Mother always said, “Go out with wet hair and you’ll catch a cold”. Well I came back from the swimming pool without drying it and, sure enough, a few days later, I succumbed.
More recently, research has found that breathing cold air affects how well your defence mechanisms deal with invading viruses, making it more likely you’ll catch something. The Common Cold Centre in Cardiff has experimented on some poor volunteers. The evidence is equivocal but it seems that blood vessels in the nose and throat contract when you are cold and wet which reduces the number of white blood cells available to protect you. That short period of time when your defences are lowered can be enough for the viruses around us to take hold.
I saw it off fairly fast with a combination of rest, bouncing and this concoction:
- Lemon juice – source of vitamin C and antioxidants
- Honey (½ tsp) – complex and mysterious with anti-bacterial healing properties, honey is still sugar so use in moderation.
- ½” chopped fresh ginger root – it’s anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral.
- 3 cloves – anaesthetic properties (ever popped one by your gum for toothache?) They’re also anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and expectorant.
- 1 tsp coconut oil – it’s anti-bacteria, anti-fungal, anti-viral and soothing.
Pour on boiling water and let it steep for a minute or two to make a tasty, soothing drink.
And the bouncing? It speeds up the flow of lymph around your body. Use an old-fashioned skipping rope or go gentle on your knees with a trampoline.
Top tip – Mum was right; it’s worth spending time drying your hair and getting bundled up with a hat and scarf before going out in the cold.