Maia Toll

Are you fluin’?

Seems like everybody is down with a little something.  Even those of us who aren’t sick, are not quite well.

What to do?

Fluids:  When I stayed home sick from school as a kid, my mom would put a gallon of Apple Juice out before she left for work and admonish me to finish the whole thing by the time she got home.

Mom knows best!  Fluids are important to move things out of the body.

Chicken Soup:  they’ve done studies and now Grandma’s home remedy has scientific backing.

Making your own is simple and so much better for you than the canned or boxed variety.

Simply put a whole chicken in a stockpot.  Fill with water.  Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.  After it comes to a boil the first time, skim off any foam and dispose.  Then add an onion cut in half, 2 carrots, 2 celery sticks, a chunk of fresh ginger, and a big bunch of parsley (Adding the vegetables later is my Mom’s trick for easier skimming of the foam.   Thanks Mom!).

Then let it simmer.  All day.

The broth is what’s good for what ails you.  When I am feeling poorly, I drink a cup every hour.  Often I throw in a handful of seaweed (for the minerals and micronutrients) and a spoonful of brown rice miso (which is an easily digestible fermented food).

Break a Sweat:  

No, don’t go for a full-on work-out at the gym, although some light exercise can be beneficial if you feel up to it.  But if you don’t, take a hot bath.  Adding epsom salts or yarrow flowers or apple cider vinegar (about a cup) or ground mustard seed can help you break a sweat.  I like Dr. Singh’s Mustard Bath myself.

Mind Your Digestion:

A strong immune system is linked to a smooth moving digestive system.

Eat food that are easy to digest– cooked not raw, light not heavy.  Fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi add probiotics to the system as do yogurt and kefir.  My favorite company for fermented food is BAO, run by my childhood friend Mike Schwartz.  Their raw-slaw is pretty fabulous.

If you don’t like fermented foods, take a probiotic.

Herb it Up!

My favorite tea when I’m coming down with something is elderberry, thyme, and hibiscus.  Fresh ginger and cinnamon are great additions during these cold months of the year.

When I am sick or getting sick, a pot of tea is always on my desk and I drink constantly.  In addition, I take Propolis tincture for its strong anti-viral properties.

Guard Yourself

The best way to protect yourself is to take extra care of the parts of your body where you make initial contact with the flu:

  • hands- wash them in hot water with soap being sure to clean around the nail beds.
  • nose- use an essential oil blend like either Baraka or Simpler’s Sinus Oil to protect mucous membranes
  • throat- use a throat spray like Avena’s Throat Spray

Want to read what other herbalists and doctors do for the flu?  Check out Aviva Romm’s blog post.

What are your flu season tips?