Holistic Stress Solutions- Keep Calm and Prep On!
March 13, 2020
Chances are, you either live in a state that has COVID-19 cases, or you know someone who does. There has been a lot of news, and even more misinformation, which can leave a person feeling both nervous and unprepared. That being said, we wanted to offer some helpful advice for those who are at home with many useful health promoting tools, that they may not have considered.
Let’s begin in the pantry. As a Holistic Health Practitioner and avid supporter of Natural Medicine, I look at herbs a wee bit differently than most. My mom sees Oregano, I see an herb that can be used to help treat the symptoms of coughs, inflammation and respiratory disorders.  My husband enjoys onions and garlic, while I see amazing remedies that have been used for centuries to help combat infections, respiratory conditions, and a fever.  My children LOVE honey, but I can’t help but see an ancient antibacterial remedy that helps heal wounds, and treat microbial infections.  So let’s take a look at a some common every day items you may have at home that can help support a health immune system and promote health in you and your family.
We’ve already touched on Oregano, Garlic and Onion, all of which can be used in dishes to make them delicious and to support that bodies defenses. As a child when I was sick, my mother would make me chicken soup which contained, oregano, garlic, onion, potatoes and chicken broth, among other ingredients. Chicken soup has long been used to help the body fight off a cold or the flu. Spinach, Bell Peppers and Ginger are also power packed foods that contain vitamin c, minerals such as iron and beta carotene that helps increase the infection fighting abilities of the immune system.  Eggs, which can be found in most ice boxes, are very beneficial in promoting a healthy immune system and in supplying the body with much needed Vitamin A, Vitamin B-12, and Selenium.  Quite honestly, Selenium is a personal favorite of mine, because it reduces inflammation and helps the body fight infections. 
Let’s turn towards the sink, and talk about beverages for a second. Two come to mind that can really help a person maintain and promote health. First and foremost, plain old, ordinary water. Yes, you read that correctly- Water! I’ve been reading studies reportedly coming out of Stanford University that says water will kill the Coronavirus- This is incorrect and false-news. Water is incredibly good for the body, and without it dehydration can set in which causes vomiting, lethargy, muscle weakness, and headaches. Drinking fresh, clean, filtered water helps maintain proper brain function, and raise energy levels. The average adult should drink 8- 8oz glasses of water, which is commonly called the 8×8 rule which makes it easy to remember!
The other secret weapon in your cupboard may be tea. The act of soaking herbs or tea leaves is an ancient practice, that represents one of the oldest forms of herbal medicine- an infusion or tisane. Highly regarded around the world as a safe and effective form of natural medicine, the earliest recorded mention of tea was almost 5000 years ago in China. Today herbal teas are popular drinks, available in grocery stores and online. If you are lucky enough to have a box of tea in your cupboard pull it out! Any number of herbs promote health and wellness, including Echinacea, Peppermint, Rosehip, and Chamomile. Peppermint tea has antiviral, antibacterial and antioxidant properties , while Echinacea has been proven to boost the immune system while helping the body fight off infection and shorten the duration of illness. Rosehip tea is a personal favorite of mine due to its high vitamin C content and antioxidant properties. 
I could go on and on about kitchen items, but I’d hate to bore you… So why not move into the bathroom? Most of us, at one point or another, snagged a bottle of multi-vitamins at the store. If not, Amazon seems to still be delivering, so now is the time to order. A good multi-vitamin is a great tool in promoting general health and wellness. As an ‘Unsung Hero’ in the struggle to stay healthy, a multi-vitamin is one of those items that doesn’t include a ‘WOW’ factor, but that slowly and surely helps you stay healthy. If you have vitamins please take them, if you are ordering some, please consider a multi-vitamin with immunity support.  I truly that the best defense is a good offense, so try and stay healthy, to prevent illness in the first place.
Moving from above the sink, to below the sink, more than a few of us have Epsom salts stashed away for a rainy day. These utterly inexpensive crystals, are in fact Magnesium Sulfate and can be used to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression while stabilizing the mood by promoting the release of serotonin in the brain.  And let’s be honest, with a pandemic circling the globe, who couldn’t use an excuse to soak in a warm bath and relax for a few minutes? There’s a lot to be said for a mental health break. Last, but certainly not least, try and take full advantage of the sunshine. Being in the sun results in an increase in the bodies vitamin D, which promotes proper immune function and reduces inflammation. . A further perk of being in the sun is that the sunlight itself acts as a sort of disinfectant thanks to its ultraviolet light which kills viruses, and germs.
So, all of this to say, Keep Calm and Prep On. Be as prepared as you can be with the tools you have available. Take some time a research natural means to promote health if you have some down time (I suspect you might), and you’ll be surprised how many items you have available at home. And last, but certainly not least, should you become ill, please seek prompt medical attention. This virus is not joke, and you health and well being is top priority! Please take care and have a wonderful Spring.
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3- PDR for Herbal Medicines. Thomson, 2007, pp. 619-620.
4- Stansbury, Jill. “Herbal Formularies for Health Professionals.” Volume 2, Circulation and Respiration. 2018, pp. 130-134.
5- PDR for Herbal Medicines. Thomson, 2007, pp. 345-352.
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