Winter First Aid~ What to Have on Hand
Cold and flu season is upon us. We need to protect ourselves from bacteria and viruses that love to find a host and camp out as long as they can. The following lists are items you can have on hand to keep your immune system on the defense and your health protected during the winter months!
7 Herbs to Have in Your Pantry
1) Garlic: A powerhouse of anti-microbial properties, the sulfur is known to fight off many viruses and slow down bacteria from replicating. Eat it daily if you can! I add roasted garlic cloves to soups, salads, flatbread pizza, stir-fries, and my pesto recipe (it's loaded with garlic)!
2) Cloves: This delightful fall spice is a powerful anti-fungal and antimicrobial, making it a clear choice to promote digestive health. Try it in chai tea. You can also use it externally for dental pain (apply the oil) or add it to a foot bath to get rid of athlete’s foot. Note: Cloves is a potent spice and. oil. Use caution when using it, especially when applying it topically. Begin with only a very small amount.
3) Parsley: Taken inside the body, it is one of the most nutrient-rich, detoxifying herbs we have on our grocery store shelf. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, an antispasmodic, and a diuretic, helping conditions such as indigestion. Whenever you make or get a green juice, be sure to add parsley to it!
4) Sage: Externally, sage is very beneficial in treating acne, gum and throat infections, and is a hair tonic. Internally, sage is great for mental health. Sage tea helps ease a sore throat, and has helped ease depression and anxiety for generations.
5) Thyme: A wonderful anti-parasitic and an antimicrobial agent that can improve diarrhea, stomach cramps, and indigestion. It helps alleviate symptoms of colds and bronchitis.
6) Ginger: Studies have shown ginger to be especially effective in curbing nausea. Known as an expectorant, it can help loosen mucus and soothe a sore throat. Ginger is an excellent digestive and elimination of gas and bloating. Ginger stimulates circulation. I drink a ginger and marshamallow tea during the winter months to help soothe an irritated, dry throat.
7) Turmeric: A powerful spice for calming inflammation and pain. Turmeric is also a fantastic source of antioxidants, protecting our cells from free radical damage. Some of the longest-living people in the world are in Okinawa, Japan. Their longevity is credited to the ability to manage inflammation.
Supplements & Other Helpful Tools
Elderberry: Studies show this berry has the ability to ward off influenza. Try Honey Gardens Elderberry Syrup 8 fl oz https://bit.ly/30JgMcX or Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry 60 Vegan Capsules https://bit.ly/3noVQ4B
Zinc: A nutrient particularly helpful in fighting various viruses. I like Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Zinc 60 Vegan Caps https://bit.ly/3iElgYC
Vitamin C: An overall immune booster. Check out Garden of Life Mykind Organics Vitamin C Organic Spray (it's yummy!) https://bit.ly/30InRL0
Vitamin D3: We need this in the winter, darker months. Studies show vitamin D3 to be the most absorbable form of this vitamin. Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3 5000 Orange 250 mg - 120 Softgels https://bit.ly/2I1pkFr
Neti Pot & Saline Solution: Helpful for sinus infections and clearing nasal passages. Himalayan All Natural Neti Wash Ceramic Neti Pot 1 Pot https://bit.ly/3jAoi18
Hand Sanitizers: You can buy or make your own with alcohol, aloe or vitamin E (for moisturizer), & essential oils. I like EO Hand Sanitizer Gel Lavender 8 fl oz https://bit.ly/3lqvMEi
Antibacterial Ointments: Mainly for wound care and skin infections, these are a must-have to use on boo-boos. I really like the brand of NutriBiotic’s ointment. https://bit.ly/36UrOQH
Diffuser & Essential oils: Eucalyptus, Lemon, Thieves Vitality (Young Living)
Herbal Tea & Manuka or Raw Honey: Brew tea (such as sage tea or ginger tea), add 1 to 2 tsp. of honey, a squeeze of lemon. This can help combat a sore throat. ManukaGuard Manuka Honey Throat & Chest Syrup 3.4 oz https://bit.ly/36I8c1O