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1. Cold / Flu

Garlic and onions are great foods as they are anti-bacterial and have antiseptic properties, A traditional remedy for colds and flu is a soup made with 6 onions, a whole garlic, 1inc( 2.5cm) of grated fresh ginger, and some cayenne pepper mixed in a vegetable or chicken stock. You could also add lemongrass. For children it is probable preferable to leave out the cayenne pepper.

Drink plenty of lemon and ginger herbal tea or make your own by finely chopping a 2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, stand it in boiling water for 15 minutes with a squeeze of lemon juice and freshly chopped spring onions, strain and sip.

2. Fever

When fever, water and juice diet for a number of days are highly recommended. Drinking a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice after every 3 hours is beneficial for people suffering from fever. Orange juice is rich in vitamin C and it is a great source of energy to enhance natural immunity to fight against diseases.

Besides providing the fluids, chicken soup also provides nutrients, warmth and protein.According to the Mayo Clinic, chicken soup helps to reduce congestion related to flu that accompanies flu and high body temperatures. Mixed vegetable inside the chicken soup will become a good source of anti-oxidant to support immune system.

A part from liquid diet, an all fruit diet is good for those suffering from fever. Besides fruits being easier to digest, they are also loaded with a variety of vitamins which help in hastening the recovery from fever.

3. Migraine

Migraines are linked to food intolerances, internal toxicity and sometimes to the menstrual cycle. In fact almost 90% of migraine cases I see are linked to food intolerances. In addition 40% of migraine patients also have the bacteria Helicobacter Pylori. Migraine is also a sign of liver congestion.

Include turmeric (curcumin) and fish rich in omega-3 fats in your diet. They have great anti-inflammatory properties and omega -3 is an anti-coagulant too. They naturally thin the blood and reduce the severity of migraines. Suggest you eat 3 servings a week. Taken regularly, rosemary or fresh ginger tea can help bring relief from some of the symptoms.

4. Sinusitis

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the mucous membranes in the sinuses. It usually occurs after a viral or bacterial infection, such as cold or flu which has affected another part of the respiratory system.

At all costs avoid mucus producing foods, such as full fat milk, cheese, chocolate, white bread, croissants, pastries, cakes and anything else containing white flour and milk. Eat more garlic and onions, hot curries with cayenne pepper also help clear the sinuses as the spices dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow to the area and help clear any mucus. Drink plenty of freshly blended vegetable juices- especially cucumber, carrot, parsley, kale and apple which are very cleansing. Also you can drink plenty of water and elderflower tea to help to reduce congestion.

5. Cough (Productive coughs and dry coughs)

Coughs that produce a lot of catarrh are often helped by mullein and other expectorant herbs. If the cough is dry and tickly, cherry bark is more useful. A persistent cough, especially after eating foods containing wheat or sugar could be linked to candida.

Other than herbs, Manuka honey – 1 teaspoon before each meal helps to coat the throat and also has anti-septic properties. The higher the unit, the stronger its antiseptic properties.If the cough is making you feel tight-chested and congested, try adding horseradish, cayenne or ginger to meals. As for whooping cough, tea made from fresh thyme can ease the cough.

6. Arthritis and Joint Pain

Pain is association with inflammation. To reduce inflammation, bromelain from pineapple, curcumin from turmeric, omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil are highly recommended. You can include all these in your cooking. If the joint pain is associated with high uric acid or gout, cherries or cherry juice extract are best to help to mobilise uric acid out of the joints, to be excreted in our urine.

Eat more fresh green vegetables to re-alkaline your system. One of the quickest ways to do this is to buy a juicer, juice raw cabbage, watercress, celery, parsley and a little root ginger and drink immediately.

Eat at least one tablespoon of linseed (flaxseeds) or sunflower, pumpkin, sesame seeds daily as they are rich in essential fats that are vital for healthy joints. Hazelnuts, cashews, almond, walnuts are all rich in essential fats to nourish the joints. An easy way to eat more of them is to place 2 tablespoon of each in a blender, whizz for 1 minute and store in an air-tight jar in the fridge. Sprinkle over breakfast cereals, fruit salads or into yoghurt daily.

7. Tooth and Gum Pain

A diet that is high in raw fruits and vegetables can help to treat or prevent toothaches. Diets high in these foods, notes certified nutritional consultant Phyllis A. Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," provide minerals that reduce the acidity of your saliva. Avoiding all products containing refined sugars, especially soft drinks, is another important dietary strategy. One of the most effective substances in treating toothaches may be essential oil of clove.

Cloves may be one of the most soothing food in treating your toothache. Cloves contain significant amounts of manganese, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C and K, dietary fiber, magnesium and calcium. Cloves are known for their powerful anti-inflammatory action and have historically been used in treating tooth pain, tooth decay and intestinal parasites and as a carminative, or a substance that boosts your stomach acid and improves the passage of material through your intestinal tract.

8. Dysmenorrhea (period cramps)

Menstrual cramps are caused by high levels of prostaglandins, hormone-like substances produced each month by the lining a woman's uterus. Prostaglandins help the uterine muscles contract and expel fluids and tissue during menstruation, but in high amounts they may cause excessive uterine muscle contractions, which are better known as menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea.

Consume more green vegetables that are high in calcium, magnesium, potassium. It can reduce and prevent dysmenorrhea. These minerals can also make people emotional relaxation, reduce irritable feeling. Dark green vegetables also contain vitamin K. Vitamin K is necessary substances to coagulation and prevent excessive bleeding.

