Many of us find that it can be more difficult to maintain optimum good health through the winter months.
Depression in winter
Some people are strongly affected by winter weather and less daylight, to the point where it affects their whole outlook. Depressive illness that appears during the cold, dark months of the year and tends to disappear in spring, has been called Seasonal Affective Disorder. If you are susceptible to persistent low mood in the winter, homeopathic treatment can be really effective and beneficial. Among the many remedies that can be helpful are Aurum (individuals who benefit from Aurum tend to low mood, and are conscientious and responsible; prone to heart and circulatory disturbance, and feel worse in winter) and Arsenicum (persons who tend to fall ill if chilled, are typically chilly and can become weak from exertion, and are aggravated from darkness – both at nighttime and in the winter). A course of treatment with an experienced homeopath can help you to be less susceptible to depression, and improve your overall health and vitality too.
Coughs, colds and ‘flu
In the winter there is a general increase in acute respiratory illnesses, which in several recent studies has been linked to vitamin D deficiency, especially notable in climates such as ours in the UK where we have limited hours of sunshine. It makes sense to supplement with Vitamin D in the winter months therefore, and also to maximise your exposure to the sun by getting out in the fresh air as often as possible.
Some individuals are especially susceptible to respiratory infections. This can include recurrent coughs, colds and ‘flu; sore throats; sinusitis; and deeper infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Homeopathy has an important place in treating acute respiratory infections, as well as long term lung conditions including asthma. It can in many cases resolve long standing conditions and reduce susceptibility to infection. There are many possible homeopathic remedies that may be needed, including for example Calc carb (individuals needing this remedy tend to be chilly, and aggravated by cold and damp; are prone to sluggish metabolism and are aggravated by exertion; as well as being anxious about their health) or Dulcamara (strongly aggravated by damp, and prone to repeated coughs, colds and asthma from living in damp houses).
Arthritis and asthma in the winter months
A cold and damp climate may also trigger or exacerbate joint pain in those susceptible to rheumatic conditions, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Homeopathic treatment will consider all factors involved in your condition, including the way you experience your symptoms, and prescribe a course of treatment tailor made for you.
Homeopathic treatment can also be very effective in acute illnesses brought on by exposure to cold, wet or windy weather, or in health problems that are exacerbated by cold or wet – these can include earaches, rhinitis, exacerbation of asthma and other respiratory conditions, joint pains, Raynaud’s syndrome. If you or a family member suffers from any of these conditions, get in touch now for a free 15 minute telephone or Skype call to discuss how homeopathy can help you.
Sleep, nutrition and community
It is important to consider your diet and lifestyle too if you want to maximise your family’s natural immunity and resilience in the winter months. There are several factors that can make a big difference: sleep, nutrition and community are key. The main sleep hormone, melatonin, is needed in sufficient quantity to allow us to sleep deeply and well. It is also very much affected by light and dark, so it is important that we cut out light from the bedroom (especially from electronic devices and lamps) to allow melatonin levels to rise, and develop good regular sleep habits. Good sleep underpins a strong immune system, as the body repairs itself during sleep.
To boost your family’s immunity consider increasing antioxidant and vitamin C rich foods in your diet, including kiwis, blackcurrants, garlic and onions. Intermittent fasting, or a lower carbohydrate/higher fat diet (good fats, including coconut oil, butter, olive oil) can also boost your immune system, among other measures.
Being sociable and connecting with others regularly – especially at this time of year when we may not get out as much – is an important way of winterproofing your health. Seeing friends and family, sharing meals, listening to music and laughing together, and of course exercise in the fresh air, all boost the immune system.