I have thought long and hard about this post: what to say, how to say it and more importantly how much to say. I've decided to keep it simple ... and practical. I could have written monographs on elderberries or garlic or golden seal. I love in depth articles on herbs. But I'm an herbalist. I love reading them when I'm not sick, or when my kids are not sick ... not so much if someone is sick right now. So instead of explaining to you exactly how an herb works, however fascinating that may be, I'll just list all the things I do for myself and my family when we know that there is a good chance that we are getting sick. I'll also point out that nobody in our family with 3 children has gone to the doctor since I've been studying herbs. Yes I'm really saying this. Nobody, in years. In fact my youngest, 5 1/2, has never been to the doctor because she was sick. She has only had check-ups needed for preschool and school. I'm not saying this to brag but only to point out that good health is very attainable, it is not difficult or mysterious.
By the way, before using herbs, we went to the doctor regularly because of colds that would turn into sinusitis, bronchitis, or that would linger forever. So it's not like we have superpowers ;)
It is obvious that I'm only touching on the subject. I mean , I could write a book. If you have further questions feel free to contact me on facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also book a consultation for in depth help from me.
5 steps to a strong Immune system:
1- Elderberries. Everybody's favorite. The single most preventative "herb" I know. They are extremely easy to use and very tasty. If anybody is feeling under the weather they'll get 2-3 tbsp of elderberry syrup per day. You can buy it easily enough but I find it very expensive so I make my own which is extremely easy:
1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried elderberries
3 cups water
1 cup honey
Bring the berries and water to a boil in a saucepan, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Turn off the heat, mash the berries and strain with a fine mesh strainer. Mash the berries in the strainer some more: you want to extract as mush as possible from them.
Add the honey and stir well. Keep in the fridge for at least 2 months.
You can also make tea with the berries: 1 tsp of dried berries per cup.
2- Garlic is your friend. It'll help whether the virus is in your respiratory system or digestive system and is also an excellent preventative. My two favorites way to use it is in salad dressing and soup.
Garlic salad dressing:
Chop up a clove or two and cover with vinegar (the more you let it sit the better). When ready, add salt and black pepper, mustard (please don't use English mustard in salad dressing, that's just offensive) and whisk in olive oil until it tastes right to you.
A french favorite. Don't be scared it is very tasty and not pungent or spicy at all. This is a traditional recipe so I did my best regarding quantities since they are always so vague in old recipes.
For 4-6 people:
3 heads of garlic
2 shallots or 1 onion
1 to 2 quarts of vegetable or chicken bouillon (depending on how thick you want your soup)
A bit of butter
A bit of heavy cream
Cook the chopped up shallots or onion in the butter until translucent. Add the potatoes and carrots roughly chopped and the peeled and smashed garlic cloves. Add a bit of salt and pepper and stir well. Add the bouillon and cook for 40 mins. Puree and add the cream.
Delicious with toasted bread rubbed with olive oil ... and garlic.
3- Don't wait to be sick before you use herbs.
Thyme, oregano, rosemary and sage are not just tasty they are also antibacterial, antimicrobial and/or antiviral. use them in your cooking several times a week. All herbs and spices have medicinal properties and by using them in your cooking you'll enhance your health with minimal effort.
4- Don't forget to rest and for Pete's sake open your windows.
I'm not going to explain further the first one: if you are sick take the opportunity to rest. The second one is a personal pet peeve of mine. Open your windows everyday (obviously not in case of severe weather). You need to renew the air inside your house. Fresh air is essential to good health ... which brings us to number 5...
5- Go for walks in nature.
No, you don't need to walk 5 miles in pristine acres of wild lands everyday (although if you can by all means go for it). But your body and your soul need to connect with the environment and walking outside in a park along a river, a lake or the ocean is better than working out at the gym. And yes there are scientific studies about this kind of thing ...
And here is a little extra if the stomach flu is making the rounds where you are:
For 1 cup of water:
1 chamomile tea bag.
1 fairly big branch of catnip or 1 teaspoon dried.
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice.
Steep the chamomile and catnip for 15 minutes, take the herbs out and add the lemon. Drink 3 times a day.
Add cinnamon to everything, it really helps with diarrhea. Cinnamon toast anyone?
I get all my herbs and spices from Mountain Rose Herbs. Excellent quality.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to take the place of a medical diagnosis or prescription.