by Mikaela Duffy
We all want to stay well during the winter months and reduce our exposure to common cold and flu viruses that do the rounds at this time of year.  We also know that in keeping our bodies strong and healthy, we not only strengthen our defences, but increase our chances of a faster recovery if we do happen to fall prey to illness.
Aside from the obvious advice, such as eating a whole food diet with plenty of colourful fruit and veg, keeping warm and dry, and avoiding direct contact such as touching hands with those infected, what other steps can we take to support our bodies?
Bee products are a great line of both defence and treatment for our immune systems, and have been used both internally and topically for thousands of years by Indigenous cultures.  If you have a known bee allergy, it is inadvisable to take any bee products internally.
The use of Manuka honey in our daily diet can be effective as a food medicine, if taken in the right strength and quantities.  Manuka honey has healing properties, which acts on our digestive tract – which from a Naturopath’s perspective should be cared for to support good immunity.  All good Manuka displays a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) count, to show the strength of the antiseptic properties.  Using a teaspoon of UMF5+ daily is a great line of defence, as well as soothing digestive inflammation and sore throats.  Higher UMF’s can be used in the treatment of illness – the higher the UMF, the stronger the effect.
Australian Jelly Bush honey is our version of Manuka honey and has the same anti-bacterial properties that come from the New Zealand Manuka plant.  Australian Jelly Bush displays ULF (Unique Leptospermum Factor) count which is identical with the Manuka UMF count.  Keep your eye out for honey products made on Australian Jelly Bush as products from this plant are starting to become more highly available.
Bee pollen is known as a superfood, and can be added easily to cereals, smoothies, or sprinkled onto foods.  It contains a high amount of amino acids (building blocks of protein), and B vitamins.  A teaspoon daily is an average adult dose of this wonderful nutrient packed bee product, to be used all year round.
Finally, bee propolis – the product used by bees to seal and reinforce their hives – has a protective effect on the body also.  Propolis is a natural antibacterial, antifungal, antibiotic and antioxidant.  You will find propolis combined with honey at times, in lozenges and cough syrups, tablets and tinctures.  Propolis can be used as a defence and also a treatment when sick, to support immune strength and recovery.
BodyTalk sessions can also support immune function, through balancing the lymphatic system, or the body chemistry to help fight microbes, bacteria and viruses.  Hydration is also a key part of immune health, and BodyTalk supports hydration of the cells through various techniques.  BodyTalk is a non invasive and relaxing method of creating balance in the body, through muscle checking techniques and tapping.  (Read more here about BodyTalk –