Winter is here and we find ourselves under the weather more often than before.

Not only do we experience more colds and flus, but the risk of the winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), increases too. So before you end up confined to bed or snuggled up on the couch with a blanket, don’t panic, we’ve got you covered.

Here are four of our favourite ways to get you through the depths of winter.

•     Licorice

Not only does it provide a delicious flavour, licorice has been used in traditional western medicine to deliver soothing, anti-inflammatory effects on inflamed throats and sore mucous membranes – making licorice tea a perfect choice to sip on when you feel a sore throat creeping up!

These demulcent properties also act on the digestive tract, and may assist in relieving symptoms including bloating, burping, abdominal fullness and digestive pain.

Additionally, via its action on the adrenal glands, licorice root also modulates cortisol – our stress hormone – helping to improve resistance and responses to stressful situations.

Is there anything this herb can’t do?

•     Zinc

Zinc gets striped on our faces over summer at the beach (and at the cricket), but is equally important throughout the cooler months for two reasons: nervous system and immune responses.

Zinc is involved in neurotransmitter and hormone production and function. It’s essential for our moods, for sleep and for modulating the brain and body’s response to stress.

Don’t let yourself get low!

Impaired immune function can also be sign of a zinc deficiency. For more information on zinc deficiency, or to find the zinc supplement that is ideal for your individual needs, ask your healthcare practitioner for their recommendation.

•     Echinacea

The beautiful cone-flower is a well-known immune-modulating herb that works wonders for the common cold. But did you know it can also helps your skin?

Echinacea is a lymphatic herb. In traditional medicine, the lymphatic system is closely linked to the health of our skin. If lymphatic function is impaired, a subsequent build-up of waste materials can contribute to skin issues including eczema, dermatitis and oedema.

Echinacea stimulates the lymphatic movement and drainage, thereby removing problematic waste material, supporting immune function and keeping your skin healthy and radiant.

Naturopath’s hint: Dry brushing also stimulates the lymphatic system.

•     Vitamin D3

Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D3 stores can drop rapidly over the winter months and similar to zinc, it’s essential for adequate immune function and hormone production.

Studies have found that people with the lowest levels of D3 were 11 times more likely to suffer from stress and mood conditions than those who had normal levels. Likewise, low levels of D3 are associated with increased risk of respiratory tract infections, like colds and flus.

If you’re feeling generally under-the-weather, get yourself some sunshine, some licorice and echinacea tea, open a good book, pop your uggs on and relax. You’ll feel amazing in no time!

Do you have any other tips to share? Let us know in the comments.

  • Getting some sun and reading a good book sounds like perfect advice to me.


  • Licorice raises your blood pressure so you need to be careful of that one


  • Add some good quality honey to that list and you’re set!


  • We live where it’s warm all year round and still get colds. It’s during the cloudy build up when we don’t see the sun for a week or a month that colds come even though we are in shorts and it’s 35 to 40 degrees. Vitamin D is great for helping get through.


  • I would suggest warming the body from the inside. Drinking a glass of warm milk with tumeric before sleeping helps in a good night sleep and keeps you warm inside too.


  • My tip is exercise – rug up and get outside – it always lifts my mood.


  • I heard that licorice is very good for people who suffer of low blood pressure too.


  • Thanks for the licorice tip which l didn’t know!


  • I would add a daily spoon of Manuka Honey. It contains : Amino acids, B vitamins (B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid), Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphoru, Potassium, Sodium and Zinc and has lots of benefits//uses (under which Sore Throats and Immunity, Staph Infections (MRSA), Allergies and Sinusitis, Improves Sleep, Acne and Exzema, Burn wounds and Ulcers and many more).


  • Echinacea is not safe if you suffer from some medical conditions including neurological conditions


  • In my idea also magnesium should be added to the list, because it helps in the production of serotonin and melatonin. And both of them can play a role in seasonal affective disorder.


  • I started walking (my dog) in the mornings – just a short walk – to ward off the effects of SAD and I’ve gotta say it’s done wonders for my feelings of wellbeing. Life feels good when I’m out there walking first thing in the morning!

    • I absolutley 100% agree with you – even though it can be quite chilly outside – once out there you really do feel so good and very invigorated from a walk and it releases such good feel good endorphins.


  • yes I feel the start of something right now – I will have to look more into Licorice it sounds so unreal that it does so much for the human body – thank you for taking the time to compile this list for us readers :)


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