Preparing for Winter
Here are suggestions for a first aid kit for winter use
- Fire cider which is made by families throughout the USA and really introduced by Rosemary Gladstar – the ultimate herbalist – is traditionally made by chopping up ginger, garlic and horseradish with some cayenne in apple cider vinegar- allow to steep for 2-4 weeks. Take a sip/teaspoonful when you started feeling off. If you must you can add local honey, not imported, to make it sweet for you or your children. Fine for all ages, EXCEPT UNDER ONE YEAR. You can strain off the herbs and eat them or use them in cooked dishes.
- Honey – local – good for keeping mucus moving and thin, good for general immune support, settles the tummy, and can be put on cuts or burns. It should be local and raw. Good for all ages over age one. You can steep just about any herb you would like your family to eat. Warm the honey slightly in a warm oven and place the herb in the honey so it all steeps together in the oven for at least an hour.
- Essential oils are great for loosening congestion/ coughs- thyme, stopping a cough at night- Vicks® with eucalyptus on the bottoms of your feet, calming and for headaches- lavender, easing achy/sore muscles- rosemary, for example. Put a few drops in your favorite oil and massage into the troubling areas.
- Herbs for aching in the muscles and bones with fever is often helped by Rosemary in the bathwater or Boneset- eupatorium perforatum- can be used herbally or in homeopathic form. Gelsemium homeopathic remedy for dull, dopey, and droopy feeling.
- Herbs for keeping you healthy and helping with indoor reactivity to life physically or emotionally at this gray time of the year, think nettle leaf, St. Johns wort, or bacopa leaf. The last two will keep your moods more even and interpersonal interactions more level if this is an issue for you around the holidays.
- Water therapy is very helpful this time of the year. Bathe with your favorite essential oil or bath salts for congestion, dryness, and achiness. Teas and soups with warming spices like cayenne, cinnamon, thyme, rosemary, ginger and sage are great water therapy, as is a steam or shower. Foot baths are also great.Yogi tea has many choices and can be put in a bath or steam as well as making a great warming tea. Bone soup is particularly needed this time of the year. But the most important are root vegetables to warm and nourish the core, with a bit of kombu and/or miso for the extra deep support.
- PLEASE no detoxing or cleansing until spring. In a previous blog post I spoke of being part of nature, not the controller or owner. Please pause and be thoughtful. We are part of the cycles of life and we need to respect and cherish this. Winter is time to go inward, to reflect and nourish gently. Spring is for cleansing. The winter ills are doing the cleansing that is appropriate- that is what coughs, mucus, fevers, and baths and sleep are. If you feel there is really something wrong that you need to fix, you are still caught in the medical philosophy of drugs, and vaccines and outside intervention by medical personnel. Look within. Sit with it. Why do you need to go through this experience that you just want to cleanse out.
- Here are some homeopathic remedies:
- Pulsatilla – congestion, may be yellow, stomach ache and needing you
- Nux Vomica – the same, but grumpy rather than weepy
- Bryonia – dry cough with tickle, headaches, pain in chest with cough
- Antimonium Tartaricum – rattly cough
- Belladonna – fever with flushed face/limbs
- Aconitum Napellus – sudden fever, hysteria, panic
- Arnica Montana – physical injury, overdoing with the snow shovel
Notice that I have used no medical terms in this blog – this is the best way to help yourself this winter. What is bothering you? Describe it. That allows you to know if you need heat or cold, moist or dry, sleep or activity. Listen. Let your body teach you. NO books or websites or practitioners can do this as well as your own body.
Enjoy the winter – breath in the fresh air, make a snow angel, smile at the cardinal in the snow, and hug your friends, family, and a stranger. Share.