As we transition to the colder, darker time of the year, spending more time indoors and in more congested spaces, we all need to prepare, so we can prevent or easily keep ourselves more comfortable going through common winter ills. Don’t forget the immune system needs some exercise to stay healthy so it is not good to never be sick. It is how we handle an illness that is important. Winter is also the time to quiet our activities and go within to rest and restore after the busy, hot weather time of the year, when our energy is up and activity seems constant and intense.
Your kitchen should be where we begin our preparation. Soups and stews, cooked not raw foods will keep you healthy and your system running with the seasons. Spices are good for warming, nourishing and healing. Turmeric is for digestive and musculoskeletal health. Ginger is for sinus, respiratory, and digestive health. Mints are for respiratory and digestive well-being. Cayenne is for all of the above and you can add a bit to your socks or mittens if you get cold hands and /or feet. These warming, stimulating herbs/spices are also good for Seasonal Affective Disorders, which we all suffer from by the end of the dark days of winter. Make sure you have lots of oil; yes fats are great, good for lubricating our joints, nourishing dry skin and supporting our immune system and our neuroendocrine system. Coconut oil is great as it has a high burn point so it is good for cooking, neutral taste so it can be used with almost any food, nourishes our skin taken orally or using topically and even keeps our vagina moist and juicy!! Olive oil is good for keeping our body moist and our food even more nourishing for us. Flax and hemp are good for the omegas and can also be used in seed form. Don’t forget castor oil; not for internal use but will help topically when used with heat to relax a muscle spasm, release gas, and open stiff joints. Don’t forget to put some oil in your bath water to make you feel soft and luscious.
Other herbs and homeopathic remedies for winter ills:
Stomach viruses – vomiting, diarrhea, nausea
- ginger, mint, chamomile
- Traditional Medicinal™ – Throat Coat Tea,
- Probiotic after each diarrhea
- Arsenicum Album 30c as needed
Cold, congestion, cough
- Ginger, mint, a pinch of Cayenne in everything, Turmeric, Curries, horseradish, honey
- TM teas such as Gypsy Cold Care
- Herbs for Kids- Minty Ginger, Viral Mix, Cherry Bark Blend or Horehound, with a Sore Throat – Herb Pharm- Echinacea Propolis Spray works great
- As above, TM Throat Coat Tea, and of course salt water gargles – put the salt in a strong Echinacea tea – gargle
- Fever and Muscle Aches, not cold symptoms with fever
- Oscillicoccinum – by Boiron – you only need to take a few of the pellets, not the whole tube – you can also take if you know it is in your school, office, etc as a preventive.
- Herbally, I swear by Boneset- Eupatorium Perforatum- in a liquid herb form
- Still feeling run down – try the spices from the kitchen
- medicine information or homeopathic Gelsemium 30c, Herbs for Kids- Echinacea- Astragalus
- Arnica 30c as needed for overdoing or possible sprain/strain, if helping but not gone, follow with Bryonia or Ruta.
- All these benefit from a 10 min. ice massage.
- If worse the morning after and better once you get moving or with heat- try Rhus Tox. 30c
- Topically Traumeel
- Don’t forget your fats/oils
If you need instructions/or just for cabin fever- consider YouTube
For general support:
- keep herbs known as adaptogens in your kit:
Astragalis, Nettle, Ashwaganda are my favorites
Nettle is the most nourishing and great for achy stiff joints and muscles, for winter allergies (dust mites and molds are the most common), and helps winter hair, skin and nail issues.
- Keep your house moisture at 40-45%
- If you have forced hot air heat, keep the heat ducts clean and filters replaced
- Make mulled cider, a great spicy warming support
- Make Traditional Fire Cider:
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar in a jar with chopped up garlic, onion, ginger, horseradish with a hot pepper if desired. Put a lid on it and shake each day for at least two weeks. Strain out herbs and put in the freezer to later add to soup. Take a swig of the vinegar at the first sign of an illness. If the vinegar is too much, you can add local raw honey to taste, which is even more medicinal as it is specific for local illnesses.
- Don’t forget to get good sleep, lots of good hugs and kisses, and smile. Get out in the sun every day and breathe deeply in and OUT.
HAVE A GREAT WINTER,