Howdy.. the Winter Solstice is almost here!

Those of you who know me well, also know that the Winter Magic Festival which celebrates The Winter Solstice at Katoomba is almost upon us - 24th June to be exact.

Yep, my favourite little festival of the year, when Katoomba in the beautiful Blue Mountains resonates with all sorts of interesting ‘stuff! If you’d like to know more about the festival follow the link:

Winter is a great time to get out and have fun and to stay active this season you need to stay happy, well and flu virus free.  For obvious reasons I’m including the usual information on building/ maintaining immunity as well as some interesting links (below in Community Information), which may be of interest to those of you into good things i.e. organic food (buying) and permaculture (growing). We have previously offered information on ‘Winters Blues and Depression and this is still available via the following link: Types of Depression .

“The pessimist complains about the wind;

the optimist expects it to change;

the realist adjusts the sails.”

William Arthur Ward.

Winter Flu and Bug Tonics Available:


During the winter months a large part of my clinical practice is the treatment and prevention of respiratory tract infections. For many patients these infections will be reasonably mild but for some they can be severe and may lead to more serious problems such as bronchitis, pneumonia or a flare up of asthma in susceptible individuals.  More often than not I prescribe a combination tonic which addresses your own individual needs. In some cases follow-up treatments may involve herbal medication in tablet form or some nutritional supplements, designed to maintain your resilience and improve your immunity.

Basically, no matter what the symptoms or whether they affect the upper or lower respiratory tract, the mainstay of treatment for respiratory infections, is immune support. Therefore it is vital to prescribe herbal medicines and nutrients that enhance immunity so that your body can fight the infection and hopefully be less inclined to fall victim to another bug later in the season. If you need a tonic as a preventative (or you catch a flu and need one for treatment) I can make one for you.

If you have recently been to clinic and I have all your current information, you probably won’t need to come in for a consultation, just ring and I’ll organise an appropriate one for you to pick up. If however, I have not seen you for a while and there are some gaps I need to know about, a short 30 minute consultation should be sufficient to get us up to speed. Also if you have been down the antibiotic path recently we may need to consider a probiotic. Some new ones are available which do more than re-colonise good bacteria.

Keeping Healthy = Happy Sailing.

Many of you have this info from last year but a revision is always good to help you adjust 'your sails'…..

It is not easy to catch a cold. Your body’s natural defences usually fight off these viruses. However there is a direct relation between your risk of catching a cold and the amount of time spent in contact with an infected person. That is why families tend to get sick together. The most common route of infection is not from coughing or sneezing, or walking barefoot in the rain, but from hand-to-hand contact. The likelihood of you becoming a victim of the cold virus increases however, if you are overtired or physically exhausted. Children under two generally get 10-12 colds a year, especially if they are in day-care. Older children and young adults get about 6 colds per year. Most uncomplicated colds last between eight and nine days, but about 25% last two weeks, and 5-10% last three weeks.

If you’re a teacher – Good Luck! After the age of 30 the number starts to decrease to about two per year (there is a definite upside to getting older!!) So, now that I have you feeling less than optimistic, what should you do for treatment if a cold snags you….. For those of you who like cooking…….

1. Chicken soup does help the symptoms. Chicken contains a natural amino acid called cysteine.  Cysteine can thin the mucus in the lungs and make it less sticky so you can expel it more easily. Store bought varieties won’t work as well as the homemade version. Make the soup hot and spicy – within reason. The spices will trigger a sudden release of watery fluids in the mouth, throat, and lungs. This will help thin down the respiratory mucus, so it’s easier to cough up and expel. Don't stop at chicken soup, be creative with soups and casseroles that utilise a range of legumes and root vegetables, and don't forget to keep up your intake of raw fruit and vegetables to help your body build and maintain the necessary white blood cells.

2. Rest. It is important to rest and take it easy throughout the time you are ill. The benefits of a good nights sleep should never be under-rated, it's when your body gets a chance to repair and build up those components necessary for the next days onslaught! The time you are ill may be longer if you do not allow yourself to recuperate and recover completely. If you exercise regularly, you should definitely cut back on the intensity until you feel better. Ease back into it with a gentle walk, yoga, tai chi or meditation. Once well, maintain your health with regular exercise.

3. Wash your hands frequently and try to keep them away from your nose and eyes. Use disposable tissues as opposed to cloth handkerchiefs. If you are caring for a child with a cold, PLEASE WASH YOUR HANDS every time you have to wipe their nose. This will protect you from being infected.

