by Martha Quiroga
Oh, the weather outside is frightful..... Hack...Cough...Ah Choo!...People pushing up against you where ever you go. Ewww! Are you really going to touch that shopping cart handle? How can you possibly stay healthy when you can't get away from the germs. And do I even have to say that the germs are getting much more virulent (they are getting stronger and harder to get rid of). If you are someone who catches everything that is thrown at them (like me), what, oh what, can you do to stay healthy? I could blog about getting enough sleep and get your vitamin C.....yawn. Didn't work for me in the past so let me give you a new swing to staying and getting healthy. I know you have to get ready for the holidays so I will make this quick!
1. Drink a tea that has peppermint leaves and/ or green tea as part of the make up. These help your body adapt to the daily stresses placed on it. Peppermint has a calming effect and will help you sleep at night. Green tea has caffeine and it will help you wake up and stay awake. They both are what we call adaptogens. There are other herbs that help your body adapt to stress including lavender, ashwaganda, astragalus, and ginseng. And if you are looking for a stress relieving tea at the store, they may include some of these.
If you are like me, you may NEED that first cup of Joe in the morning! Thats fine, but then throughout the day you should drink 2-3 cups of this tea. And do it every day. You can change up the other ingredients but unless you know your adaptogens and how to blend teas, stick with the basics above. You should feel much more calm within a couple of days. Cheers!
2. Take good care of your gut (your belly, your digestive system). Right, you say. “I feed it and give it all sorts of gifts like alcohol, coffee, cake. What does my big old belly have to do with catching a cold or the flu, anyway? I think you are out of your wellness mind, Martha!” Not so fast! I am not going to go on a soapbox and say you must eat pristinely over the holidays, but, let's establish some ground rules. Fifty percent of your immune system is actually IN YOUR GUT AND INTESTINES! Screw with your gut and you are just asking for a virus or two.
To make a very long (like a whole book long) story short, when we don't eat right, one of the things that happens is that the pH balance of the digestive system gets too acidic and then we are vulnerable for virus takeover. No, I am not even suggesting that you should take something like Prilosec to stop the acid production because that causes a whole heap of other problems that none of us need. We still need an acidic balance in our gut, just not as acidic as we allow it to be now a days.
One way to restore the proper pH in your system is to eat many different fruits and vegetables. There are some that you shouldn't eat but for the sake of the short story, lets just say if you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables your pH balance should improve. On the other side of the story, cut back some on things that cause the balance to slide toward too acidic. These food items include sugar, processed foods (including breads and desserts), meat, dairy, coffee, soda pop. Holy cow, that IS what holidays are all about, right? I won't dispute that. All I am saying is that if you want to stay healthy, the least you should do is to keep your gut as balanced as possible. Eat more fruits and veggies and less of the “forbidden” foods.
3. The last and best is a remedy and prophylactic. Elderberry syrup or tincture can be gotten from the local health food store. Studies are showing that this could be the miracle cure you are looking for. Elderberry concoctions can actually prevent the flu virus from entering cells and spreading. There is also promising evidence that it will work similarly with colds (and even Ebola). I think that covers most everything! I take ¼ teaspoon daily and when I get ill increase that to every 3-4 hours. There are ways to make your own but with the holidays approaching quickly, you may just want to purchase it to have on hand as it takes a while to make it from scratch.
Before I get in trouble I had better tell you statements made on this website regarding herbal information have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration as the FDA does not evaluate or test herbs. This information has not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration, nor has it gone through the rigorous double-blind studies required before a particular product can be deemed truly beneficial or potentially dangerous and prescribed in the treatment of any condition or disease.
The information presented on this site is provided for informational purposes only, it is not meant to substitute for medical advice or diagnosis provided by your physician or other medical professional. Do not use this information to diagnose, treat or cure any illness or health condition. If you have, or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your physician or health care provider.
And with that …....Happy and Healthy Holidays!
P.S. I will be having a class in making and putting together your own herbal winter wellness first aid kit in January so watch my website www.movingintofreedom.com and/ or find and follow my Facebook page for weekly updates!