Nature's apothecary is by far our most potent ally.
It is so important for our bodies to be as healthy and vital as possible and for us to support and nurture a healthy nervous system and, in particular, during any flu season, our immune systems need to be firing on all cylinders. So for all of us, there are some key things we can to do help our immunity. Some simple things include a good nights sleep, washing our hands regularly and using an alcohol-based rub (effective hand washing is, according to the World Health Organisation, by far the best deterrent/protection going), avoiding stressful/fear inducing situations, being a peaceful, calm, relaxed centre, cultivating stillness and space to integrate new experiences, eating healthily (plenty of Vitamin C rich fresh fruit and vegetables including some raw), drinking lots of fluids and exercising regularly.
Trust your inner-sense, your body wisdom and your intuition about what works for you (or not). This applies to what you do, the food you eat, how you eat and any natural remedies you choose. This is the way you can feel empowered to stay well. Listen to your body. With practice you'll start to hear a clear "yes" or a "no" to what feels good. Most importantly, if you choose the pharmaceutical route for supporting yourself, make sure your body gives you that "yes". It can be very easy for us to give our power away to others (medical professionals and the like) so really tune in to your body and have the confidence that it knows the score and knows what is good for your unique form. No-one knows your body better than you.
Here are some ideas for you to explore. Really check in with how your body feels about these on your path to empowering your personal health and vitality:
- Up zinc intake as zinc supports a healthy immune system. We can do this by eating foods rich in zinc like lentils, chick peas, beans, nuts, eggs and shellfish. As Hippocrates said, "let food be thy medicine, let medicine be thy food".
- Nature's apothecary is by far our most potent ally. Garlic - both wild and bulb garlic - are easy to include in meals and salads. Garlic has been known for thousands of years for its medicinal virtues. I get excited at this time of year as the Wild Garlic shoots appear and want to be picked. I like to express gratitude to the plant for its gifts as I pick the leaves that might make a wild garlic pesto or find their way into hummus.
- Apple Cider Vinegar has been used for centuries can be used in all sorts of ways in our diet and home medicinal cabinet due to it's antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.
- Drink herbal teas. I forage for all kinds of leaves for teas. The dried needles from our wonderful tree companion, the Douglas Fir (the trees happily gift us their needles - they're in the above image but message me if you'd like more information as to how to identify them) make a soothing, delightful tea that, when steeped in freshly boiled water, is not only refreshing, it supports the immune system for colds, flu and infections as well as the circulation, respiratory and nervous systems and it is also great for yoga and meditation as it supports opening and elevating whilst being grounding; or you might experiment with making plant based milk (I'd avoid dairy) lattes with turmeric; ginger, black pepper and honey (has antiviral properties). Nettle and dandelion are easy to find almost on our doorsteps for teas and tinctures. Use leaves fresh or even better (and more intense flavour) if dried.
- Use essential oils such as cinnamon, eucalyptus, geranium, lemon, tea tree, thyme, oregano, peppermint, clove. You can use these in a room diffuser, mix with carrier oil for massage or steam inhalation. You can even bring back the idea of a cloth hankie impregnated with one of these antimicrobial oils.
Here's an article specifically about empowering ourselves to stay well in connection to the Corona Virus (Covid 19) with more advice about how we can naturally stay in good health as this situation unfolds.