4. Drink plenty of fluids.  Water is the best. Try to drink at least eight to ten glasses a day. This will help the stuffiness and help the secretions loosen and clean out the toxins. Avoid using tap water, use bottled or filtered water to limit your exposure to chlorine. You can put lemon juice in your water or also try green tea as a water alternative. There are some great blends around at the moment. Two old standards, Chamomile and Peppermint are very useful for clearing and warming the sinuses. NB I know we don't associate dehydration with Winter but most us spend a great deal of time in doors, centrally heated and this can be very 'drying'!

5. Stop all milk products for the duration of the cold. This includes not only milk, but ice cream, all yoghurt except plain, and especially cheese. This step is helpful to decrease the extra mucous that dairy products can cause you to produce.  Other normally wonderful foods like bananas and avocado can also aggravate the mucous condition.

6. Eating refined sugars weakens your immune system! Reducing or eliminating these in your diet will help your immune system.

7. Research has shown that zinc reduces the severity and duration of cold symptoms particularly a sore throat. It has been suggested that zinc is ,directly toxic to the virus and stimulates your body to produce antibodies to destroy the virus. Zinc seems to work for about three out of four colds. Some of the lozenges also have herbal components (such as marshmallow) that help soothe the mucous membranes. 

8. Essential fatty acids like fish or flax oil should also be taken regularly.This will help your immune system build the proper antibodies.

9. Extra vitamin C is also helpful.

Two to three serves of green leafy vegetables daily will help keep up your Vitamin C - as will fresh fruit. Whenever possible buy seasonal or organic. There are some great Farmers Markets around ... or if gardening appeals you could try growing your own. Good food and exercise. FYI some Winter Gardening Tips you may find useful. Generally we all head straight for oranges, however other juices such as pineapple and grapefruit are very useful. Pineapple juice actually contains more Vitamin C than oranges and is considerably less acidic and breaks down mucous plugs faster, while grapefruit also helps to detoxify the liver.

For those of you more at home with supplements than fruit and vegetables, an effective way to increase your intake of Vitamin C without stomach upsets and loose stools is to mix 2000-5000mg (Adult dose) Vitamin C powder into 1 litre of filtered water and sip it during the day. It maintains your vitamin C during the day without upsetting the tummy. If your GIT reacts to this reduce the dose.

10. Garlic is an excellent natural antibiotic.

Add some to your cooking or use a supplement. If you are congested and can’t breathe very well because your nose is plugged up…….there is a great variety of herbs which can help build your immune system and address specific symptoms. However, it is advisable to seek professional advice before self-administering these as some may not be suitable for your particular condition or clash nastily with any existing medication you are taking.

11. Antibiotics Yes or No?

A virus is much smaller than bacteria. It is a tiny cluster of genetic material surrounded by a protein wrapper. More than 300 different viruses can cause colds. Each time you have a cold it is caused by a distinct virus (i.e. adenovirus, rhinovirus, parainfluenza virus, corona virus). Medical science currently does not have any drugs that can kill these viruses. Antibiotics, including penicillin, DO NOT have any effect on viruses - which is why doctors prescribe them, to treat the secondary bacterial infections that can complicate a cold. If you have some unused antibiotics in the cupboard do not use them. They may not be appropriate for your current condition. Check with your doctor first. If you do need to use antibiotics please follow your course of antibiotics with a good pro-biotic to reinstate your bowel flora. 

Please note that children’s pro-biotic requirements are different from adults.

12. Get outside for a little Vitamin D. Sunshine has been getting a raw deal over the last decade due to fear of melanomas and skin cancers (hey I've had few burnt off myself), however recent research has shown that Vitamin D can have a very positive affect on immunity and resistance. The best way to get Vitamin D is to be outside for as little as 5 - 10 minutes without sun block, as this inhibits the body's ability to absorb this essential little vitamin. Use this time outdoors in the 'fresh' air for a bit of relaxation or exercise. Recent research has shown mushrooms to contain high quantities of Vitamin D. How and where they are grown however is very important. For more: Mushrooms & Vitamin D

13. FINALLY and most importantly…. at the first sign of illness, slow down immediately and rest! The workplace can survive without you for a couple of days!! Ego-destroying but true.  

14. Aromatherapy scents for this season:  Orange, Geranium, Cedar wood... and if you want to increase the Yuletide feel add some Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Petit grain or Cardamon to the mix in your oil burner. Enjoy!  


Just in case …….Some recipes                                                                                                                  

Cold and Flu juice

Dissolve 1 tbsp honey in 1 cup hot water; Juice …. 2 lemons; 1 clove garlic; ½ cm fresh ginger root; 1 apple core out, skin on; 1 pear core out, skin on; (add 2 cm. horseradish if desired). Add all juiced ingredients to honey water. DRINK! WHY? Lemon is high vitamin C content and natural antiseptic properties; Apple contains pectin helpful in removing harmful substances from the intestines; Garlic contains allicin – fights infection and natural antibiotic; Ginger natural antibiotic properties, anti-inflammatory and reduces mucous congestion; Horseradish breaks up and removes mucous plugs.I sometimes like to also add some fresh lemon balm and sage from my garden,as I find it helps with the cough and sore throat side of things.

