The season of cough's and colds is now well underway, the unfortunate and rather ugly side of a beautiful season. I have had a couple of colds already, and I KNOW I am not resting enough. I am a constant potterer with a busy mind and am also trying to push work as much as I can before Christmas. But i'm also 6 months pregnant and tired and simply need to make time to rest. I sat down last week with Dave and literally wrote out a rest plan, because if there is a plan with a check list, I have a good chance of adhering to it, anyone else like that?! Scheduling specific time to rest and relax, eating super healthy food and stocking my cupboards with some remedies are all on that list. My elderberry syrup, made to Natasha's recipe, has already been used regularly. The below guest post is full of so much helpful info that I thought I would re share it from last year. It's written by my talented herbalist friend Natasha, aka Forage Botanicals. Enjoy, friends!
Over to Natasha:
This is certainly the season for colds. In the Apothecary I work in in Faversham we’ve already seen the expected influx in requests for immune-enhancing remedies. An unfortunate side-effect to an otherwise beautiful season. My personal favourite in fact.
As a Herbalist I always look to treat the cause of any illness. Despite what you might think, it’s rarely that bloke on the train that sneezed on you’s fault. Your ability to get sick is actually down to something a little closer to home. Your immune system.
That’s not to say you did something wrong but simply that it’s your own lowered immunity that made you come down with the cold, rather than the virus, per se. Otherwise everyone that had been on the train with you that day would be feeling just as bad as you. And they aren’t. Rubbish, I know.
So what gives us this lowered immunity? Well, lots of things. It could be how you were born, what you eat, how stressed you are, how good your parents immunity was, all sorts. Some of these things we can change and others we can’t. Here are my 5 top tips for avoiding colds this Autumn:
1. Rest and Relax. As much as you work and look after your kids and socialise it’s just as important to put your feet up and relax. Always be sure to schedule this into your week/month if you want to avoid getting ill. Wouldn’t you say this is more efficient than having to take some days off work and catch up later?
2. Garlic. Have a raw clove of garlic on buttered toast every morning and you’ll be keeping most viruses, and people, away!
3. Elderberry. You won’t find these in the supermarket but you can forage for them easily enough. Try making a syrup with these, everyone will enjoy it! You can have a teaspoon every day to prevent infections and have it up to 5 times a day whilst you’re sick. (Be sure to pick only black berries and discard any green bits). Blackberries are a decent alternative and you can just chuck a handful of them in a smoothie.
4. Echinacea. This is a herb native to North America but it’s so famous that you’ll find it in the herbal section of every pharmacy now. It’s great taken when you feel like you’re coming down with something and it’s also useful for shortening the life of colds once you’ve got them. Take 3-5ml of tincture each day to prevent something and take 5ml up to 5 times a day if you’ve come down with something.
5. Honey and Lemon. Probably my favourite remedy. I’m quite the collector of Honey and I would rate a local raw honey over and above a manuka any day of the week! Although Manuka honey is heavily regulated to include only honey from the manuka tree no one has shown it to be more medicinally effective than raw honey. In fact, it’s thought by some that the variety in raw honey makes it superior to manuka. Honey and lemon are a great combo for getting rid of a cold but I also have a cup every day when I think I’m coming down with something. It’s especially good for sore throats. Way better than lemsip. I usually add a teaspoon of honey, half the juice of a lemon and a little sprinkling of bee pollen if I’m feeling posh that day.
We’d love to see your images of the remedies you’re using to stay well with Autumn. Tag @ForageBotanica in your images on twitter or @ForageBotanicals on instagram.
Natasha has a free guide to cold and flu remedies here.