The last time I did a roundup of health products, we were heading into the summer and it was full of sun cream, hayfever remedies and sanitisers for days out in the countryside. This time around, there's no doubt about it - we're well into autumn, and we've been gaily collecting conkers, kicking through leaf piles and splashing in puddles. I've got a feeling that the Indian summer is coming to an end though and it's time to think ahead to the chilly weather and winter chills.
If I ask you to name the worst part of autumn and winter, the chances are you'll instantly say colds and coughs, either for you or the kids. I was therefore intrigued to receive some samples of ColdZyme to try out. It is a revolutionary mouth spray which, unlike most other over-the-counter products, targets the cause of the common cold (the cold virus), rather than just treating the symptoms, and it can help reduce the duration of a cold (from 6.5 days to 3 days in tests).
It is easy to use and begins working immediately by forming a protective barrier in the throat, where the cold virus takes hold and multiplies, protecting you from infection by trapping the cold viruses and preventing them from binding with human cells, helping the body to remove them naturally. ColdZyme can be used by adults and children from age four upwards. If you do not have any symptoms of a cold but are likely to be exposed to the cold virus, for example when someone near you has a cold, you can spray 2 puffs (1 dose) of ColdZyme into the throat every two hours up to 6 times a day while you are exposed to the cold virus. I am DEFINITELY keeping one of these in my drawer at work so I can fight back when the kids start coughing all over me (which they invariably do !). ColdZyme is available from Boots, Lloyd’s Pharmacy and independent pharmacies nationwide, with an RRP of £15.99 for a 20ml bottle (effective treatment for three colds, or fifty five doses), and £9.99 for a 7ml bottle. If it manages to stop me getting a horrible cold over the winter, it's worth every penny !
The Breath Co. also sent me through a selection of their products to try out, which will be perfect for when the Christmas mistletoe comes out ! They are the No.1 selling U.S specialist breath care formula and I was intrigued to learn that the brand was created by Dr. Harold Katz in 1993 to help his own daughter conquer her bad breath problem because nothing else worked for her. The unique formula tackles bad breath instantly and then keeps working for over 12 hours to keep breath smelling fresh, using its specialist oxygen and fluoride technology. Each of the products works on all types of bad breath and dry mouth and contains no harsh ingredients including alcohol, detergents, artificial flavours, colours, animal products or gluten.
With a trio of products targetting the principal causes of bad breath, there's a very good chance they'll work. The toothpaste offers everything you'd expect from a regular toothpaste - it fights tooth decay and plaque, contains a combination of OXYD-8 plus Aloe Vera which cleans and brightens teeth with no harsh abrasives, is naturally oxygenating, eliminates the bacteria that cause bad breath and has a pleasant minty flavour. It can be used by children aged 6+ but with a hefty £9 a tube price tag, you'd be better off saving it for those who really need it. The Fresh Breath Oral Rinse (£14 for 500ml) can be used for rinsing your mouth and also gargling your throat, which is another major cause of bad breath (which I didn't know), and it destroys the bacteria that cause bad breath, as well as alleviating dry mouth and sour, bitter or metallic tastes in your mouth. The Mouth Wetting Dry Mouth Lozenges (£9 for 72) are designed to eliminate bad breath including strong food odours such as garlic and onion, Morning Breath and smoker's breath. They are individually wrapped with a pleasant mandarin mint flavour and look just like regular sweets so you can discreetly stash a few in your coat pocket or desk drawer. You shouldn't exceed 7 lozenges per day (probably because they contain sorbitol and xylitol which can have a laxative effect if you overdo it).
Whatever the season, if you're a parent, you can never have too many plasters, so we were delighted to discover Elastoplast’s latest launch: Frozen and Star Wars plasters. These are sure to be a big hit with kids all over the planet !
They feature much-loved characters such as Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Queen Elsa and Olaf the Snowman and are guaranteed to be all that is needed (along with a magic mummy kiss !) to stop the tears after a grazed knee or cut finger. As Elastoplast say, as well as effectively protecting wounds from dirt and bacteria, these skin-friendly plasters help take children’s minds off of the pain and inspire the healing power of delight. The only bad thing is, they are so cool that your kids will mysteriously find insect bites, tiny scrapes and cuts that "need" a plaster several times a day ! Elastoplast Star Wars and Frozen plasters are currently available at retailers across the UK, with an RRP of £2.60 for 16.
Finally, a few words of advice to help stay fighting fit and cold-free over the winter months, from leading media medic, Dr Dawn Harper, in conjunction with ColdZyme.
Wash your hands regularly – contrary to popular belief, most coughs and colds are spread by hand contact, not by coughs and sneezes, so simply keeping your hands clean will go a long way to protecting yourself.
Wash down surfaces and door handles – the viruses that cause colds can survive for several hours outside the human body.
Eat a well-balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables to keep your immune system in good shape. Vitamin C and zinc are vital for a healthy immune system. Zinc is found in red meat, beans and fortified cereals, whilst foods rich in vitamin C include fruits such as oranges and strawberries and vegetables such as peppers, kale and broccoli.
Make sure you get into a good sleep routine. When we sleep our immune system repairs itself, so chronic sleep deprivation can make you prone to infections.
Manage your stress levels. Try to prioritise and delegate where possible as stress can play havoc with your immune system.
Consider using anti-viral tissues and keep them in your bag or on your desk if those around you have a cold to minimise the spread of the virus and make sure that tissues are put straight in the bin.
Disclosure : We received the products in order to write an honest review.