Herbal Help This Festive Season

It’s that time of year again when we are all trying to escape irritating sniffles, colds and flu. Fortunately, as every health coach knows, there is an abundance of wonderful herbs and spices you can use to boost your immunity and stay healthy throughout the festive season, and beyond.
Did you know that many of the everyday herbs that you have in your kitchen cupboard have anti-viral properties? They can be highly effective against a number of influenza strains and respiratory viruses, and should be on the top of your shopping list.

Ginger root is a powerful antiviral and antibacterial herb that can help reduce fevers and relieve colds and inflammation. It’s best used freshly chopped with your hot food or in smoothies, or have it as a tea with half a lemon, and sweetened with a little Manuka honey or a pinch of cinnamon.

Another herb that’s good to have in your kitchen all year round, is garlic. Always use it freshly chopped to boost your immunity and to help to avoid common colds taking hold.

Liquorice root, which can easily be bought as teas and is a broad-spectrum anti-viral herb. It is thought to work through multiple mechanisms that prevent viral replication and growth, and that activate your immune cells.

The Echinacea herb potently enhances your immune system’s first line of defence. Your herbalist can combine it with Siberian Ginseng to build up your strength to fight through immune challenges. Echinacea can also be very useful for deep-seated infections, so should be part of your herbal first aid kit.

Once temperatures drop, spice up your teas and foods with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cumin, nutmeg, black pepper and cayenne. These spices will heat your body from the core, and support circulation and digestion. They also help improve absorption of nutrients at stressful times when your body is in need of a denser nutrient supply. Remember also the Mediterranean spices such as thyme, white sage, rosemary, basil and oregano. They have long been known for their antimicrobial properties and show a specific affinity for the lung tissues.

It’s now a good time to increase your intake of autumn-coloured berries and vegetables. The rich purple, blue, yellow and red colours of the fruit and veg contain anthocyanins and flavonoids which are important health-promoting antioxidants. As a tip, stew organic Bramley apples and add some mixed berries, cloves, (another powerful antimicrobial spice), some almonds for protein and cinnamon quills to sweeten it all up.

Finally, and to prevent the spread of infections throughout your family home, safely burn some essential oils such as lavender, sage and frankincense. Make sure all the oils you use are pure essential oils (preferably organic) and not synthetic or “fragrance” oils. Add some orange blossom or cinnamon essential oil to make this pleasant practice even more effective, and it will surely add to the festive atmosphere of your home!
Diffuser’s and essential oils are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at any Neils Yard store. If you are not familiar with essential oils and you wish to use them please ask to speak to the in store therapist where you purchase your oils who is happy to advise.

Genesis 1:29 -31 Song of Solomon 4:14

Happy and Blessed Christmas from the Health Team at CLC

Our God of Thunder and the Still Small Voice

Similar to Moses and the Israelites’ experience at Mt Sinai (Exodus 19:16-19; Exodus 20:18), did you know God also appeared to Elijah at Mt Sinai (aka Horeb)? But in distinctly different ways. At Sinai for Moses, there was earthquake, fire and a loud trumpet sound (that caused the mountains to quake greatly), in addition to thunderings and lightnings. God was in them and Hebrews 12:19-20 tells us that the people around heard His voice. Psalms 81:7 suggests that God’s voice must have sounded fearsome as thunder. For Elijah, while there was earthquake, fire and wind (…continue reading).

What Does it Mean to ‘Be Still’?

Be still? What does that even mean? Be idle while just praying and keeping the faith?! So I spent time yesterday thinking about this verse…”Be still and know that I am God”. Does it mean when we’ve got anxieties, after surrendering them to God we should idle away and perhaps just pray and keep the faith? I struggled with it because this line of thinking didn’t seem consistent with the rest of the Bible. Then I read this (…continue reading).

What Could It Mean for Our “Leaves not to Wither”?

Ps 1:1-3 – one of my fave verses/promises. One seemingly innocuous statement in there that got me thinking recently with a friend is what could it mean for our leaf not to wither? Since the fruit comes in its season, we settled this on the Ecclesiastes 7:14 verse which says “enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God and nothing is certain in this life”… (continue reading).

