Medicinal Plants – good to know!

Self-treatment with herbs and medicinal plants, especially in the flu and cold season, is becoming increasingly common. If you like using herbs and alternative remedies without the guidance of a specialist, please be aware of the following:

  • Medicinal plants may be suitable for the prevention of minor complaints such as coughs and colds and for the early treatment of an illness. 
  • In the case of chronic illnesses, you should always discuss alternative treatment with your health care provider. 
  • If the cause of the complaints or your symptoms are unclear, you should always consult a health care provider. 
  • If there is little or no improvement of symptoms after three days of self-treatment or if your condition worsens, you should definitely consult a health care provider. 
  • Be extremely careful where you purchase or collect medicinal plants and herbs. When collecting your own herbs or plants, always carry appropriate literature with you to check the location, color, shape and flowers of a plant. This will reduce the risk of mistakes or confusion with poisonous plants.

MB 03-07 - Kamille

Daikon

Have you ever tasted Daikon Radish? Daikon (大根) literally means ‘big root’. If it is on your plan – how often did you eat it? We highly recommend that you have some whenever you can. Daikon originally comes from China but has a long history with many cultures. Together with garlic and onions, daikon was highly prized by the ancient Egyptians. They believed it was an essential food that protected their workers from infections and parasites. The Romans also kept themselves healthy by eating it regularly. Ironically, they considered the root to be “impure” as they believed it caused bad breath and flatulence! Daikon radish is extremely rich in vitamin C and has an antibiotic effect due to a sulphurous oil (raphanol), various mustard oils and the bitter substances it contains.

Daikon really is the perfect food for the cold and flu season!

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Fit For The Cold?

It’s not only your immune system that needs support in the colder months, we also need to look after our skin. Cold weather plus indoor heating is the perfect combination to dry your skin. The skin vessels narrow, the production of our natural oils in the skin, sebum, is reduced and the formation of the central skin barrier is lowered. This all adds up to uncomfortable, dry, brittle and cracked skin.

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What can you do to radiate healthy skin and vitality even in winter? We recommend a combination of internal and external tender, loving care for your skin. First, make sure you keep your omega 3 fatty acids in your daily essentials. Look for great sources from either oily fish and cold-pressed oils such as flax seed oil and rapeseed oil. It is also important that you stay properly hydrated. Even if you’re not as thirsty in the winter, you still need to make sure that you drink enough water. We recommend herbal teas, ginger water and mineral water or even a simple cup of hot water!

Zinc – an Essential Nutrient for a Strong Immune System

Zinc is a chemical element which is one of the body’s vital trace elements. Since zinc cannot be stored by our body, a regular supply is particularly important. In healthy people, the daily requirement of zinc can be normally met from a good balanced diet. Good sources of zinc are most meats, eggs, oysters, oat meal, cashew and Brazil nuts as well as lentils and peas.

One vital role of zinc is for eye health: a chronic zinc deficiency may lead to night blindness. In addition, zinc is vital for many other processes in our body including cell division and cell repair processes. As a free radical scavenger, zinc prevents aggressive chemical compounds from damaging body cells. We need zinc to keep our skin and mucous membranes healthy and it’s essential for our immune system. So our No.1 tip … make sure you eat plenty of sources of zinc on your weekly meal plan, especially during the flu season.

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What to know about Red Cabbage

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So what do you know about red cabbage? Let us fill you in on this excellent versatile vegetable! Firstly it’s available all year round now! However, it’s most popular in autumn and winter as a classic side dish to game, duck and roast goose or turkey.  It’s red coloring is not cultured, but a variation of nature. In traditional medicine it was believed that red cabbage had a positive effect on blood. Compresses made from red cabbage leaves are said to have alleviated varicose veins, phlebitis and leg ulcers. Red cabbage contains the pigment anthocyanin – also found in red berries and red wine – which has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect. It has been shown in numerous studies that this flavonoid has cancer-inhibiting and cholesterol-lowering effects and is also linked to reduced risk of heart attacks and strokes. Red cabbage is rich in many vitamins and fiber and is an important immune booster during the cold season. It contains above all the vitamins C, B6 and E. 

Tip: to preserve the beautiful rich color of red cabbage, add some vinegar or citric acid when cooking.

Flu Season is Approaching Fast!

Welcome to the flu season! Ginger water can be a great remedy for colds – or even better their prevention. Cut about 2 cm (1″) of fresh, peeled ginger into slices, boil in 1 l of water. Cook as long till you have about half of the liquid. Pour into a thermos and drink throughout the day. As long as you are in Strict Conversion Phase of your Metabolic Balance Plan, drink it only during meals. In later phases you may also drink it occasionally, as long as this does not trigger increased food cravings or hunger. 

If you’re in a pinch for time, simply place one or two slices of peeled ginger in a cup, add hot water and leave to steep for five to ten minutes. It tastes good and is good for you!

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Prepare for Flu Season

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We’ll soon be in winter when the immune system is often at its weakest. If you get a cold, do remember that standard medications may not be the most appropriate when a natural immune booster may be a better choice. Many medicinal plants also block infections, strengthen the immune system and alleviate inflammation. For example, ginger and thyme have an expectorant effect, eucalyptus oil relieves coughing and echinacea and sea buckthorn strengthen the immune system. At the onset of a cold it certainly makes sense to start with natural remedies. However, if you don’t feel better after a few days, you should see your health care provider.