Imogen Edwards-Jones discovers a natural miracle worker for the dreaded winter sniffles

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It is the season to be snotty and, boy, has my household embraced the dark, dank, months of winter with a little bit more misery than usual. The sound of sniffing and hacking can be heard from dawn til dusk. From my son at the breakfast table, to my daughter as she makes a bog-roll mountain on the sofa while watching back to back Modern Family, to my husband as he yawns at Boredchurch. Crikey, even I’ve had to cut down on the amount of fags I can squeeze in between the wine without freezing my nips off out the back.

In short, none of us is well, and we can all drink Berocca boost cocktails until our pee glows nuclear in the dark but nothing seems to be making a huge bit of difference.

And then I came across  The Heal Me Kit by  Therapie Roques O’Neil , a delightful box of treats from an aromatherapist called Michelle Roques O’Neil.

Now I have used a few of Michelle’s lotions and potions before, most fabulously her  Himalayan Detox Salts  which I am a little bit obsessed with. Made with pink Himalayan salt with rosewood, lavender and powdered amethyst they are marketed as valium and that’s how they perform. Used on crabby children/husbands at the end of the day, they are the ultimate knock out drops and so, as the saying goes, aid restful sleep. I am prone to boiling my son on a Sunday night in the salts, only to rediscover him bright-eyed and bushy tailed on Monday morning having, at last, slept through the night. I love ‘em.

But back to the Heal Me Kit box, which comes with a Protect Bath and Body Oil, a Comfort Warming Rub, Strength Tea and a Pure Candle.

The candle, with lemon myrtle, eucalyptus and elemi etc, was immediately put to one side. Call me a cynic, but I am not sure a candle is much use in the battle against snot! However, I immediately regretted my decision, as the candle was swiftly requisitioned by my husband, who then proceeded to tell me how gorgeous it smelt and how he was taking it. Sod him, I thought, I hope he chokes on the thing. He was the only person in the house who could still inhale.

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The Strength Tea - with lemon thyme (helps with congestion) peppermint (to cool internal heat) elderflower (for chest infections) liquorice and orange for the spleen as well as blue mallow (to relax the mind) – amazingly did not taste like you’d fallen into the flower bed with your mouth wide-open  or had been chucked into the oily cut-grass along with the other Flopsy Bunnies. It was pleasant, clearly good for me and I wasn’t even tempted to add vodka.

But it was the two last unctions that really stole the show. The Protect Bath Oil and the Comfort Warming Rub. The bath oil, laced with naiouli, frankincense, thyme, eucalyptus, black pepper, tangerine, and rosemary, is just the sort of delicious gentle, kind, support bath you need with you’re shivering and miserable and can hardly hear what anyone is saying because you’re snotted up to the ear drums. Rub the oil on your body after the bath, when the skin is warm and pink, and it feels like you are actually helping yourself get better.

However it’s the rub that I am keeping, the rub that I am ordering in bucket loads, and am packing in my medical bag when I am off on holiday. The rub works, it’s like magic. My daughter was miserable and doing one of those repetitive poor-me little sniffs that sounds like her pony’s just died. (Not that she has one). Anyway, I slathered it all over her chest; unusually she didn’t complain, and liked the smell, and the next morning, after she’d slept, able to breathe, she was a whole lot better. It worked the same on my son a few days later, when, after I couldn’t find the Vicks Vaporub in the middle of the night, I told him he was allowed some of my ‘posh stuff’ and he too was a lot better the next day. There is some sort of antiviral something or other in there that appears to do the trick.

So if you’re fed up with popping pills and the fluro-pee, the Heal Me Kit seems a viable alternative when it comes to sitting on the sofa sounding like you’ve spent the night out in the lavs with Stephen Fry and Stevie Nicks. All you need is a rub, a hot bath and a cup of tea. Only don’t be a fool, remember to keep hold of the awfully nice candle.