God Wants to Give You “a Future and a Hope”

God wants to “give us a future and a hope (i.e. an expected end – KJV)”. Trying to make sense of this I noticed that NKJV/NLT equate KJV’s “expected end” with “a future and a hope”. But why, what could these mean? There is surely an end i.e. a future that God has planned for us, but God gives it to us through hope. The future and hope come hand in hand, like the fist to a glove. It is an end that we actively expect, a future that we hope towards. God gives this hope to us. He puts visions of the future He desires for us into our heart and wants us to hope, long and work towards it. This is…(continue reading).

Lessons from King Manasseh – The Terrible Consequence of Sin and How to Repent Before God

2 Chr 33 tells the story of King Manasseh, son of faithful King Hezekiah (see previous post). So evil was he that he overturned pretty much all the good acts of his father, acts that resultantly brought Judah so much prosperity. It’s amazing how swiftly the people forgot the goodness of God when life was good and how similarly they lived like pagans in their disobedience to God. This happened time and time again in the Bible, and remains a valid warning for us today when we receive our heart’s desires. That they had an evil ruler also played its part. The real beauty in this story however, is how great Manasseh’s repentance was. (continue reading…)

Fear, Faith & God’s Sudden Moves!

The story of Jesus walking on the stormy seas has some great encouraging lessons. It’s another story of where God moved suddenly. One needs to study the story across Matt 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52 and John 6:15-21 to get the full picture. The context: on some particular evening, Jesus had just finished feeding 5,000 men with 5 loaves and 2 fish. Afterwards, the people were so amazed that they wanted to force Him to be king. Jesus made the disciples get in their boat and cross to the other side while He sent the multitude away. There are so many takeaways. (continue reading…)

When the Answer to Our Prayers doesn’t Come How We Expected It

The story of Naaman’s healing has some good lessons for us when the answer to our prayer comes in a form totally different from what we were expecting. Naaman, a gentile, heard about the possibility of getting healed from an Israelite slave girl. In Rom 10:17, faith, Paul said, comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Naaman heard about God’s goodness and this was the foundation of his faith. So expectant was he that he not only instantly went looking for his healing but also went with money in hand for thanksgiving. (…continue reading)

Corona or Not, God is Still Moving! More Testimonies…

Tonight I just want to share two stories that encouraged me this week. 2020 has taken turns absolutely noone expected and it’s easy for one to question everything and wonder if anything in this life is worth holding on to. For me, I continue to find that God is the one factor that remains unchanged. But why? How? Story 1 – Prayer still works – Winning the “Oscars” (continue reading…)

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle During Lockdown

Have you found yourself developing unhealthy eating habits since the stay-at-home if possible guidelines came into effect?

• Are you snacking more?
• Or maybe you find yourself consuming more junk food than you did before?
• Are you less active?
• Have you gained a few extra pounds?

You are not alone.

For many of us, our daily routines and habits have changed significantly. Now is a great opportunity to create new habits to benefit your health.

Nutrition and Hydration

• Plan your meals and focus on simple healthy meals that don’t need a lot of time and effort
• Try not to skip breakfast. A healthy breakfast will give you the energy you need to last until lunch
• Stay hydrated (swap fizzy drinks for filtered water or sparkling water with a slice of lemon)
• Try to keep healthy snacks readily available, such as a piece of fruit, some vegetables or nuts

Staying Active


• Regular physical activity releases endorphins which can help reduce stress and improve mood
• Try a daily brisk walk for at least 30 mins (walk part of your journey to work/home
• Take part of your lunch break outdoors (build in a quick walk)
• Find an activity you enjoy doing such as cycling or gardening – and build the activity into your day
• Try to walk shorter journeys instead of using the car/bus


• Making small changes to your routine by including small bursts of activity all add up and help you move more.
• Try to limit the amount of time you spend sitting each day
• Walk around the house while on phone calls if possible.
• Aim to always use the stairs instead of the lifts
• Try completing strength and balance exercises on at least two days per week (these work all the major muscles legs, back abdomen, chest shoulders and arms)
• Use resistance bands and/or weights to help strengthen your muscles; If you don’t have weights you can use bottles of water or cans of food

There isn’t a one size fits all. If you don’t feel you can do it alone, try asking your family or friends to join you (at the moment no more than 6 people keeping within current social distancing rules) as you create new lifestyle habits.

NHS Live Well offer lots of practical advice, receipts , tips and tools to help you make the best choices about your health and wellbeing.

Visit www.nhs.uk/live-well/