Herbs for Winter Health
15th October 2020
The temperature is changing and the days are getting a bit darker, and more than ever there's a focus on our health and supporting our immune systems due to the on going covid-19 pandemic.
The media is currently very much focusing on how we could aquire a virus through the lens of the 'germ theory', which was originally proposed by Louis Pasteur in the 19th Century, which is basically the idea that if we come into contact with bacteria, germs or viruses we will catch them and get ill. However, there are other factors involved in this scenario - our health, immune systems and inner terrain. Another scientist around the same time Antoine Bechamp proposed another therory known as the 'cellular theory';
Bechamp’s cellular theory is almost completely opposite to that of Pasteur’s. Bechamp noted that these germs that Pasteur was so terrified of were opportunistic in nature. They were everywhere and even existed inside of us in a symbiotic relationship. Bechamp noticed in his research that it was only when the tissue of the host became damaged or compromised that these germs began to manifest as a prevailing symptom (not cause) of disease.
To prevent illness, Bechamp advocated not the killing of germs but the cultivation of health through diet, hygiene, and healthy lifestyle practices such as fresh air and exercise. The idea is that if the person has a strong immune system and good tissue quality (or “terrain” as Bechamp called it), the germs will not manifest in the person and they will have good health. It is only when their health starts to decline (due to personal neglect and poor lifestyle choices) that they become victim to infections. (https://www.naturalchinesemedicine.com/pasteur-vs-bechamp.html)
This means the good news is that there are other things we can do to prevent ourselves from getting ill apart from creating barriers against infection like wearing masks and physical distancing when you look at things from a holistic perspective..
So, here's my wee winter health guide of things that you can do to support your health and strengthen your immune system this Season. It's also worth remembering that getting ill and catching colds, flus and viruses are a natural part of being a human and developing your health and immunity.
General Winter Health Support
- Get plenty of sleep and rest and keep warm (nest! & hibernate)
- Spend time out doors and excercise, even if it's a gentle walk and going outside to breath in the air.
- Keep hydrated. If you dont like drinking cold water, then find a way that you will drink more water.. add some warm to it and keep it in a flask or herbal tea and water with lemon are also hydrating.
- Support your health through your diet; It's apple season just now and you know what they say about apples ;) It's also a great time for citrus fruits like oranges, mandarins and lemons becuase they are coming into season in Europe and are high in vitamin C. It's a good time of year for soups.. especially pumpkin and ginger soup with Halloween on the way. Salads arent just for summer and you can make lots of amazing winter salads with grated root veg like beetroots, carrots and cabbages. Smoothies and juices are another great way to get lots of nutrition. One of my favourite juices is carrot, orange, ginger and tumeric, which is warming in winter. Also, adding lots of spices to your food helps support your immune system like ginger, garlic, cayenne and cardamom.
- Make fire cider! which is basically a pungent herb infused vinegar to support your winter health. There are lots of recipes and videos online, and i make mine with; apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, garlic, thyme, sage and horseradish root.
- Take elderberry, tulsi, hibiscus and rosehips; high in vitamin C, antioxidants and supportive to the immune system. These are some of my favourite herbs to support immunity in the winter as daily tonics.. I drink tulsi tea everyday and a teaspoon of elderberry syrup.
- I make a tea blend called 'seasonali-tea', which you can purchase from my online shop, which contains herbs to support your immune system and symptoms if you do ill. It's been tried and tested by quite a few people now, who say it really works!
- Culinary spices! I make lots of chai tea in the winter, which is a great warming drink to support your immune system. I use lots of fresh grated ginger, cardomom, bay leaves, peppercorns, cinnamon and star anise. I boil and then simmer these spices together for 20-30mins and then turn off the heat and add honey and plant based milk and strain it through a sieve as I pour it into mugs.
Cold and Flu Support (When you get ill)
- Echinacea; When I start to feel like I'm getting ill I take echinacea tincture 5ml 3x a day becuase this helps to boost your immunity.
- I also increase the preventative herbs I am take like ELDERBERRY, FIRE CIDER and seasonalitea/tulsi/chai to 3x a day.
- My two favourite cold and flu remedies are SAGE and THYME. Sage is specific for sore throats and also very warming, while thyme is my favourite remedy for coughs. These two herbs are also in my seasonalitea blend and you might find them fresh in the supermarket or veg store.
- Lemon, ginger and honey tea.. its a classic, but really helps! much better for you than Lemsip ;)
FINALLY; If it's important to keep doing all these things.. herbs are not as immediatly powerful as pharmaceutical medications, but they are strong and deep. So do preventative things daily and if you do get ill, then keep taking the remedies regularly and keep it up until just after you start to feel normal again.
These are general things you can do yourself, but everyone is different and if you would like an individual focused herbal treatment and formula; winter health plan, then you might be interested in a herbal consultation with me. find out more in the 'consultations' section on my website or get in touch to book or have a chat about if it's right for you.
Wishing you a beautiful, cosy, healthy autumn x