Maybe I need to knock on wood before I say this, but I've never had a flu shot before and I never intend to get one. Charge it to some of the research I've done, coupled with being breastfed as a baby (you'll be AMAZED what it does for a person's immune system, even as adults!), I've just never seen the need or had the desire.
That's not to say that I don't know that with the cold weather comes the need to ramp up my immune system. It's just that personally, I'd prefer to go the holistic route... And the following seven herbs? They always hold me down.
If you want to get your body "wintertime ready" but you'd prefer to not go the traditional medicine route, I can personally vouch for these herbs being just what you need to get through the winter season, and the rest of the year too!
If you're particularly susceptible to colds during the winter months, get yourself some thyme essential oil and some thyme tea. They both contain Vitamin C along with antibacterial and antioxidant properties that are able to boost your mood and strengthen your immunity.
Also, if you have an irritating cough and you drink some thyme tea, it will suppress it within a couple of hours. Thyme also has a reputation for alleviating mild bronchitis symptoms.
Tip: You can grow thyme in your house and use it to give your immune system a much-needed boost.
If the flu shot is something you'd rather bypass this year, stock up on some elderberry. It's an herb that contains anthocyanidins, which are chemical compounds that help to make flu symptoms short-lived and much more bearable. Oh, and if you're someone who always seems to get a sinus infection during the winter season, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in elderberry can make those symptoms less of an issue for you too.
Tip: I recommend making some of your own elderberry syrup for the best results.
Here's something you may not know. If no matter what you do, you can never seem to get warm (especially during winter time), it could be because you have dampness in your body. If you Google that topic, you'll see tons of links on how damp weather can lead to damp-related symptoms like loose stools, head fogginess, and phlegm.
Something that can fight this kind of health ailment is cinnamon. The cinnamaldehyde in it will not only help you to "feel warmer", but it will also fight off viruses and infections and protect your cells from free radicals too.
Tip: Combine one teaspoon of ground cinnamon from your local grocery store with two teaspoons of raw honey and hot water and drink up!
St. John’s Wort:
If the winter literally makes you SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and you're feeling depressed or you can't sleep because of it, you can't go wrong with taking a St. John's Wort supplement. There are countless studies to support that it can significantly decrease depression-related symptoms. Not to mention it's also the kind of herb that decreases PMS and menopause symptoms.
Safety Tip: Just a bit of caution, St. John's Wort is an herb that can sometimes interact with oral contraceptives, anti-seizure medications, and antidepressants. So, if you're currently on any of these, speak with your doctor before adding it to your health regimen.
Does your skin feel particularly dry during the winter season? It could be because it's suffering from windburn, which is what can happen when your skin is irritated by cold and harsh windy weather.
Tip: If you already have some chamomile tea in your house to take the chill off, next time you make some, pour a little into a glass bottle, and let it cool. Then take a cotton ball and apply it to your face after you wash it. It will soothe and moisturize your skin so that it's better prepared for ice, sleet, and snow.
A lot of people sleep on nettle, but they shouldn't. It's an herb that contains everything from potassium and calcium, to copper and chlorophyll. Its antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties help to fight off infections and it has anti-inflammatory compounds that can get rid of a stuffy nose in record time.
I like it because it's a great way to treat dry scalp/dandruff, which is something that likes to creep up on me when it's cold outside.
Tip: You can infuse some fresh nettle leaves with some coconut oil and massage it on your scalp. Or, if you're pressed for time, you can wash your hair with some nettle shampoo. As a bonus, nettle is known to regrow hair and restore original hair color as well.
Horny Goat Weed:
Another thing that keeps your immune system strong during the winter is an active sex life. Sex reduces stress, boosts brain power, relieves pain, improves your quality of sleep, can help you to burn 144 calories every 30 minutes — and that's just for starters!
Tip: If your mind wants to get more intimate but your body isn't in it, do yourself a favor and invest in some horny goat weed. Yes, that's an herb's real name and yes, it does just what you think it does. So well in fact that its nickname is "Natural Viagra".
The perfect Christmas supplement stocking stuffer, wouldn't you say?
©Shellie R. Warren/2018
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