Staying healthy with the Seasons

Here’s a to-do list instead for cold and flu season.

First the difference: Cold vs. Flu

You can get a cold or flu any time of the year but fall and winter tend to be the time we can suffer the most. Yes, it is because we are inside more, in close contact with other people and often breathing dry, less than fresh air.

Cold Symptoms

Colds tend to start with sore throats, stuffy noses, cough and congestion. It lasts about 1-2 weeks, goes from clear discharges to colored mucus, and may leave us with a residual cough, especially if we are always indoors breathing dry, less than clear fresh air.

Flu Symptoms

The flus we think about in winter, may start and look like a cold, but usually have a fever and muscle aches, which may be severe or mild.

Conventional Medicine has symptom relief suggestions only. The flu vaccine was developed, as is true of most vaccines, because we have no “cure” for it. This is not a blog about vaccines, which I am happy to do, if requested in the future, so I leave the choice of a vaccine up to you.


Remember that 75% of all mortality and morbidity could be improved/eliminated with focus on the basics.

  • Make sure to get enough sleep
  • Eat good deep nourishing foods such as soups and stews,
  • Drink plenty of fluids, room temperature or teas
  • Get outside everyday
  • Get lots of hugs and kisses 🙂
  • Get some good spices in your food every day, like ginger and cinnamon.
  • Eat lots of root veggies, like beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips and cooked greens.
  • Make sure you have plenty of good fats in your diet, cold fresh water fish if you eat it, flax, chia, evening primrose, walnut, grape seed , hemp – as seeds or oils.
  • We need more fat in the winter.
  • Moisten, moisten, moisten – fluids, foods, showers, steams, nasal sprays, baths.
  • Wash your hands – do not use antibacterial soap – these are viruses.
  • Take something for supporting your immune system to stay balanced
    – the foods I suggested are already doing that.
  • Think about mushrooms, yes eating any kind is great.
  • An herbal supplement might be reishi (a mushroom), astragalus, or elderberry.
  • I love Herbs for Kids brand for all ages for good organic alcohol free liquids.
  • I love Fungi Perfecti and New Chapter brands for mushrooms.
  • Local honey – the less processed the better – is the best immune support.

Homeopathic/Herbal Remedies for the Flu

Usually a particular homeopathic remedy comes up for the way the flu is presenting each year. I have not got that info yet but there are tried and true remedies.

  • First Oscillicoccicum by Boiron works for many people.
    – A few pellets at the first sign and repeat once if no improvement or worsening symptoms.
    – If you feel better or stable please wait to take any more.
  • Belladonna is for fever with flushed skin and not wanting to be jarred.
  • Aconitum Napellus Is for sudden onset of symptoms with fear.
  • My favorite remedy for the flu is boneset herb
    – taken at the first sign 5-10 drops every hour as needed, it seems to work great.
    – It is also available as a homeopathic Eupatorium Perfoliatum for that really achy flu.
  • Also elderberry flower tea or bath is marvelous.
  • Horseradish, Garlic, and Onion steeping in vinegar works great. Put some local honey in the mix.


Remember most of these illnesses last 1-2 weeks and part of its benefit is to make us take a break, think about how we are eating, drinking, and sleeping, and helps to strengthen our immune system. Vaccines don’t do that. They are a quick fix and short-term relief so we can continue to eat crap, work 60 hours a week, and survive without hugs and kisses. Be well but also get sick at times. We need to exercise our immune system just like we need to exercise every other system in our body to keep it health and toned for life and health.
Love life, look at the stars, enjoy the sunrise, kiss and hug a friend, breathe. This is the way to health.

Preparing for Winter

Preparing for Winter

Here are suggestions for a first aid kit for winter use

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. Gentle stretching, tai chi, walks or yoga – keep things moving and circulating

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.


Sneezels and Wheezels

The rites of spring include lots of bloom and that means pollen and for some of us, itchy eyes, ears, nose and/or throat, coughing and sneezing, fatigue and feeling foggy brained. What is a person to do so they can enjoy the season and not dread it?

Herbs and Homeopathy to the rescue, to nourish and support and not just suppress like conventional medicine does. Everyone is a unique person and will probably need a unique combination of supports for them to clear it permanently but these are good, safe things to do. Start low and go slow. Anyone can react to anything. If in doubt, stop.

  1. Diet: spring greens are here for many reasons but most important is to get some bitters into us, which stimulate digestive enzymes and help us to process everything better and help us clear out the old and get on with life anew. This particularly includes dandelion, arugula, garlic mustard, chickweed, and whatever your local organic market/farm offers.
  2. Nettle leaf. This is a wonderful spring green but can also be used as a tea or taken as a tincture (liquid extract- glycerin, vinegar, or alcohol). It is the best herb I know for allergies, arthritis, immunity, and nutrition, all rolled into one. It helps to support your vital force/constitution and thus supports homeostasis (balance within).
  3. Vitamin C with bioflavonoid, in particular quercetin, which should be taken twice a day and you do not need bromelain with it. The best way to get this is eating fruit with skin, citrus with some of the peel, or juicing whole fruits (skin and all). This is for nourishing the tissues and keeping them stable and balanced. Having a bit of zinc, which also helps to balance, in food or if needed in supplement form, complements the C family.
  4. Learn to fully breathe. You need to be able to use your nose to do this and you need to breathe out as fully as you breathe in. Clearing out the old, letting in the new. If you don’t know how to breathe like this, do a yoga class, see and others. Abby who is at this website does not just do pregnancy yoga. Use a netti pot or salt water nose drops. If normal saline is not working try hypertonic saline, also available.
  5. Read about the following remedies: Allicum cepia: you feel like you have just peeled an onion- sneezing, watery eyes, etc., Euphrasia: lots of watery discharge from nose and eyes and cough with post nasal drip mucus during day with fewer symptoms at night, Silicea more itchy symptoms but also feeling low, or Nux Vomica more itchy symptoms but irritable/angry about them.
  6. Showers and baths to cleanse and restore. If you cannot get in the tub, then wash face and hands well, wet hair slightly and blow your nose. Do some good deep breathing. Clearing and restoring.
  7. Next year start in mid March as a preventive and if you have fall allergies begin by mid July. In time and finding the right mix special for you, you should be off of these items more than you need to take them.
  8. Embrace spring. If you see it as the enemy, you will continue to remain out of balance with nature.
  9. When the air is clear and free of things you react to, open the windows, lie in the grass, breathe in and out and embrace her (nature that is), and you will be able to return to balance.