Tips for Cool Weather Health

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By: Mark J. Eisen, M.D.

As fall draws on and the weather gets cooler, I like to remind patients to take care of protecting their warmth during the fall and winter. One of the best ways to do this, especially for those who often feel chilled in the upper part of the body, is to wear wool socks.

Apart from wool socks, you should think about having a sweater or down vest along with you in the car or at the workplace. A scarf can be of great help too. In cold weather, wearing a wool scarf around the neck most of the time simply relieves many sore throats. For those who suffer from chronic sore throats in the winter this is a great thing to practice. The same goes for school age children. A sweater in the car when you pick them up can help ward off colds and illnesses that may cause missed days at school. Don't forget to wear a hat, too. A great deal of heat is lost through the head and this stresses the immune system. So wear a hat from October till May; then wear one for sun protection.

An essential tool for cold weather is the hot water bottle. Most cost $6­-10, and, if taken care of, last for years. They are great for warming cold feet and tummies, sore joints, muscles, backs and necks and used properly will not cause injury. The hot water bottle avoids the electric fields and risks of burns from heating pads.

Don't forget that when you first turn on your heat there is often a "burn-off" of dust and mold. Try doing this on a not-so-cold day when you can ventilate the house thoroughly. Clearing this "burn-off" will help prevent allergic reactions.

With winter heating comes very dry air. To prevent the house from drying out, start to run vaporizers early and continue all winter. If family members are waking up with dry throats with stitch-like pains that are better once they drink water or shower it is almost certainly due to insufficient humidity in the home.

A wonderful massage oil that helps keep the body warm during the cold weather is Dr. Hauschka's Moor Lavender Oil. Based on indications of Rudolph Steiner, Dr. Hauschka formulated this oil using a lactobacillus fermented extract of peat moss, in addition to a finely composed massage oil. Rudolph Steiner indicated the unique properties of peat moss, noting that while it appears like a living organism, it is actually a plant that has died years before and yet never decays. This is an extraordinarily preserved substance. Because it is resistant to the forces of decomposition, Rudolph Steiner felt it would be helpful for protection against those environmental elements that also lead to certain decompositions in the human being. These include electromagnetic and radioactive forces. One needs to try this oil to experience how nicely it works. I cannot relate how many patients have been deeply grateful for this oil which helps create a sphere of protection and warmth around the body when applied in the mornings just before getting dressed or after showers.

As children come back together after joyful summertime activities, they will share experiences with their classmates. A certain amount of so-called viruses and bacteria come along with the enthusiasm! This leads to many colds, ear infections and runny noses. Here are some remedies that are very good at helping take care of these conditions:

Infludoron A great remedy for cold and flu symptoms of a mild to moder­ate nature and can be given frequently according to the dosage on the label. Symptoms include fever, aches and pains, cough, running nose and mild sore throat. Use up to hourly.

Echinacea IX A great preventative for early stages of colds and flu if given aggressively in a time-limited fashion. One drop in a teaspoon of water for each year of your child's age (i.e.- 5 years old = 5 drops, etc.), given up to hourly (but not while sleeping) in the initial stages of flu or cold can be helpful. As your child settles into the illness or shows signs of improvement diminish the frequency of dosing. Don't continue frequent doses for more than one or two days of treatment.

Echinacea Compound This is echi­nacea with a number of homeopathics added in. It is useful for sore throats and more aggressive or toxic seeming illnesses. In medicine, toxic means you look awfully sick. This can be given in a similar dosage as echinacea.

Lobelia Compound A wonderful remedy for coughs especially when there is a wheezing component. For stubborn coughs in the evening with some spasm this can provide great relief and help children to sleep. Dose as for Echinacea IX. Adults-10 drops up to hourly.

Cinnabar Compound A remedy that provides great relief for minor sore throat and can be given in its powder form easily to children. Use 1/8 tsp on the tongue every one to two hours for sore throats.

Ferrum Phos 6x A great remedy in the convalescence stage of illness when one's energy is low and can be given every few hours to help in this recupera­tive phase.

Sambucus Compound A great remedy for wet or congested head colds. You can give a dose up to hourly, less as better.

Prunus Spinosa These drops are wonderful at restoring a sense of vital­ity. The dosing is the same as the other liquids with the exception that children over seven can easily be given 10 drops per dose up to every one to two hours for a day or two without any worry.

Mark Eisen, M.D. is an anthroposophic physician in Chapel Hill, North Caro­lina.

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