As mentioned earlier, it is the high prostaglandins that cause the menstrual cramp. In order to prevent the secretion of prostaglandins, one effective way is to eat salmon, walnuts and flaxseed. Because these foods contain a lot of Omega-3 fatty acids which is highly anti-inflammatory.

Try to avoid caffeine from your diet because they can cause increased menstrual discomfort. Instead, you can take ginger tea to ease the nausea and bloating. Chamomile tea can also relieve tension and eliminate muscle spasm, thereby reducing women’s anxiety generated during menstruation.

9. Sore throat

If you tend to suffer a persistent sore throat it usually denotes that your immune system is struggling to cope. Regular sore throats are also associated with yeast fungal overgrowth candida. In order to boost up your immune system, sip warm water with powdered vitamin C, plus lemon, ginger and/or garlic with a little honey.

You can use a bee propolis or Echinacea spray which is antiseptic. Crush fresh sage or thyme, make into a tea and allow to cool and gargle. Sage is antiseptic and eases the soreness.

10. Gas and Bloating

Gas and bloating can be due to partly digested food being fermented in the gut and/or from an imbalance of the organisms that reside in the bowel. Certain foods help to improve digestion, noticeably fennel, celeriac, young green celery and watercress help to stimulate gastric juices and aid digestion. Drinking peppermint, fennel or camomile teas or a combination of them after meals can often make digestion easier and make you feel comfortable.

Add a strip of dried Kombu seaweed when cooking any bean dishes, this helps to predigest the enzymes that cause the wind and bloating. Throw away after cooking. Fruits include papaya and pineapple has various enzymes that aid in digestion and reduce bloating.

11. Constipation

Even though dieticians, nutritionists, health magazines and doctors all advise us to eat more fibre, we are one of the most constipated nations on earth. In an ideal world, we should have a bowel movement after every meal, but most of us are lucky if we have one a day.

In order to add more fibre in to the diet, psyllium husk is great. It adds bulk to the stools. Take a tablespoon of psyllium husks in water before breakfast to help keep things moving. Then make sure you drink plenty of water. Linseeds (flaxseeds) are a blend of insoluble and soluble fibres, which bulk the stool, encouraging it to move gently through the bowel. I use a tablespoon in a fruit smoothie every day, which breaks up the flaxseeds and makes them more effective.

Eat more fermented food like yoghurt, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut. They all contain friendly bacteria that can exacerbate constipation.

12.Seasonal allergies

Typical symptoms include a runny rose, sneezing, sinus congestion plus itchy and watering eyes. Try to avoid sugar and high mucus forming foods in the first place, such as full fat dairy products, cheese and chocolate.

Include plenty of garlic, onions, horseradish, root finger and freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices (but not carton juice) in your diet. Apples, onions, fruits with a dark red or blue hue like cranberries, blueberries, and teas are the main sources of quercetin in the diet. Quercetin is a natural anti-histamine and flavonoid, it helps to reduce the allergic response. it is also present in red wine, berries, seeds, leafy green vegetables, hot peppers, parsley and red grapes, and is available as a dietary supplement.

In general:

1. Improve Immunity

Eat as much fresh and organic food as possible because they are packed with good quality nutrients. Sprouts such as alfafa and algae like spirulina and chlorella contains high amount of immune booster. Spirulina is unique as it contains the rare blue pigment phytocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from damage. Studies show that spirulina activates the immune system to prevent the progression and spread of cancer cells.

Echinacea and astragalus in a combination formula can be taken to help boost immune function. Astragalus has been shown to increase white blood cell counts.

Colostrum is the pre-milk fluid produced by all mothers after giving birth. It arrives before breast milk and contains 37 natural immune boosting factors and 8 growth factors, which support the immune system and regeneration of all types of cells. Recent studies have shown it to be extremely beneficial, not only to newborn but for people for all ages.

2. For Better Sleep

Serotonin is a brain chemical that the body produce to help reduce anxiety and improve the quality of sleep. And it is made from a constituent of protein called tryptophan, so include more foods such as fish, turkey, chicken, cottage cheese, beans, avocados, bananas and wheat germ in your diet.

Some people find that a banana an hour before they go to sleep helps them sleep longer as banana are a good source of tryptophan which is calming. Avoid cheese at night as it contains amino acids that can keep you awake.

Eat more lettuce at night – it contains the natural sedative lactucarium which encourages deeper sleep. It is a good idea to have salad at night.

3. Stress Relief / Mood Booster

Stress breaks down protein in the body very quickly, this is why most people who are very stressed tend to lose weight. Make sure that you eat around 4-6 oz (100-175g) of quality protein daily – preferably at breakfast and lunch, which helps to balance the blood sugar levels.

Eat more oily fish and unrefined sunflower, pumpkin and hempseeds- all rich in essentials fats that reduce inflammation triggered by stress hormones. Green tea contains L-Theanine- an amino acid that encourages production of Alpha waves, the brainwaves you produce during relaxation.

Make sure you eat breakfast- a low sugar muesli, eggs, or wholemeal toast would be fine. Try oats, especially porridge made with rice milk, as oats are rich source of B-vitamins which help you to stay calm.



Ms. Esther Peh

Senior Naturopath of Spectrum of Life