Herbal medicine has been practiced around the world for thousands of years to maintain health and well-being. Plants have an abundance of healing powers that can transform our lives and keep us healthy. Consider these strategies as you prepare for the upcoming winter season.
Five key strategies for wellness:
Rejuvenate yourself regularly with an intentional practice of self-care. This can range from a daily yoga or meditation practice to hot Epsom salt baths to a cup of medicinal herbal tea to time in nature. Be intentional.
Avoid the cause of illness and modify your environment to minimize toxins. Is your home making you sick? Do you have negative people in your life? Determine what changes you must make to keep your surroundings toxic-free.
Strengthen digestion and intestinal integrity to boost your immune system. Among the many ways to boost immunity, taking probiotics, eating fermented foods, and drinking lots of water are easy ways to keep your gut flora happy.
Apply specific remedies when feeling stressed, sick, or depleted. Do you need more sleep? Are you feeling an itchy throat? Is there something “off”? Don’t ignore your body! You deserve to be healthy.
Create a bedtime ritual to honor your body’s need for sleep. Paramount to your health is the time to rest and rejuvenate. Honor yourself with at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
Five key herbs to help maintain good health and vitality:
Turmeric is the strongest anti-inflammatory herb that can be generously seasoned in foods and beverages. This root - fresh or dried - is best absorbed with fats, so combine with milk or ghee for best results.
Echinacea is the most effective herb to fight germs within the first 72 hours of feeling sick. This herb has the ability to strengthen the immune response right when you most need it.
Tulsi (Holy Basil) is considered the best adaptogen to help our bodies manage oxidative stress, lift our spirits, and promote lightness in body and mind. Drink this tea generously, especially during times of high stress.
Nettles are a highly nutritious plant food full of minerals for blood-building and alleviation of seasonal allergies.
Medicinal mushrooms, particularly Shiitake and Reishi, can offer deep immune-boosting nourishment. Cook in soups and stews, or as a delicious medicinal tea combined with other herbs.
Golden Goddess Tea
3 cups filtered water
Fresh turmeric root (1-2 inches peeled and thinly sliced) or 1 tbl dried tumeric powder
Fresh ginger root (1 inch peeled and thinly sliced)
5 tulsi leaves (fresh or dried), whole
Pinch of ground black pepper
Honey to taste
Boil water and herbs for 10 minutes. Strain and pour into your favorite mugs. Squeeze 1/2 lemon per serving. Add honey to taste. Makes tea for two. Cheers!
Interested in learning more about herbal medicine? Maria Christodoulou, Founder + CEO, is also a Clinical Herbalist. She offers private herbal consultations in Brooklyn. Book your session here.