To Clear and Prevent Mucus Build-Up – if you don’t have a juicer…..

This is a simple syrup to make up that is very effective, inexpensive and tastes great. Surprisingly, there is very little garlic breath with this – possibly something to do with the lemons. The mix can be kept in a glass jug in the fridge.

 Dose: 30 ml, 2-3 times per day. In acute or severe cases this can be more frequent. Patients can also be given this as part of a maintenance program to prevent sinus build-up, or as a preventative for colds during winter and changes of season.

The syrup is sweet, so doesn’t need honey added.


3 lemons.

30 cloves of garlic.

1 litre water.


Heat water in a saucepan. Roughly chop the lemon and garlic (no need to peel the cloves) into the water. Bring to the boil with the lid on, then simmer for 30 minutes, occasionally mashing the garlic and lemon with a potato masher while simmering. Let stand 30 minutes with the lid on. Press the mix through a sieve into a glass or ceramic jug. Discard remaining pulp and skin. 


For those of you who embrace the Winter Yuletide festivities and refuse to entertain even the faintest possibility of catching a flu - here is our Mulled Wine Recipe and subsequent Hang-Over Cure - by request.

Mulled wine

1 litre of red wine ( or lumbrusco.. similar)        100mls Brandy

6 slices of orange                                              2 slices of lemon

1 cinnamon stick                                                6 cloves

3 dessertspoons of sugar

Put the whole lot in a pot and gently heat for 10 or so minutes. DO NOT BOIL you lose the alcohol!!!! It seems to work better if you take it off the heat and let it sit for 1/2 an hour reheat it again, strain, then serve. It maintains its 'heat' well in a thermos flask - nice for outside evenings. Enjoy!!!!

Hang-Over Cure

1 medium carrot; 1 medium apple - skin on; 2 slices watermelon, with some of the white pith;  1 medium orange; 1 medium grapefruit (unless you can't handle the thought of the acidy taste); 2cm. slice beetroot; 2 fresh dandelion leaves or 2 cabbage leaves. Wash, trim, chop and pass through a juicer.

Drink 1 glass before retiring (Perhaps you should think ahead and prepare this before you venture out as it could be interesting getting this all together when really inebriated. For you risk takers…think of it like a healthier version of touching your nose or walking a straight line - please be careful with sharp knives or get a friend to help). Drink another glass on rising and continue every hour or so, or until you feel more alive than zombie. Drink plenty of water as well.

I hope this will be of some help in keeping the nasties away or bouncing you back from some self-imposed 'nasties'. If you would like some more information or advice… you know where to find me… yep...preferably running up and down Katoomba Rd wearing a silly hat or two,  but more than likely in Fairfield working.... and No this isn’t me - I wish .....

So enjoy the winter season and all its related activities….Winter Solstice Festivities….. Mid-year Yuletide…Weekends at the snow…. Weddings…. Bar mitzvahs …Road trip to Noosa....etc. etc. etc….

"Thousands of candles may be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.

Happiness never decreases by being shared"- Lord Buddha


Tryfoss Clinic  and Community Information:

Red Nose Day - Friday 30th June 2017

Red Nose Day, held annually on the last Friday in June, is the major fundraiser for SIDS and Kids. Funds raised through Red Nose Day activities assist SIDS and Kids in providing vital services and programs to the Australian community.Follow the link for more information on how you can help.

About SIDS and Kids

SIDS and Kids is dedicated to saving the lives of babies and children during pregnancy, birth, infancy and childhood and to supporting bereaved families.

Clinic Hours - Flexible - Monday to Friday.....

Clinic will operate on a flexible basis during June, July and August. Bookings can continue to be made by email, facebook or phone.


It’s great to see some of you have joined us on Facebook at TryfossTherapies Health and Education

I hope to use the page as a weekly update on any new information and links. I find it better in some ways than regularly attacking your emails as I personally spend way too much time each morning deleting trade ads and info mails. This way you can drop in, if you choose and see if there is anything worthy of following up

Finally, if you are reading this newsletter because you have chanced upon this website and would like to receive notification and a direct hyperlink to each new seasonal newsletter or information sheet please email me  and we will be happy to oblige.


NB. All information offered in this newsletter is for general interest only and is NOT to take the place of recommendations by qualified health practitioners with access to your complete medical history.