Happy almost winter, my friends! Many of you are already in the middle of your winter, and some are still in the “in between” time of the seasons. I know that several of my readers have an entirely different “season” or weather pattern going on right now; I love how our places dictate our seasons more than the calendar does. Noticing your particular season based on “place” helps to anchor you more intimately to it.
This turning point on the Wheel of the Year, I tend to focus on my immune system, nourishing my body with root crops, bone broths, medicinal mushrooms, etc., and really focusing on keeping myself healthy with herbal teas and tinctures/elixirs.
I do several things to really keep myself feeling as healthy as possible this time of year.
1. I don’t overwork my body or my brain.
2. I sleep as often and as long and as deeply as I can, especially if I don’t feel well.
3. I stay warm. I don’t let my torso and kidney area get cold, so cutsie little tops that expose the tummy when I stretch are tucked away for the season. I have been known to sit with a shawl tied around my waist just to keep me feeling snug and warm. I also keep my neck covered when I am out in the cold wind.
4. I drink lots of bone broth. You know, the good broth that is full of garlic and onions and spices and medicinal mushrooms, and is cooked down for about 3 days. Yeah. That stuff.
5. I chug elderberry like there’s no tomorrow, from October to March. Instead of making syrups (which I love), I make elixir (which I love more), and I take it daily.
6. I drink lots of water, and I limit any stimulants (herbal nervines, caffeine, etc.)… and I keep sweets to a minimum. Did you know that sugar can inhibit your immune system? So if you feel yourself coming down with something or you feel drained, as if your body is actively fighting off a bug, stay away from the sugar and keep your immune system as strong as possible.
I have seen some really cool blog posts on these topics and I want to share a few of them with you as well. The information in these blogs are awesome, but do yourself a favor: if you don’t already grow your own herbs, or if you don’t already have a trusted source for your herbs and spices, please go to Mountain Rose Herbs to make your purchase. I love their products, I love how ethical they are, and I love how they help support causes and reach out to herbalists.
The Healthy Home Economist has some good information on the Top 10 Ways to Boost the Immune System Naturally.
An absolutely Fabulous monologue on Elder is here: The Ultimate Guide to Elderberry Medicine by Rosalee de la Forȇt. (includes wonderful recipes at the bottom of the article)
I am still learning all about medicinal mushrooms. The amazing Juliet Blankespoor with the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine has this post on Herbs for the Immune System, in which she touches on mushrooms and gives awesome info on herbal allies for the immune system. You will also want to read her blog post on Herbal Infusions and Decoctions.
“The mushroom biologist talks about the antimicrobial properties of fungi, how they can be used as potent insecticides, and how they may help boost the human immune system.”
If you know of any great blog posts or websites that discuss any of the above, please add them in the comments section!