In the colder seasons, busy social lives, poor diet and cold, damp weather all contribute to making us more vulnerable to coughs and colds.

Though you can't fully avoid exposure to the bacteria and viruses that cause these infections, there are many simple steps we can all take to help protect our bodies and prevent them from taking hold of our immune systems.

Stronger by Nature

Here at The Naked Pharmacy, we always look for natural approaches to boost health, and the immune system is no exception. One of our two stand-out remedies for the immune system is Organic Olive Leaf Extract, which is packed with high levels of elenolic acid (ELA).

This is the UK’s only ELA supplement that’s made using a patented natural process. Just one capsule a day during the cold season works wonders for protection against colds and flu. It is also the supplement of choice when the ears, nose or throat are affected.

For lung health, we recommend you take one to two capsules a day of our Black Garlic with Vitamin D supplement with food. This supplement is also great for cardiovascular health.

However, if you do succumb to one of these bugs, here’s a few tips that will help save you and your doctor time — and help the NHS save up to £8 million on unnecessary antibiotics. Firstly, it’s always important to speak to your GP if you have the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain or trouble breathing
  • A persistent fever - 38° Centigrade (100.4° Fahrenheit)
  • Persistent vomiting and you’re unable to keep anything down
  • Pain when swallowing
  • A cough that persists for more than two weeks
  • Persistent headache that doesn’t go away

Antibiotics Don’t Treat Colds and Flu

    For all other symptoms, you should be aware that antibiotics are not the answer to colds and flu. Colds and flu are caused by viruses which are unaffected by antibiotics.

    If you do take antibiotics, it won’t help cure the virus and you’ll probably reduce your gut microbe population, which will lower your gut health and the absorption of nutrients. Unnecessary antibiotics also cause bacterial resistance, meaning that they may not work when you really need them, to treat pneumonia or clear infection after operations.

    Prevention is always better than cure

      So, what can you do to protect yourself from illness during cold and flu season? Firstly, prevention is always better than cure

      Carry a sterile hand gel and use it regularly, especially in public areas or offices. Use recycled, disposable tissues if you sneeze or blow your nose and bin them afterwards. Remember to use the hand gel straight after. Keep your vitamin C and D levels topped up during the winter months and take time to rest properly. Seven to eight hours of good quality sleep will do your immune system the world of good.

      If you’d like any further advice, please contact our Pharmacist by email or on (+44) 01483 685630.