Cold S.E. winter suggests winterizing the body


As a child I remember taking cod liver oil. It was dark in color, viscous, and very nasty tasting. We were told it was good for us. A tablespoon was said to prevent colds, and generally keep you functioning well during the winter months. However, in my humble child's opinion, it was an elixir to be avoided.

So, when I was offered a tablespoon of cod liver oil at a free class called 'Boosting Your Immune System for Winter', given by Dr. Petra Caruso at the Woodstock Natural Health Clinic, I was surprised to see that now it was clear in color and refreshingly tasty! This particular brand - taken from fresh cod fish found in the arctic coastal waters of Norway - is purified, assayed for purity, and flavored with natural lemon oils. It definitely tastes better than that childhood sludge I remember.

Taking cod liver oil as a source of Vitamin D makes sense here, in a region where months go by without seeing much sun - the ultraviolet rays of the sun help the body to synthesize its own Vitamin D. In addition, research has shown that Omega 3's in any fish oil are good for the heart, can reduce inflammation, and can help prevent and cure dry skin.

The oil also supplies vitamin A, which is a known anti-viral, helpful in preventing respiratory illness as well as other viral maladies, such as sore throat and stomach flu.

Other tips for winterizing the body offered at Dr. Caruso's class were similar, in breaking through stereotypical thinking. Drink plenty of water during these cold months, because contrary to what you might think, the body needs as much water in the winter as it does during hot months. Increased coffee intake and dry winter air can create greater dehydration than you'd expect.

Also interesting was information offered about the lymph system. Although it is a subset of the circulatory system, it is more extensive than the circulatory system, since our bodies have more lymph vessels than blood vessels. It plays a vital role in maintaining good health.

'The lymphatic system assists all routes of elimination,' noted Dr. Caruso, referring to elimination through the skin in the form of perspiration, from the lungs as breath, and from the colon and urinary tract as waste. 'As a culture, we don't talk about keeping the lymph system healthy, but lymph stagnation can cause health problems, including cancer,' she noted.

A 'lymph massage' is recommended by Dr. Caruso, who says that gently rubbing the body with a loofa sponge or a dry wash cloth can stimulate lymph tissues and promote good health. She suggests starting at the ankles and moving toward the heart, creating a slight friction on the skin. The whole process can be accomplished in one minute.

So, before you head for a winter breakdown and need expensive and time-consuming maintenance and repair, try winterizing yourself with these few simple suggestions from a neighborhood naturopath. The good tasting, lemon-flavored cod liver oil is available from Dr. Caruso at a reduced price, and also from New Seasons Market.

You, too, can learn more about the body and good health. On Sunday, February 17th, 2:30-3:30, Dr. Caruso will give a free presentation on 'Boosting Your Immune System' at the Woodstock Branch Library, S.E. 49th and Woodstock Boulevard. Contact Dr. Caruso via e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..