Campaigner and food writer Heather Mills on her positive experiences of homeopathy Boosting immune systems during the winter is essential Ever since I was a child I have relied on homeopathy. My mum left us when I was young, but she ended up at the Royal Marsden Hospital to help heal patients’ wounds from mastectomies with acupuncture and homeopathy.

As kids, we suffered from conjunctivitis and it was Pulsatilla that worked for us, alternating with Euphrasia. I believe some medicines mask symptoms until the body heals itself, and what is scary now is how many people are given drugs for the slightest cold. Boosting your immune system during winter is essential. Doctors may throw antibiotics at bacterial viruses, but inappropriate use has helped create diseases that are resistant to treatment. When a virus enters your body it invades some of your cells and takes over the cell machinery to reduce it, e.g. chickenpox and the common cold. In some cases, it may be difficult to work out if you have a virus or bacterium causing your symptoms. Obviously it’s best to check with your doctor but on some occasions, homoeopathy can heal the symptoms, whereas drugs may make you antibiotic resistant.

I highly suggest investing time with a homoeopathic doctor. It’s easy to learn the basics before you jump straight into taking antibiotics for a cold. You can also look into herbs like goldenseal and echinacea. Goldenseal is a perennial herb from the buttercup family. When it enters the liver, it destroys pathogens, both bacterial and viral. Echinacea is a member of the daisy family and very helpful with respiratory infections when you have a cold or flu. It is known for encouraging the immune system which in turn reduces symptoms of colds and flu and a number of other conditions. Do not use either when you’re pregnant and don’t use on babies.

The bottom line is you need to keep your immune system boosted. Colds and flu cannot enter or survive in your body if your immune system is strong – it’s as simple as that. Homeopathy and herbs are all available at Holland & Barrett or any natural health food store.