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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Toler

Natural Cold & Flu Prevention

Cold and flu season peaks between December and March and so I wanted to reach out with simple ways to care for your immune system and prepare for the coming months. And if you do happen to get sick, please remember that pharmaceuticals are not your only option. There are lots of potent herbs available to help you with prevention and symptoms (without unwanted toxins and side effects). Read on for my top 10 favorite ways to prepare for Winter…

  1. Mom was right: dress warm when it’s cold outside. First science said it didn’t matter how you dressed, now they say that keeping warm does actually boost your immune response. To me, it seems like common sense to dress warm for cold temperatures.

  2. Eat locally & seasonally. The nutrition in clean and organic, regional foods will naturally prepare your body for Winter. Did you know that when we eat seasonally, our microbiomes shift so that our immune systems are better prepared for health challenges associated with the environmental changes of the season. Amazing, right? Our bodies are so wise.

  3. Stay well hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to flush toxins from your system and keep you healthy. If you do happen to get sick, staying well-hydrated is just as important for your recovery. Sip on warm-to-hot herbal beverages throughout the day. Two of my favorites are Ayurvedic Honey-Lemon-Ginger Tea and Ayurvedic Golden Milk.

  4. Get enough rest. Nature shows us that winter is about conservation of energy and in winter we are called to rest more. Sleep deprivation can comprise the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness. Your body needs rest in order to stay healthy; this is when vital cleansing and restoration happens. Be sure to get your 7-9 hours.

  5. Ghee is a popular tonic in Ayurveda. As one of the most easily digestible fats, it is said to generate instant heat and energy to keep your body warm. A moderated consumption of ghee can also help keep your joints lubricated and your skin from getting dry and flaky.

  6. Consume Herbs & Spices. (Check out the beverage recipes in #3 for easy consumption of the following.) Ginger has antiviral and antibacterial properties to help protect against cold viruses. It can also reduce inflammation and soothe a sore throat. Cinnamon helps to increase circulation throughout the body, all the way into cold fingers and toes. It is also a potent antiviral and antibacterial herb. Turmeric powder + raw organic honey is an Ayurvedic concoction full of antioxidants and vitamins said to prevent colds and flu. Make a big batch and take it at the first signs of feeling under the weather: combine 1 tablespoon turmeric powder with 3.5 ounces raw honey and store it in an airtight jar.

  7. Supplements Elderberry. Many people consider the elderberry plant one of the most powerful for preventing and treating colds and influenza and swear by its antiviral properties. In my home, we take this New Chapter Elderberry Syrup daily during the winter months. Andrographis. This herb has been in my medicine cabinet since an Integrative Doctor prescribed this to me many years ago. I couldn’t believe how effective it was at turning my symptoms around. Andrographis reduces the duration and severity of cold symptoms, can help prevent upper respiratory infections, by stimulating immune function and halting viral growth. Zinc lozenges with vitamin C shorten the common cold by three days on average, if started within 24 hours of symptoms. This remedy boosts immune functions and fights inflammation.

  8. Chicken Soup. If you do get sick, there really is something about chicken soup. I have healed many friends and family in the past with my whole chicken soup. The following is quite simple to do: 1. Put a whole organic pastured chicken in the slow cooker with water, salt, dried herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, black pepper, bay leaf), a couple carrots, a couple stalks of celery, a few cloves of garlic, a chopped onion, and a couple capfuls of apple cider vinegar. 2. Cook for 8 hours on low. 3. Let cool, then transfer the chicken to a large rimmed baking sheet where you can pull off the meat and shred into bite-sized pieces. Feed the funny parts to your pets and save the bones for bone broth. 4. Strain the broth and toss the spent herbs and veggies. 5. Season the broth with more salt, ACV, or black pepper. 6. Cook some simple veggies (carrot, potato, onion) in the broth on the stovetop, adding in the chicken once the veggies are cooked through. Maybe adding rice or noodles. (Someday I'll write the recipe!)

  9. Use a humidifier (be sure to keep it clean!) for dry skin, irritated eyes, dryness in the throat or airways, allergies, frequent coughs, bloody noses, sinus headaches, and cracked lips.

  10. Lather up. Winter can be tough on hair and skin. I like to moisturize my face with Organic Rosehip Oil, and my body with either almond or coconut oil. Occasionally, I’ll treat myself to a moisturizing Rosemary Hair Mask that nourishes my scalp, conditions my hair, and promotes growth (1 TBSP castor oil + 2 TBSP coconut oil + 10 drops of rosemary oil). Leave on for an hour, then wash.

As you can see, there are so many simple, yet nourishing ways for us to take good care of our bodies at this time of year. :)

But… What about SELF-CARE FOR YOUR SPIRIT? I will be hosting a FREE Women’s Intention Setting Circle on Dec 18, 2022 at 6pm ET ONLINE. Please join me for one of my most beloved practices. Go here to sign up.

Warmly, Stephanie

P.S. Are you prioritizing your health and wellbeing in 2023? Need some help? I am taking on 2 new clients. If you are interested in having my support on your wellness journey, go to "Work With Stephanie (link here)" and let’s schedule a FREE 30 minute discovery session, where we can discuss where you’re at and what your goals are for next year. It would be my honor to help you reach your goals.

P.P.S. Please note that this message contains affiliate links for products that I personally use. Please also note, I am not a doctor and any suggestions should be evaluated accordingly. This email is not meant as a replacement for medical advice. I strongly recommend seeking medical advice before and during any health challenges or major lifestyle changes.

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