Flu season is upon us and if you are like me, there ain’t no way you are getting a flu shot! So what’s a person to do?
BOOST Your Immune System, Naturally!
If you do preventative care, you will be much healthier and less likely to get the nasties that are going around. Normally I take my elderberry syrup daily from September on through to March and I rarely get a cold or if I do it is short and sweet.
W-E-L-L…..I said normally right?
I did not take my elderberry everyday, I got busy, I forgot yada yada yada. Sigh and now I am paying for it. All weekend I have been congested and feeling crappy but I am doing better today with a few tricks of the trade. IF I take it easy this week, I will be just fine. Let me share with you some helpful tips and recipes. 🙂
Why does our immune system get weak? It is not just from the germies. Environment, weather, stress, lack of sleep, bad eating habits can all play a part in wreaking havoc on our systems.
How Do We Fix This?
- Simplify lifestyle – learn to say NO
- Do something you enjoy
- Go outside in nature 4-6 minutes a day, at least!!
- Go to bed an hour earlier to recharge
- Make good food choices – whole foods, real food
- NO fast food or packaged foods with ingredients you cannot pronounce
- Meal plan a few days in advance and freeze some meals for a quick meal night.
- Drink nourishing and restorative beverages: warm teas, mushroom drinks, broths, green drink
- Immunomodulatory Herbs
Immuno – what? Alright, I am going to geek out you for just a second.
Herbal immunomodulators are herbs that can be used long term to tonify and support the immune system. Herbs such as astragalus, eleuthero, shiitake, turkey tail and many wild mushrooms facilitate greater immune system flexibility in the body’s natural response to disease.
These herbs act slower than immunostimulant herbs. An example of an immunostimulant is Echinacea which is used at the onset of illness.
3 Hot teas come to mind when it is flu season whether you are sick or not.
Holy Basil/Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum is a Life Medicine, Adaptogen, Anti-inflammatory, Expectorant. Drink this tea regularly, 1-2 cups a day, to help your body respond to long term stress. Reduces cortisol and adrenaline levels.
Immune Tea – you can find it in my Etsy Store or the recipe HERE. This tea is full of herbal goodness to help put a force field around you, it is a super hero! I have an alternate version coming shortly with mushrooms added. Here are the herbs in the tea:
- Holy Basil, explained above.
- Stinging Nettle a nutritional powerhouse and an anti-inflammatory
- Oat Straw is nourishing and can help frazzled nerves
- Lemon Balm is a tasty addition and an anti-viral
- Astragalus to support immune function, especially for one that gets frequent colds
- Mullein for lung support, anti-inflammatory for all respiratory conditions
- Licorice nourishing, soothing to the throat and mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract **If you have hypertension, be cautious using licorice**
- Ginger a warming stimulant, anti-inflammatory and tummy soother
- Cinnamon is a warming herb that is stimulating to the circulatory system and soothing for the digestive system
Throat Coat Tea by Traditional Medicinals
I keep a box of this tea around because it is so soothing to a sore throat, even if you just have that tickle in the throat or you have lost your voice. It contains licorice root, marshmallow root, slippery elm, wild cherry bark, cinnamon, fennel, orange. Yum!
Back to that Elderberry Syrup! You can buy Sambucol at the grocery store and spend a crazy amount of money OR make your own. It is so easy, if you can boil water, you can make this syrup, I promise.
Here is the recipe that I use and if you REALLY need help, I put together some little Elderberry Kits that include the berries, cloves, cinnamon, ginger all measured out.
- 1/2 cup dried organic elderberries
- 3 cups water, non chlorinated
- 1-2 organic cinnamon sticks
- 3 whole organic cloves
- 1/4 tsp organic fresh grated ginger
- 1 cup raw honey
Place berries, spices and water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and simmer 20-30 minutes.
Simmer until liquid looks like it has reduced to about half. Smash berries down with a potato masher.
Strain mixture through a cheesecloth or muslin cloth, be careful since it is really hot! You can let it cool a bit first.
Measure how much liquid you have. Ideally it will be 2 cups or a little less. Add the 1 cup of honey and stir until honey is incorporated. If needed, heat slightly to mix.
Cool and refrigerate for up to 3 months. Take 1 Tablespoon daily for a preventative or 1 teaspoon 3-4x/day when sick. Children take less.
More Immune Goodness coming throughout the week! Please share with your friends and I LOVE comments!!!