a lurgey.
- Reduce dairy as it’s mucous producing which will add to the blocked nose etc.
If you are in London, I am running a workshop on the 24th January 2019 from 10-1pm in Holborn for £65 plus Eventbrite booking. Spaces are limited, so book now! If you can’t make it, but would like immune system support in person or on the phone, contact me for more info.