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.

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.

Medical Foods

Yes, this is an actual entity. A food put together by medicine because you cannot find it in nature. Wow! So initially this was introduced under the FDA to include mixes that were put together for special diseases or special situations, like kidney failure and mixes needed for people on dialysis or people who needed to be fed concentrated mixes through a feeding tube. All of this requires medical supervision.

Now it is being expanded and companies are producing mixes of substances for instance, for Alzheimer’s disease.  Are these foods or drugs? That is the question to me.

My concern is that medicine is so far removed from nature and real food that I don’t think they even tried taking the first step which to me is hanging out with food and really experiencing it and embracing it. Most diseases we know are improved by diet changes, yet medicine has only paid lip service to this concept and jumps quickly to drugs, as food can never be enough.

I would love to see the following:

  1. Anyone who wants to practice in the health care field must take a true nutrition course that includes information and actual eating of foods representing the variety of diets that exist in this diverse world. Maybe we could pay restaurants and/or grandmothers to be part of the curriculum. I really enjoyed studying at the Natural Gourmet Institute ( run by Annemarie Colbin and taking classes with someone like Edward Espe Brown who wrote the Tassajara Cook Book (“How to Cook Your Life” Trailer).
  2. The first instruction to a patient or patient’s family would be label reading.  The most important ingredients are the first three. Read all the ingredients, including inert. If you don’t know what it is, put the food back.
  3. Take time to eat. Chew each bite and enjoy the texture, flavor, and smells. Do not eat at your desk at lunch with your computer or smart phone on, etc., etc., etc.
  4. Be with someone as often as you can when you eat.
  5. Thank the food and all those who helped it to come to your palate.
  6. Read a book or article about some kind of food that is new to you and try it.
  7. Love your water.
  8. Smile with satisfaction.
  9. Yes, even note with satisfaction those lovely bowel movements that complete the process.

All this is nourishing with food. Some of these things we can enjoy even when we must eat from a can or through a tube. Those around us can help us be with our food in a better way.