Self-care Practices to Overcome Winter Chestiness

Sunday, 30 June 2019 9:46:00 am Pacific/Auckland

Our friends at Artemis share with us their favourite remedies for supporting the whole family during the changing seasons.

Not feeling your best is common as the season's change and we begin to spend more time indoors. Winter ills and chills may be transient, but they can often lead to a tight chest and respiratory issues despite every effort. When this happens, you want to be ready with an arsenal of natural self-care options to support your recovery back to wellness.

Here are some of our top tips to support you and your family when the winter bugs strike.

Traditional plant remedies offer trusted support. They have been used for centuries to work alongside the body’s natural defence systems to build resilience against bugs and support vitality. The best formulations use fresh plant extracts to ensure a high level of active ingredients that remain in their natural state for optimal absorption. Here are some key herbs to look for when choosing a natural remedy to support a tight chest:

 Thyme is a traditionally recognised and scientifically researched powerhouse when it comes to supporting respiratory health. It helps to loosen and break down mucus in the respiratory tract, making it easier for the body to expel.

Thyme also supports relaxation of the smooth muscle in the bronchial tubes and relaxed breathing for a tight, uncomfortable chest. Thyme is naturally rich in antioxidants and is a powerful antiseptic herb due to its high content of volatile oils – these characteristics support the healthy functioning of the immune system and help to build resilience and integrity in the affected tissues.

Mullein and Plantain both help to expel phlegm and soothe mucous membranes by forming a protective barrier. They also support the reduced formation of mucus in the upper and lower respiratory tract which is helpful when there is an overproduction of mucous.

Licorice is well researched and has long been used to support a clear chest due to its ability to protect the mucous membranes, expel phlegm, and support relaxed breathing. It also offers the additional benefit of adrenal support, which can be useful when the immune system is under stress.

Marshmallow contains mucilage substances, which are valuable for soothing a dry, scratchy throat.

Californian Poppy helps to relax the body, particularly useful for children to support restful sleep. Sleep is crucial to recovery as it helps the body’s immune defences.

Adequate hydration is essential for optimal health during wintertime - water transports nutrients throughout the body, aids detoxification and digestion, and assists in flushing out wastes and toxins, all of which are important during times of illness. Hydrate the body with plenty of pure water.

Tea remedies have added health benefits and count towards your daily water intake as opposed to a drink like coffee that has a dehydrating effect.

Try adding some fresh lemon, ginger, and honey to the herbal infusion for a sweeter taste; a great option for kids who are fussy with taste.

Steam inhalations or a hot steamy shower support clear airways and loosen mucus in the respiratory tract. For steam inhalation, pour boiling water into a large bowl and add five drops of eucalyptus essential oil or a handful of fresh herbs with high volatile oil content, such as thyme, rosemary, oregano or sage.

Position your head over the bowl and lay a towel over your head to trap the steam. Breathe deeply for several minutes, or for as long as it feels comfortable, best for a minimum of 10 minutes. The steam should be hot but not burning.

Nourish the body with nutrient-dense whole foods. When you find yourself under the weather, it’s a good idea to opt for lighter meals that are easy to digest.

This takes the pressure off your digestive system and allows your body to focus on fighting the bugs. Warming soups and broths, slow-cooked stews, smoothies, and tea remedies are ideal choices to nourish the body and support recovery because they are easy on the digestive system, but still rich in all the vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy immune response. 

Rest is a valuable ally when we are overcoming a winter bug. Taking time off work or school, asking for help from family and friends, and letting go of any non-urgent commitments can help to ensure your body gets the rest it needs to fully recover.

Artemis is here to help you and your family this winter.


-Article provided by Artemis


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