Before Winter really sets in lets talk about prevention and incorporating strategies to help strengthen the immune system, as well as herbs that can assist in the early stages of colds to reduce the length and severity of your symptoms. If your in the grips of it, we have strategies and herbs to help you as well.
As a long term user and believer of the natural approach to medicine I have a few essentials in our cupboard as the weather starts to cool down. It is extremely difficult (unless you live away from humanity and artificial heating) to avoid coming into contact at some point over the winter season with the common cold virus. For us already we have had the neighbours kids all down with the dreaded runny nose and cough. The trick is to assist your body to have a strong defensive position when these nasties come knocking and if you happen to become susceptable how to move quickly to getting the strength your immune system needs to fight them off.
Number 1 on my list for winter is vitamin C - Ascorbic Acid. Most commonly we find this power house vitamin in citrus fruits, which is why you will start to notice them in the supermarket coming into season. Start the day with half a grapefruit or if you are into fresh vegetable juices add half an orange or a lemon into your juice to increase the amount of this antioxidant you get through the day. I will have to dedicate a whole other post to the wonders of this retro vitamin as it really is one of my favs.
Number 2 - Green Tea. I know, I know you've heard it all before but if you haven't started to add green tea to your daily drinking habits now is totally the time. Again a post of it's own will be coming but know this, Green Tea whilst not only is a delicious beverage and substrate to add other not so tasty medicinal herbs is great in defending the body and in helping to reduce the severity of symptoms of colds when they happen to strike. CATECHINS - Green Tea contains six types of antioxidants called catechins. The stem, the leaf and the bud all contain a different type, what makes green tea so potent is that it contains all parts of the plant this is what makes green tea such a powerful antiviral agent. Worried about the stems in your Green Tea? Worry no more these are vital in your winter antiviral medicine chest, as well it add to the flavour of your brew. Double up and add a slice of Lemon for extra Vit C.
Number 3 - Moringa Leaves. The great thing about taking Moringa is that it is very subtle in flavour if you choose to take this herb as a tea so it is really easy to add to your favourite brew. Yes you guessed it I put mine with my Green Tea, equal parts of each serves as my cup of choice most days. Moringa has been used medicinally for centuries and the leaves are high in Protein, as well as Vit A,B,C,D and E a high level antioxidant supplement.
Add to or increase in your cooking and diet if you can Garlic, Greens, Fennel and Raw Honey, Ginger and Cumin (try our chai as a way to incorporate these spices). Herbs to consider stocking, Comfrey, Mullein, Rosehips.
Sleep is a key player in helping the body restore, reboot and improve your immune system. Take a leaf out of nature, this time of year most of nature starts to hibernate and get more rest, as the days are shorter and nights longer use this time wisely and get more sleep. Lastly take a probiotic, recent studies have shown that regularly taking probiotics will improve the gut health which in turns ensures the immune system is functioning well.
Feel like A cold is coming? front line defenders to the rescue.
You are already ahead of the game because of the strategies you have in place but even the healthiest of us can get caught out and fall prey to the pesky cold gremlins from time to time. Now is the time to pull out the big guns and here are a few things I recommend.
Your go to BREW - Marshmallow root or leaf I do use both, if your symptoms include a sore throat use leaf, Moringa Leaf, Echinacea, lemon and a dash of honey. Drink up, keep hydrated with this brew all day long switch it out with warm water, lemon and honey only. Bed is your best friend in this situation as rest will help the body naturally fight of invaders, if you can use a sauna I swear by the sweat box as we are lucky enough to own one the minute anyone in my family starts looking like a cold the sauna is turned on and used followed by lots of freshly pressed vegetable juice and many, many, many cups of tea.
Use our search function on the website to find herbs, spices and teas that will help with your symptoms or condition. We aren't doctors, or healthcare professionals, just Mum's and Dads who would rather try a natural approach first. Sometimes medical intervention is the best course of action but incorporating herbs and spices into your diet and daily life will only serve to enhance your health in the long term.
I hope you have found the information here helpful and feel encouraged to give a few herbs ago this winter to boost your immune system.
Your is health,