Prevention for the Common Cold

Prevention is always better than cure. These simple steps will help prevent the common cold and help keep you well over the winter months.

Include plenty of fermented foods

Include plenty of fermented foods and drink in your daily diet – the best quality is your own homemade kind – easy to make Fermented food and Kephir making kits will get you started. These help to keep your gut in good health and prevent chronic immune dysfunction. Research shows probiotics help boost the immune system and preventing cold and flu. Probiotic foods include fermented vegetables, kefir yoghurt, and kombucha tea.

Take Multivitamins

Taking Multivitamins has many health benefits. In the short term, they can increase energy, reduce stress, help fight infections. Long term they can benefit our immunity and health. Winter is the most vital time for multivitamins. We recommend Biocare Methyl Multi-Nutrient.

Get plenty of sleep

Getting plenty of sleep is important to avoid your body getting ill in winter. During sleep, our immune system regenerates and repairs the body. Natural hormones such as melatonin is released at night and help to encourage sleep and support immunity. Those that sleep less than 7 hours a night are 3 times more likely to get sick and catch a cold than those who slept more than 8 hours. Aim to be in bed and asleep by 10 pm at the latest. Don’t let yourself get run down. If you find it hard to sleep or have chronic insomnia get some acupuncture treatment and try bedtime ritual tea to help you sleep naturally.

Eat warm cooked foods

Eat warm cooked foods, avoid raw cold foods like Salads. Warming foods help warm the body, expel cold and increase circulation. Eat more winter vegetables and soups such as carrots, parsnips, pumpkin, and turnips. Use cooking methods such as roasting, mash or soups for a comforting winter meal. Have more ginseng, ginger, cinnamon and gou qi berries.

Increase Vitamin C

Increasing Vitamin C is great to help prevent colds and flu and increase our immune system. It reduces acidity in the body and is an anti-bacterial. Make sure you get enough vitamin C in your diet, you can do this with food and drink – try Life Rituals Organic Tea Blends such as Protection Ritual; Cleanse and Detox Ritual; or Unwind and Uplift Ritual Teas which are all packed full of high content organic Vit C ingredients. We also recommend taking a Vit C supplement.

If you are suffering from a cold or flu this winter or have extremely cold hands and feet, acupuncture and Chinese medicine are great to treat your winter cold. To find out more contact us for information.

Winter’s coming… So let’s get smarter about vitamin D

Winters’ coming… So let’s get smarter about vitamin D – before more and more people suffer unnecessarily.

Here are 4 steps to help you optimise your vitamin D levels in the winter:

1. Get your blood levels tested

Get your blood levels tested at least twice a year, using an accredited lab. End of summer or winter (yes, now!) are good times to run tests to see where you might be, at your highest or lowest levels. Whichever country you live in, put “vitamin D blood test” into your search engine and you’ll find an increasing array of services that measure your blood levels based on a blood spot that you produce yourself with a pinprick. Everything you need is supplied to your home and you’ll get your results a few days after you’ve sent your bloodspot to the lab by post. Blood testing is essential, however, also remember our body requires enough Magnesium (Mg). Without enough Magnesium your body (in the liver) will be challenged at utilising this life-enhancing pro-hormone. Ideally, get a test that does both, Jo George at Life Rituals can arrange this if you struggle to find the right one.

2. Take high dose vitamin D3 supplements

If your blood levels of 25(OH)D are below 100 nmol/L (40 ng/ml), take high dose vitamin D3 supplements (4000 IU [100 mcg] or more daily) to bring yourself back into range. Ideally, test again 3 months after starting supplementation. The rate at which you optimise will vary greatly in different people. If in doubt, seek the support of a suitably qualified and experienced practitioner like Jo at Life Rituals. You may need to increase your intake (via food or supplements) of additional nutrients and/or enzymes to enhance absorption. If you struggle to optimise your vitamin D levels, you may wish to have a genetic test to check for vitamin D polymorphisms.

3. Be less fearful of the sun

Let’s be less fearful of the sun and skin cancer risk – let’s simply avoid getting burned. Don’t slap that sunscreen on the kids before they’ve had a chance to be in the sun – but also don’t let them get burned. We need to get sun smart again – it’s what we’ve done for millennia. Remember that UVB strikes our skin and with the help of cholesterol is eventually absorbed (can take ca 48hrs) and processed in our liver. Showering it all off will not help it absorbed, so wash essential bodily parts but don’t use organic soap or gel and wash it all off your skin, simply rinse in cold water.

4. Oily fish and fortified foods can help – but not enough to remedy a severe deficiency

If you can consume oily fish, fish liver oil and fortified foods, these can help boost your levels, but typically, the levels are not high enough to remedy a severe deficiency. These fortified foods (e.g. dairy, wheat) may also contribute to other health problems.

If your immune system is constantly low then seek Jo’s professional advice and rebalance with nutrition, acupuncture, and herbs. Call the clinic 01572 868579 or email for a consultation for an individualised health plan.

Saturday Tea Tasting; Bespoke Christmas Tea Sets & Unique Gifts – Throughout November & December

There are few finer ways to toast the season than with a cup of our popular teas. Start sipping your way to a Merry Christmas here. We’re delighted to share our tea obsession in a series of Tea Tastings on Saturdays throughout November & December in our Oakham shop. No booking necessary, just a healthy curiosity!

Join us between 10am -3pm us for a complimentary exploration of our caffeinated and non caffeinated teas with a health purpose. Enjoy and drink our teas for digestion, sleep, energy and cold protection. Organic, Additive & Naturally gluten-free, our wellness tea collection support health and well-being, inside and out.

Dates: Saturday 9th November / Saturday 23rd November / Saturday 30th November / Saturday 7th December / Saturday 14th December / Saturday 21st December
Time: 10am – 3pm
Location: Life Rituals, 24 Mill Street, Oakham, LE15 6EA

You can also make your own bespoke gift tea set tailored to the person’s tastes and health needs, which is wonderfully, thoughtful gift at Christmas, but also on any occasion. Very popular!

tea tasting event in rutland

Be prepared for delicious tastings served by our in-house tearistas – Helen and Liz and since no tea is an island, you’ll also discover a perfect homemade biscuit pairing served alongside. We also won’t be afraid to answer those necessary, hard-hitting questions like: how do you dunk a biscuit properly?!

You will take away with you a new wealth of tea knowledge, some brewing tips to complete your now-full suite of tea skills, and some gorgeous tea gift sets for friends and family. You will also have the chance to shop for unusual gifts at Life Rituals which encompasses an Acupuncture & Herb Clinic and Life Rituals Organic Teas together with an apothecary of tea accessories from Broste Copenhagen, unique botanical fragrances, books and original art.

So if you’re thirsty for some knowledge, and appreciate finding unusual beautiful gifts – or perhaps simply an expertly made cup of tea – we’d love to see you and share a moment out with you.

Drop-in anytime between 10am – 3pm 🙂

For more information please call 01572 868579 or email