You may have noticed as the weather dips down, more people begin complaining of flu, colds, cough and runny nose. This is normal.
When the season’s change, atmospheric pressure and winds shift, and our bodies have to make adjustments to those environmental modifications.
Moving from warmer weather into cooler weather (summer to fall, and fall into winter), the body begins slightly contracting. As the body goes through this natural process, it becomes momentarily de-stabilized, and this can create the perfect environment for viruses to enter into the system.
Like most folks, you may not be prepared for the onslaught of common bugs that can enter your body through the respiratory system at this time of year… but if you have some herbal culinary savvy, you need not worry.
Right now, in your kitchen, you already have easy remedies at your fingertips that can keep the bugs at bay and help you retain good respiratory health through these seasonal shifts.
Here are a few of my favorites:
At the first sign of a tickle in your nose or throat, crush a fresh clove of garlic and mince it finely.
Mix the garlic with honey, or if you like it more on the savory side, combine it with olive oil and herbs like parsley and basil, and then smear it onto a piece of toasted sourdough.
For those of you that do NOT eat gluten, smear that garlic onto an apple, or just put it onto a spoon and directly into your mouth.
If you opt to put it directly into your mouth without a buffer (bread, olive oil, honey or apple), be prepared – it is STRONG and may make you want to throw up!
Garlic (Allium sativum) is both antimicrobial and antiviral, and at the onset of respiratory invaders, it can work like magic to keep them at bay!
If the tickle moves into your throat, mince 5-6 tablespoons of fresh oregano (or 2 tsp. dried oregano) and put it into a bowl or mason jar.
Pour 6-8 ounces boiling water on top of leaves and steep, covered, 15-20 minutes. Strain out the leaves and gargle with the warm oregano water.
Make sure the water is not too hot. I don’t want you to burn your throat.
You can also drink oregano water – although…it’s not very delicious.
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) contains thymol and carvacrol, that have powerful antiseptic and antibiotic properties.
If you don’t catch the bugs at the onset (in the nose or in the throat), and your immune system has been slow to respond, they are going to move into your chest.
Here’s where you will develop a tickle in the chest and a cough. Pull 5-6 tbsp. of fresh thyme leaves off the stem and pack into a “tea ball”. Put the tea ball into a mug and cover with boiling water. Steep, covered, for 15 minutes. Add 1 tsp. honey and 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice.
Drink 3-4x per day.
If you don’t have fresh thyme, you can use 2 tsp. dried thyme. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) contains volatile oils that are strongly antiseptic and promote expectoration. It is an excellent remedy for respiratory infections and coughs.
There’s a lot you can do to support your respiratory system when you know what to do and how to do it.
Do you want to learn more about healing recipes and how to use them?
Now get into the kitchen and cook up some health!
 21st Century Herbal, Michael J. Balick PhD, Rodale 2014, pg. 219
 Medical Herbalism, David Hoffmann, Healing Arts Press, 2003, pg. 589
Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.
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