Anyone out there read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?  This sci-fi classic provides some pretty good advice for times like these:

1) Don’t panic!

2) Carry a towel.

Summed up, keep a cool head and mind your hygiene.

Keep a cool head:  running on adrenaline depletes your body and your immune system.  Relax.  Get enough sleep.  Eat foods that help your body stay strong and fit.

I’m making sure my diet is rich in antioxidants,  anti-inflammatories, and phyto-nutrients as well as those wonderful immune building mushrooms.  For me this means eating blueberries, pomegranates, elderberries, goji berries, hawthorn berries, kale, collards, spinach, shiatake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms.  Have kids that won’t eat them?  Blend greens and mushrooms into your pasta sauce, smash fruits into their pb&j.

Can’t get those in your diet?  Take them as supplements.  Herbalist and Alchemist makes really yummy pastes from most of the fruits I mentioned above.  I prefer mushroom supplements in liquid form because the mushroom has a crunchy cell wall that needs to be broken down by water before it is digested, so I use a tincture or tea.  And there are a kazillion green drinks and green pills on the market (some even taste good!).

I am also making sure I take my Vitamin D.  Notice how the flu is more prevelant during the winter months?  So have scientists.  The theory is that we get less sunlight during the winter, therefore less Vitamin D.  With this in mind, studies have been conducted in which one group got 2000 IU of vitamin D a day and another got nothing.  All were exposed to the flu virus.  Those on vitamin D faired better then those on nothing.  I took my vitamin D this morning.

Mind your hygiene:  Most viruses spread by contact with bodily fluids.  One way that this transmission can happen is if someone coughs in their hand then touches a doorknob that you later touch.  Then you use that hand to bring food to your mouth and, voila, the virus makes the jump.  So wash your hands.

At The Apothecary we like to use essential oils to wash up both our hands and our doorknobs.  I’ve been working through my shortlist of  favorite essential oils for this sort of thing and will be putting together a spray for surfaces as well as a hand wash.  This is actually our normal flu season precaution, I’m just being a bit more deliberate about it then usual.

I know many of you are concerned and want to feel like you are being pro-active about your health.  We will continue to update you.  Keep an eye out for our essential oil picks.  I’ll post my choices within the next 24 hours.  Meanwhile remember rule #1:  Don’t panic!