How to have a Healthy Winter
Holidays are over, children are back to school and the cold season is upon us. With a little preparation you don’t have to fall victim to this misery. Winter is a time when our energies stagnate and the cold and darkness drive us to seek inner warmth, making this season a time to rest and meditate to nurture the spiritual essence and store physical energy. At the same time it is important to stay active enough to keep the spine and joints flexible.
Salty and bitter foods are most appropriate for winter, since they promote a sinking, centering quality which heightens the capacity for storage. Such foods also cool the exterior of the body and bring body heat deeper and lower; with a cooler surface, one notices the cold less. However use salt with care, as an excess can cause coldness, which weakens the kidneys and affects the heart as well.
Salty foods include miso, soy sauce, seaweed, millet and barley. Bitter foods include watercress, lettuce, turnip, celery, alfalfa, rye, oats, quinoa, amaranth and roasted chicory which is found in the delicious drink, Bambu. In winter months, cook foods at a lower temperature for longer. Eat plenty of fresh garlic as it exhibits antibacterial properties or, if you don’t want to offend partners or colleagues, take odourless garlic capsules high in allicin.
Echinacea is a herb that improves the efficiency of the immune system by helping the body to recognise pathogens and respond more rapidly, increasing the chances that the pathogen will be dealt with before it can damage the body. Take fresh Echinacea tincture for as long as you need to. If your immune system is weak and you are regularly exposed to bugs, you may need to take it on a regular basis to avoid falling ill. Taken at the dose of 15 drops daily, it can be used preventatively for as long as necessary. If you take Echinacea when you don’t need it, your body doesn’t use it - the active components of the herb pass harmlessly out of your body. If, however, your immune system requires the herb, the body will carry on using it for as long as you take it, with no diminishing of the herb’s effect. You can also boost levels of vitamin C to aid the immune system by taking a low dose tablet, made directly from fruit, regularly throughout the day.
Stress can lead to raised levels of hormones being produced by the adrenals which inhibit white blood cells and influence the thymus gland. If you are the type of person who falls sick when you have the most to do, then taking a course of Eleutherococcus (Siberian Ginseng) can help you avoid becoming ill at a stressful or demanding period, as well as increasing energy levels, but make sure that it will not interfere with any medical condition.
And finally, it is always useful to carry around a bottle of Emergency Essence or Rescue Remedy in times of extreme stress such as Christmas shopping!
Have a healthy winter.