Clocks have gone back and temperatures have dropped. Winter is here.
Last winter 2018-19 was one of the UK's worst flu seasons for eight years.: colds, coughs, fevers, sick days, wet tissues...
Public Health England releases a weekly flu report monitoring outbreaks of flu across the country.
Do you or your children keep catching colds and infections?
Does it take you a long time to recover from sickness?
If so, you may have weak immunity.
Immunity is the body's defence system.
The stronger your immunity, the less likely you are to fall ill. And if you do fall ill, you recover quickly.
What is the difference between a cold and the flu?
The common cold and the flu are different illnesses but they share some symptoms.
Symptoms of a cold include: runny or blocked nose, sneezing, sore throat, cough and a mild fever.
Symptoms of the flu include: high fever, headaches, aching muscles, shivers, runny or stuffy nose and a sore throat.
A cold makes you feel under the weather, but the flu can confine you to bed for several days.
Last year the average number of days UK employees took off work due to sickness was 5.6.
While most people recover from the flu, children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to the worst effects of flu.
Since flu is caused by a virus, antibiotics are ineffective against flu.
How to build your body's immune system so you are less likely to fall ill
Diet, exercise, sleep... all affect immunity.
Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, vitamins, minerals, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, all build up the body's immune system.
Raw organic honey in particular is known to contain over 15 vitamins and minerals in each spoon.
If the honey also has a lab certified activity rating, 20+, then it is like drinking a 20% antibacterial phenol solution, but without the side effects of chemical medication.
Honey with an total activity rating of less than 10 does not have sufficient antibacterial strength to make a difference to bacteria in the body.
So always look for at least a 10+ activity rating if using honey for medicinal purposes.
Taking a teaspoon of raw organic active honey in a glass of warm water before breakfast can help boost immunity without the side effects associated with chemicals found in processed food.
How to relieve symptoms of a cold and the flu
The body's immune system fights off the infections in its own time. Yet, there are some things that one can do to speed up the process and "help" the body fight sickness.
In August 2018, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE) issued guidance to treat coughs with honey instead of antibiotics.
NICE and PHE found evidence from 3 randomised controlled trials, all of which looked at using honey in children and young people.
Two of the studies compared it with no treatment, and one allowed "supportive treatment" if needed, which included saline (salt water), nose drops, water vapour and paracetamol.
In both comparisons, children given honey coughed less often and had less severe coughs compared with those given no treatment.
Of course, not all honeys are the same. Commercially processed supermarket "honey" has been heat-treated and filtered in a process that leaves it little better than sugar syrup.
Active honey, or raw honey from specific plants and trees known for their medicinal properties is more powerful in treating coughs than commercially processed honey.
The two honeys at the Latin Honey Shop which we recommend for boosting immunity and fighting common bacterial infections are the 20+ Active Raw Organic Coffee Bean Honey or the 10+ Active Raw Organic Orange Blossom Honey.
They are completely natural, free of added sugar and certified organic, which means they are free from harmful pesticides, pollutants and chemicals unlike local honey.
From as little as 62p per spoon, both are available exclusively in the UK from the Latin Honey Shop. Free and fast UK delivery on all orders of £25 or more.