It’s the time of year where we go into dark cold days and retreat to our warm houses wrapping ourselves in our favorite blankets. Winter is notorious for colds and flu’s as well as mental tensions. With the holidays approaching it can be a very stressful time and take a toll on our bodies. Seasonal affective disorder is also very prevalent which can create acute depression symptoms and feelings of low energy and trouble sleeping. Since physical and mental health go hand in hand taking care of ourselves needs a bit more attention. When we have a cold we don’t feel mentally well (drained, tired, unmotivated) and when we don’t feel mentally well we are more susceptible to having pathogens enter through the body and have a harder time combating them.
Instead of surviving the winter let’s be thriving, healthy and happy.
- Echinacea- stimulates certain white blood cells that fight bacterial infections. Has alkyamides which aid in the immune system resolving inner conflict. Echinacea also has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used as an antioxidant to hinder the growth of cancerous cells. Can be taken orally in capsules or tincture form when you feel a cold coming on or take as a preventative measure.
- Garlic-super food and super herb for preventing bacterial infections, enhances immune function, lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, heals the skin etc. Garlic contains a volatile oil called allicin which is released when crushed or chopped. To get the medicinal properties do not saute, eat it raw in salad dressing, do a garlic shot or take in a capsule form daily.
- Rosehip- Is preventive for colds and flu’s as well as boosting the immune system. Contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidant components but the primary benefit is that it is packed full of vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for the growth and repair of tissue, absorption of iron and immune function. Rosehip is most commonly available as a tea.
- Lemon Balm (Melissa)- Hailing from the peppermint family Melissa is known as “The Nectar of Life,” it’s sweet smell helps balance emotions. Lemon balm also cools the digestive tract and over time restores the nervous system. Diffuse melissa/lemon balm essential oil in your home for a calming affect to combat feelings of depression and anxiety; it can also help reduce insomnia.
- Lavender-One of the most soothing herbs. Lavender can help clear depression, relieve stress related head aches, repair the nervous system and create a calming affect for a peaceful sleep. Lavender can be used many ways, the essential oil is great in baths and adding to coconut oil for a moisturizing massage. Can also be consumed as a tea.
Hope you enjoyed the first of many installments of #helpfulherbs and try a few of the natural medicines the earth has to offer. Always follow the correct dosage or consult an ND if needed when trying new herbs.
Weekly affirmations: I am healthy physically and mentally, I give myself the space to rest and recharge. I love my body and commit to nourishing it with healthy and healing plant medicine.