Happy New Year!
Well, it's nearly time to fill up our glasses with something fizzy and toast the New Year. As we await the appearance of 2014, Edinburgh's town centre has that special (or just weird, take your pick) feeling of anticipation as roads are closed off and barriers put up and there are the usual flocks of slightly bemused looking visitors to the city, wandering the streets with their wheelie suitcases.
I don't want to jump to any conclusions but there is always the tiny possibility that some of us may overindulge tonight. If that ends up being the case, then I have two words for you: Hangover Hotchpotch! This is a traditional pick-me-up herbal digestif containing extracts of Gentian, Ginger root, Meadowsweet, Silver Birch, Dandelion, Milk Thistle and Peppermint. And it comes in a delightful vintage bottle which is pleasing to the bleary eye.
Now, not to put a dampner on things, but I've lost count of the number of people who've told me that they'll be spending this Hogmanay in their sick beds. The usual cold and flu viruses have not spared us this winter and all but the luckiest seem not to have succumbed.
So, if this is you then let me share some tips to get that cold under control and to soothe the worst of the lurgy:
Vitamin C increases resistance to bacterial and viral infections. Take a 1000mg a day as a preventative and if you think you might be coming down with something increase this to 1000mg every 2 hours over a 6 hour period.
Echinacea is a herb that has been shown to increase your resistance to cold and flu. The root extract has specific anti viral activity against the flu virus, and it can be taken throughout the winter. We have a wide range of echinacea products in our Bristo Place shop.
Garlic is one of my favourite winter herbs, and I simply use a clove of organic garlic, chopped up and mixed with some yogurt and swallowed as if it were a tablet. This is a great way of reducing mucus and catarrh and can almost stop a winter cold in its tracks.
One fantastic winter influenza mix dates back to the early 1900s. Used by Dr Valnet, it has become a popular self help remedy in my practice (recipe below).
Whatever is in your glass tonight, may I wish you a very happy and healthy 2014!