It's really here folks. Cold and Flu season has begun. My friends, coworkers and clients are showing up with the sniffles and the coughs. Are you prepared? Do you want to know how to stop that virus in its tracks? Read on friends!
Let me tell you a little story.
I have spent most of the summer working hard at a physically demanding job, and under the stress of some pretty big life changes and transitions. I had planned a two week trip to the southwest for September, and as the time drew near I grew ever more excited. Now, being a savvy traveller, I knew the chances of being exposed to other people with colds, sniffles and other illnesses in airplanes, airports, public restrooms, and restaurants was very likely, so in preparation, I began to take daily doses of Elderberry Elixir.
And I stayed healthy through my travels. Praise be.
But, I didn't sleep much. I drove hours and hours. I slept in my car, and slept in airports. I stayed up late visiting friends, and I ate as best I could considering the circumstances, but travelling on a tight budget is not the best for the diet. A little more caffiene than usual, a lot of cold uncooked food (sardines and salad are good for you, no doubt, but definately a bit cold for the digestive system, and not really fortifying on a deep cell level), and a few splurges on foods I wouldn't normally eat at home.
I came home with a severe sleep debt, a cold, tired body and immune system, emotional tender spots, and full week of hard physical work and catch up in front of me before I could really rest. And sure enough, my coworkers showed up to work with the sniffles and coughs. And by the end of the week, I had that dreaded sore, scratchy tickle in my throat. I noticed it at lunch time on Thursday.
So, as soon as I got home around 6 pm (which was much longer than I would have liked before starting to take my medicine) I started taking my elderberries again. 3-4 droppers full every hour or two. A couple of swigs of the elderberry shrub in the fridge when I opened the fridge for supper. I drank a steaming hot cup of ginger tea spiked with turmeric and cayenne and sage infused honey.
And then I went to bed. Like at 8:30pm (which is unheard of in my life lately- its been past 11 pm most days).
And I wore wet socks to bed. Wait..wet socks??
Yes, wet socks!
This is an amazing little trick that you will want to try next time you are coming down with the sniffles! I promise, it isn't as bad as you think!
I didn't get out of bed until 10 the next morning. And the next night, I was in bed by 9 pm and out of bed at 11 am, with wet socks again.
And I kept taking the Elderberries every few hours. A lot. No mere squirt. At least a tablespoon of elixir or shrub every time.
I woke up Saturday morning late, but feeling great. Sore scratchy throat was history, sniffles passed in the night. No cough ever formed. No congestion to be heard of.
Wow! Herbs work. But, most the time, you have to do more than just take a magic potion. Let me explain.
Most people have heard about the benefits of elderberry for viral illnesses like the common cold, and the dreaded influenza. And I'll confirm the story for you. Elderberry works. It can dramatically shorten the duration, lesson the symptoms, and even stop a cold from fully developing. But, that's not the whole story.
It is important to understand that our bodies are an ecosystem. We are constantly exposed to infectious organisms on a daily basis, yet, we don't come down with a new illness every day, or even every week. What gives?
The secret is that its not the bug that gets you down. Its your internal ecosystem!
Health, and immune system function are a direct result of the status of your daily self care and nourishment. That means getting enough sleep, getting adequate nourishment from whole foods rich in vitamins and minerals, staying away from depleting substances (sugar, excess caffeine, excess alcohol, or pharmaceuticals) finding ways to relieve stress through movement, meditation or creative outlets.
If you skimp on any of those, chances are your immune system isn't going to function at full strength and you may come down with an illness more often than not. Ever wondered why some folks seem to be sick all winter long? Find out how much sleep they are getting, what they eat for breakfast, and how their stress level is. The results are clear.
Alas, even though we know all this, it can be hard to mantain and adhere to all the time. I thought I had kicked this cold, but stayed up a bit too late, worked really hard, and fell behind on my elderberry doses- and came down with the sniffles after all. Do not underestimate the power of rest as your body's best healer. Most of our immune system function happens while we sleep, so get those hours!
But what about the wet socks?
Here's the scoop.
Soak a pair of cotton socks in cold water. Wring them out well.
Put them on your feet. cringe Then, put on a pair of your warmest wool socks over the wet cotton socks. Get in bed nice and cozy and covered up with warm blankets. Then stay there- 10, 11, or even 12 hrs.
I'm not joking!
The cold, wet socks will stimulate the body to increase circulation, diaphoresis, and immune function as a result of their coldness and wetness. But I promise your feet won't get cold- in fact you might find you get too hot and break a sweat. This is exactly what you want! You are stimulating the natural vital response of the body that helps fight off illness while you rest! This is a great therapy for kids, elders and anyone who refuses to take some nasty tasting herbal tea.
Get your Winter Wellness Kit for cold and flu!
Herbal Winter Wellness Kits are Here!
So, as the story above illustrates, nothing, not even herbs can substitute for adequate rest, good nutrition, and self care in preventing and caring for winter illnesses, if you do get the sickies, the herbs are incredibly helpful in shortening duration, reducing the severity and relieving symptoms of winter illness.
I've created a special kit just for the winter illnesses just around the corner.
I developed this Winter Wellness kit to help you be totally prepared for when despite your best efforts, you or your loved one comes down with the flu, or even a cold. It can be miserable, and once you are in the thick of it it is hard to gather yourself to go out and find or buy all the things you might need or want to have on hand. So start off by having everything, all together, in one place, with the Winter Wellness Kit from Blue Turtle Botanicals. It features 3 tinctures- each for a specific purpose, made from ethically and sacredly wildcrafted plants.
Elder Elixir- a delicious blend of immune supporting and anti-viral elder berries and elder flowers.
Yarrow Boneset Compound- an effective diaphoretic blend, that both relaxes tissues, stimulates circulation, releases tension, supports a healthy fever and relieves aches and pains.
Nighttime Respiratory Calm- this formula is designed specifically to calm the cough that just won't quit and keeps you up night. This is strong medicine, use it during the day, but make sure you can stay bundled up and resting, as it may make you sleepy!
In addition, you get a healthy serving of Sniffles and Sneezes herbal tea, which supports healthy fever and immune response, relieves sore scratchy throats, and aids in breaking up congestion.
Along with all the medicines I'm including an instruction card on how best to use the medicines for maximum effectiveness, and How to Handle Winter Illness, a short article about treating winter illness at home safely and successfully. This makes it the perfect kit to gift to someone new to herbs, or have on hand for your family to use, even if you aren't available to tell them how to use it.
As a newsletter subscriber you get a special discount on the Winter Wellness Kit! Just use code NEWS10 at Etsy when you purchase the kit for 10% off automatically!