This year’s cold and flu season has been hard: leaving almost everyone I know with some nasty coughs and and fevers and aches that just last and last and last. I’m a little late with this post (like with most things in life, but I’m learning to accept my nature), but I wanted to share some new tips about how to stay well when your immune system is under attack and some formulas that Compass Rose offers to help support the strength of your own body’s defenses.
But first, do you already have practices you do to ward off sickness when it seems to be around every corner? Because I’m all about medicine of the people, by the people, here’s some preventative tips for this sick time of year.
1. Get plenty of sleep. Often the simplest remedies are the best. We need that time for our body to repair tissues and remove wastes. We need to recover from the stress that is living in this world in order to be as well as we can be. If you can, nap or spend a couple of extra hours in bed resting before you are so sick that you have to.
2. Eat lots of soup. Grandmas are usually right about such things. Overuse of antibiotics is stirring up all sorts of mess in our world, but Jewish Penicillin (Chicken Soup) never goes out of style.
3. Load up your food with goodies from your spice cabinet. In Chinese Medicine, most spices are considered “pungent,” including pepper, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, etc. Colds and flus are typically due to wind invading the body, getting trapped in our exterior (read: first line of defense). Pungent foods open up the exterior of our bodies and allow us to get rid of that wind that is blocking our defenses and making us sick. Sometimes they help us literally sweat it out. One way to get lots of pungent foods in your body is Immunity Chai (see below) or Fire Cider (a traditional herbal remedy currently the center of copyright controversy– so by making some right now, you are participating in the long tradition of home herbalism as resistance to the medical industrial complex. Check out this recipe here.)
4. Eat Probiotics. It might be counterintuitive to ingest bacteria when you are trying to keep the sick-causing ones away, but our bodies are complex and marvelous ecosystems that function symbiotically with all sorts of creepy-crawly living things. When that living ecosystem is in balance, we are more able keep our self in the realm of wellness, even when kids are wiping their snotty hands on ours or we are on the bus for too long with sneezing people or just everyone around us is sick and it feels like no matter how hard we try we will succumb. Simply, it’s like the whole parking lot is filled up with good bacteria, so there are no spaces left for the harmful bacteria to hang out. Try miso soup (if you add garlic and ginger, you have accomplished suggestions 2, 3, and 4 with one yummy dish) or yogurt or sauerkraut or kombucha or probiotic pills.
I could write a lot more about our immune system, how it’s less like a defensive wall and some sort of battle between “good” and “evil” and more like a web or a network that both distinguishes us from the rest of the world and connects us to it, but that’s for another time.
Whatever you do that makes you feel stronger and more well is always the right thing to do. So trust yourself and take good care!
When I feel like I might be coming down with something, I load myself up with herbs to support my body’s own ability to keep itself well. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to order any of my favorite immune-supporting blends to help keep you and yours well!
Immunity Chai Tea: Support your natural defenses against colds, flus, and whatever else is going around with this yummy immune-supporting blend. Echinacea root and leaf, Cinnamon, Cardamon, Cloves, Ginger, and Black Peppercorns.
Thieves Oil Spray: First used by graverobbers during the time of the Bubonic Plague, this spray has been used for centuries to stop the spread of germs and infections. Spray on yourself or around your home, workspace, or car to keep the sick away. Clove, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon, and Rosemary Essential Oils at 2% dilution.
Stay Well Immune Defense: This formula helps to prevent or fight colds and flus. Necessary for teachers, parents, healthcare worker, those prone to catching everything that comes along. Echinacea, Osha, Elderberry, Ginger