February, the Month We Need Our Immune System in High Gear

Well the year is off to a roaring start it feels like and February the month that Colds and Flus most likely hit the peak is fast approaching. In our area, around Washington DC, we have been relatively lucky so far, but we don’t have a minute to waste to make sure our Immune System is working well for us.  Of course we should have started worrying about it  early last fall, because retrofitting the Immune System on short notice is not so easy. There is also a difference in building it from the ground up and activating it and activating something that is on empty, well …. The things that build the immune system are; enough sleep on a regular basis, healthy whole foods with variety, exercise and activity, stress release and social activities. In other words a balanced life. Laughing de-stresses us and raises endorphins, exercise also. Sleep lets our brains decompress and defragment, proper foods with key nutrients build our bodies and its systems directly.  Key nutrient are; vitamin A, B, CD, EZinc, Flavonoids in berries, fruits and veggies, Omega Fatty Acids. (Salmon cakes), and all the other vitamins and minerals.  For a fuller list of nutrients in foods click here. Many vitamins and mineral need each other to get properly absorbed. This means eating  real, whole foods,  preferably organic. Without them your body systems simply won’t get built, can’t operate or cooperate for that matter.   Herbs like Astragalus, Schizandra, Siberian Ginseng, Rishi and Shiitake mushrooms (immune building) and Echinacea and Yarrow (immune stimulating) (We are not really talking antimicrobial here, though some of these herbs have antimicrobial effects as well as other health benefits) can help. There are of course other herbs and formulas. A trained herbalist would  know which formulas would be a specific and targeted  approach for you.

Echinacea augustifolia

We know things aren’t always in balance and making a radical change is hard for many, but if we start somewhere and then add things as we go along it will help. So if you are stressed out, don’t eat well, don’t sleep well, can’t find time to exercise, don’t have time for friends, just start by taking one step. Begin by cutting out fast foods, junk food or whatever your personal vice is, it means a little planning perhaps, but you have started on the road to better eating.  Then just add more good food habits along the way. Take a walk, however brief on your lunch hour, it is a start.  Look up from work, get out of the chair every 20 min. to 1/2 hour, breathe, stretch and walk around the office if you don’t think you have time for a class. Hug a friend, have a good belly laugh, get your kids to help with dinner and use the time to talk about how their day was, what their concerns are, laugh more with them. etc. Go to bed 1/2 hour earlier and add another 1/2 hr. again in a week or two. Once you are sleeping better the sacrificed time is worth it.  If you still don’t sleep properly, get help. Find a stress release protocol that works for you. If you are depressed or have unresolved health issues, get help from your doctor or a herbalist or other practitioner. Consider a massage or a session with energy bodywork. If you aren’t taking care of your self, who will?

If you need to take supplements to boost vitamin, mineral and other supplement intake, buy the best quality you can afford. Best are those from whole foods, they absorb at a better rate. All supplements are not created equal, some pass through your digestive system partially digested. And if disaster strikes and you do become ill, have a protocol on hand so you can start dealing with it as quickly as you possibly can. Time counts here, a few hours later the viruses have dug in deeper and are harder to get rid of, for real.  A trained herbalist will know which you should keep on hand.

The viruses want to stay alive just like you, its either YOU or them. So …. here is to your continued good health.

Immune Enhancing & Energy Building Soup

Recipes: Salmon cakes - – -  Sardine Pate with Greek Yogurt - – - Sardine Pate with Tahine -   

About bodilpm

I have been a practitioner of Chinese Herbal Medicine for 16 years. My background is as a Registered Nurse. I am also an author and an artist. I am Norwegian by birth, but has lived in the US since 1965. I love the outdoors, gardening, hiking, foraging. I love to travel, learn about how other people live, experience their cultures, what I canlearn from them. We are all in this life together.
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