Let’s work together to build your Home Health “Medicine Chest”

As I have been preparing for a trip to CA for my daughter, Lily’s, wedding I was thinking about my home and travel natural medicine apothecary, which is an eclectic mix of herbs, teas, essential oils, supplements, homeopathy and topicals. I love the idea that I have this “toolbox” that can prevent and treat common imbalances, pathogens, and accidents, so that they don’t turn into emergencies; or stabilize a situation before seeking more triage-oriented care. And, I would love to share some of these strategies with you, such as:

  • Spices that can help with respiratory support steams
  • Elderberry syrup – make your own to prepare for the winter cold and flu system
  • Simple teas to soothe a fussy feverish child
  • Assessing, evaluating and treating home falls and accidents
  • What herbal capsules, powders and teas are my must-haves

As we lean into the fall return to work, school, and activities, viruses and pathogens abound as they always have. The internet stokes fears and worries. So, take a breath first… nothing good happens when we are anxious and confused. Then there is the elephant in the room, BA. 5, which is antigenically different than the other versions of COVID-19 and therefore, vaccination and previous immunity makes less of a difference in preventing transmission and infection!!!!

But, Your Innate Immune’s System “has your back”

Your body has what seems to be a miracle working 24/7 to keep you healthy and well…the Innate Immune system. What can we do to give it a little extra love at this time of the year?
Here are 5 tips of things you can do right now to support immunity:

Vitamin D3 is “money in the bank” for the immune system; or “Let the sun shine in”

Common sense is uncommon, but now we have “scientific research” to support what we suspected all along, that this hormone, Vitamin D3, which supports the digestive system, immune health, mood and bone density is a key part of the arsenal to prevent getting super sick with viruses, including COVID. Check out this study that shows a 10X increase in negative outcomes in the Vitamin D3 deficient patients presenting to the hospital with a covid-19 diagnosis: (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/02/220203161135.htm)

In addition, a recent study tracks latitude and Covid-19 case count to show that as sunlight diminishes, case counts increase! Check out this link to the study: The autumn COVID-19 surge dates in Europe are linked to latitudes and not to temperature, nor to humidity, pointing vitamin D as a contributing factor. So, grab the sun now while you can, as summer winds down all too fast (as we can not get any Vitamin D3 from the sun between November and March). A supplement safe dose is 5000 IUs for most adults (unless severely deficient); and 1000 IUs for most children 3 to 12 years old.

Test your levels: Now it a great time to get your Vitamin D3 levels tested through simple inexpensive blood spot tests through Everlywell or Quest Direct. Your levels at the end of the summer are going to be the highest for the year. If they are under 60 ng/ml, Vitamin D3 supplementation is inexpensive so it is ‘money in the bank” to allow you to stay active during the seasonal transition!
Food sources of Vitamin D3 include fatty fish (sardines, wild salmon, herrings), cod Liver oil, pasteurized eggs (from chickens that eat beneficial microbes), and mushrooms.

Using water as an Immune Boost – How simple!

When you feel that your immune system is struggling one of the easiest and least expensive ways to boost it is with 20 minutes with your feet in hot water (101 degrees F- maintained there); and then a minute in an ice bath. Or finish your shower in cold, alternating 3 minutes of steaming hot followed by 30 seconds of freezing cold – 3 times. Simple hydrotherapy activates profound immune system changes. Steaming is another great use of water: put a pot of boiling water (add the spice rosemary and or thyme), remove from the stove, tent yourself off and on for 5 to 10 minutes, inhaling this anti-microbial steam). If you have these plants in the garden bring them in for the Winter.

Elderberry extracts or juice – a yummy way to keep immunity high

Elderberry has proven again and again to be a super star in preventing viral attachment to the cell; Like all purple red berries it is rich in anthocyanins which support the endothelial lining of the capillaries and vessels. Biota makes a wonderful juice (as does “Fat Apple Shots” a local New England company). Gaia herbs products are all amazing as to sourcing, quality and sustainability.
Check out this link to assess key supplements in my immune apothecary with Fullscript which you can order directly from.

Sleep #therealhealthinsurance

A good night’s sleep between 8 and 9 hours is essential for immune health and at the seasonal change, when we have so much to do, it may fall by the way side.

Eat lots of veggies and say goodbye to added sugars and alcohol.

Veggies are loaded with nutrients and have been shown to decrease severity of covid. They are rich in flavonoids and are the reason quercetin as a supplement is a powerful for long-haul Covid and Covid treatment (Check out my blog on Quercetin). It is impossible to count all the ways that veggies are great for the innate immune system….

  • Raw garlic cloves. (Chop or crush a clove a day and let it sit for 15 minutes; and then eat it with a spoonful of apple sauce or honey). Garlic contains allicin, which directly helps to fight infections.
  • Medicinal mushrooms, such as shitake, reishi, cordyceps, turkey tail, maitake, all of which are rich in beta-glucans, polysaccharides supporting the basic defenses of the immune system.
  • Spices, such as thyme, oregano, ginger, sage, rosemary, and turmeric. These are all great in soups which can be made to be nutrient dense. Grandma’s chicken soup can truly cure a cold.
  • Apples. Their skin quercetin, a powerful component in most vegetables and fruits, that supports health by lowering inflammation. Apples are also a great source of fiber.
  • Onions. They’re high in immune-supporting nutrients such as zinc, selenium and quercetin. They also contain sulfur compounds, which help to detoxify the body. The are also pre-biotics, food for the probiotics.
  • Lemons. High in antioxidants such as vitamin C. Start the day with a warm cup of lemon water.

Watch for a promotion through Fullscript from August 23-24th to order doctor-grade supplements such as Vitamin D, Elderberry and Zinc at a discounted price. Here is the link to some of my favorite immune boosting supplements.

Join me for this event on Building Your Fall Apothecary on Thursday, October 13th from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. It’s $25 to sign-up on Eventbrite and includes a 1 ounce of Passiflora “Fight Those Germs” Tea.

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