Pharmacist's Go-To Advice for Winter Woes

Posted On Monday, 07 January 2019
Pharmacist's Go-To Advice for Winter Woes

Last year’s flu season brought the highest number of deaths and health complications since the dawn of modern tracking, so much so, that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is worried that this flu season could result in a pandemic.

It’s hard to imagine that our medically advanced society would be under threat; however, unpredictable and changing bacteria and viruses can leave our immune systems susceptible to being unfairly compromised.

While flu vaccination has an important role, it’s not the only strategy we should employ when it comes to prevention. Being proactive with your health means eating a healthful diet, getting adequate sleep and regular exercise, managing stress levels and washing hands frequently.

Beyond lifestyle approaches, consider these holistic remedies to address common winter woes such as cold, flu, stomach aches, and joint discomfort.

Holistic Pharmacist Go-To #1: Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol

Historically, colloidal silver has been used for thousands of years as one of the world’s strongest antimicrobial agents. Hippocrates, the “father of medicine,” used silver to treat an endless series of conditions and in the Middle Ages, silver spoons were even given to babies by wealthy families as christening presents. It is often said that those “born with a silver spoon in their mouth” benefited from silver’s purifying and antimicrobial properties, especially during the bubonic plague.

Silver has also been used throughout the 20th century as the standard of care in burn centers, and NASA has used silver ions to purify the water for both its space shuttle program and International Space Station. The technology of colloidal silver has advanced in recent years with the creation of Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol, called Sovereign Silver. This form of silver is 98 percent bioactive and easier for the body to absorb and eliminate. I recommend it as a first line of defense for immune support and it can also be used topically for various skin ailments.

Holistic Pharmacist Go-To #2: Mint

There are two types of well-known mint: spearmint and peppermint. They are not the same plant however, as peppermint is a natural hybrid of spearmint and is the more potent of the herbs. Peppermint aids in digestion and has the power to settle the stomach due to its properties that dispel gas and relieve cramping. Oil of peppermint contains up to 78 percent menthol, capable of killing myriad microorganisms that are associated with digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome. I recommend mint tea as a way to settle stomach woes as it’s easy to have on hand with you especially if you are frequently on the go.

Holistic Pharmacist Go-To #3: Turmeric

Turmeric is known for antioxidant capacity, ability to reduce inflammation and fight age-related health ailments. It’s one of the most researched spices with thousands of studies backing its benefits. Some studies show that turmeric may even have anti-inflammatory power comparable to over-the-counter medications, without the side effects. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric and responsible for the powerful anti-inflammatory effects. To reap the many health benefits of turmeric, I recommend taking turmeric as a supplement, use it as an ingredient in your food or consume it as a tea like turmeric chai tea!

As winter woes continue to block our daily work and life flow, keeping these holistic remedies on hand can help support your immune system, fight infection and ease inflammation and joint discomfort. If symptoms persist, always see your doctor, but these tried-and-true remedies may help you before you have to even make an appointment!

For more winter health tips visit: and

Sherry Torkos, BScPhm, RPh

Sherry Torkos, BScPhm, RPh, is a pharmacist, author, and health enthusiast who enjoys sharing her passion with others. She graduated with honors from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1992. Since that time she has been practicing holistic pharmacy in the Niagara region of Ontario.

Her philosophy of practice is to integrate conventional and complementary therapies to optimize health and prevent disease. Torkos has won several national pharmacy awards for providing excellence in patient care. As a leading health expert, she has delivered hundreds of lectures to medical professionals and the public. She has authored 18 books and booklets, including, Saving Women’s Hearts, The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine and The Glycemic Index Made Simple.

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