We love the changing of the seasons, even though the plants are starting to make the transition into their winter slumber, fall is typically the time to harvest root medicines, so us herbalists never mourn the loss of the flowers and leaves because we know there is still medicine to be found.
This is the time of year to start deepening your roots by slowing down and taking the time to nourish yourself to help keep your immune system strong.
Fall is commonly known as the start of cold and flu season, with back to school, increasing amounts of things to do, and the coming of the cold weather, but it doesn’t have to be.
There is a lot you can do to help keep yourself and your family healthy this time of year.
MAKE SURE YOUR VITAMIN D LEVELS ARE ADEQUATE.
Low vitamin D is very common in the winter, even in states that get a lot of sunshine, this is due to the amount of UVB rays your NOT getting when the sun stays lower in the sky during the wintertime.
Ourselves and our clients most often take this vitamin D supplement. Typically they are taking 5,000 IU’s per day, but you should double check with your doctor.
To learn more about how all of this works check out the Vitamin D Council’s website.
USE IMMUNE-BOOSTING HERBS
Herbs such as Elderberry, Turkey Tail, Reishi, and Astragalus are perfect for keeping your immune system strong BEFORE you get sick. You can drink a tea daily with these herbs in it, or use an elderberry elixir (which we have for sale in the store only) if tea takes too much time (though we highly suggest you try the tea).
Using these herbs in your homemade soups is also a really good idea, simply toss them in the stockpot while it’s cooking and infuse the broth with extra goodness that doesn’t really change the flavor much.
The one thing that’s important to remember is that astragalus should only be used BEFORE you are sick, as soon as you experience signs of illness STOP USING IT as it can make the illness last longer. Once you start to feel something, switch to other herbs. The Immune Boost tea is perfect, as is the Winter Warmer Tea.
Once you get sick, try the Cough Calming Tea to help relieve dry irritating coughs or the Cold & Flu Tea if you come down with something particularly nasty. In the store, we also have a Cough Syrup and a Cough Calming Herbal Honey that are excellent to have on hand this time of year.
BE SURE TO GET ADEQUATE REST
We tend to push ourselves too hard with the start of the school year, but our bodies naturally want us to slow down as the light begins to fade. Make sure you’re getting lots of rest and relaxation time and plenty of good sleep to help bolster your system.