Wednesday, March 25, 2020

What I am doing to stay healthy right now:


This is a difficult time for everyone. Many are concerned about getting sick with the coronavirus. I've had a few people on social media ask me what they can do  to strengthen their immune system and lessen their chances of developing COVID-19.  So, in today's post, I thought I'd share what I am doing to stay healthy and calm right now.

1.  I  get plenty of rest.  According to physicians at Mayo Clinic, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don't get enough sleep. So, the body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases.  For me,  I feel best when I get a full eight hours of sleep..

2.  I eat healthy, nutrient dense foods.  These include leafy greens, such as spinach, and kale, which are packed with fiber and vitamins K and A.  Fruits, such as strawberries and blueberries, contain loads of vitamins A, C and potassium.  Fruits and vegetables are also good sources of the flavonoid quercetin, which transports zinc into cells to halt viral replication. (I will post more about this at a later date.) Onions and apples are also good sources of quercetin.


Regarding protein-rich foods, I eat organic eggs (from our farm), organic chicken and fish.  I also enjoy organic, grass fed beef.   Eggs, chicken and beef are also good sources of zinc.

Although it's our nature to crave carbs and sugar during stressful times, I know that filling up on these daily and not eating enough nutrient dense foods will not keep me healthy. However, I do like to snack on something crunchy, so I keep bags of Kale and Beet Chips in the pantry.  These satisfy my snack cravings while providing great nutrients.  (I can't wait to make my own once the gardens are in full swing.)


3.  I get plenty of exercise.  I think this really helps with stress, which can weaken the immune system.   I have put together a circuit training routine incorporating hand weights and cardio, using an elliptical exerciser. I do this 3-4 times a week.  I also have several Namaste yoga DVD's, which I really enjoy using at least 4 times a week. (They air  Namaste Yoga several times in the morning on Fit TV.)  Yoga really helps me stay calm and relaxed.



4.  I  optimize my Vitamin D levels.  According to the NIH, Vitamin D can modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses. Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased susceptibility to infection. I prefer to get Vitamin D from the sun.  Weather permitting, I enjoy working out in the greenhouse and gardens, as well as going on walks with my husband and our dog. This provides additional exercise, and 20 minutes outside on a sunny day helps to optimize Vitamin D levels.  Being outdoors in the sunshine and fresh country air just feels great!

5  I take a few key supplements to help strengthen my immune system and protect against viral infections.  These include Sambucus Gummies with Vitamin C and ZincMullein,  and Licorice Root.  You can find more information about Sambucus and Mullein here.  I will be posting about Licorice Root, another great antiviral, in the near future.

Probiotics are also essential for a strong immune system,   Rather than taking a probiotic capsule, I get mine by drinking kombucha tea. In addition to  providing natural probiotics, kombucha tea also aids in natural detoxification.  It works by teeming with enzymes and bacterial acids. Gluconic acid, which is found in kombucha, bind to toxins to help expel them from the body.

(Always remember to check with your healthcare practitioner before taking any herbal supplement or natural product.)

6.  Last, but most importantly, I spend time in daily Bible reading and prayer.  I really believe God is bigger than any adversity we can face here on earth. Looking back on my own life, I know I don't have to worry at all because He has always had my back.  I also understand He often uses adversity for my good.  According to James 1:2-4," Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."  I also believe when I pray, He  listens and answers.  John 14:14 assures me of this:  "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." 




Despite everything that is going on in the world right now, I feel at peace. This is because I absolutely believe what Romans 10:9-10 says: "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."  I know when my time has come, I am ready.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Antiviral Tea


Ingredients (per cup of water):

  • 5-6 fresh whole mullein leaves, medium-sized, per cup of water
  • 1 chamomile tea bag per cup 
  • 1-2 tsp. organic raw honey per cup of water
Directions:

I make this in a big stock pot and store it in mason jars in the refrigerator. 

Mullein combines well with chamomile.  Since chamomile is not currently in season, I am using chamomile tea bags.
  1. Wash mullein leaves and add to a large pot.  Cover with water.
  2. Bring to a boil, turn the burner to low and let it simmer for at least 20 minutes.  Turn off the burner and let it cool a bit.  
  3. Important:  Always strain the mullein tea mixture through a coffee filter or cheesecloth.  There are small hairs on the leaves that can irritate the throat, so straining is essential.
  4. Pour into mason jars and store in the refrigerator up to one week.
  5. Heat one cup per time then add one chamomile tea bag.  Allow to steep, add honey and stir before drinking. If you like a sweet tea, add more honey or stevia.

Dosage:  My personal experience is 1 cup 3-4 a day for at least three days will definitely stop most viruses in their tracks.

Ingredient Breakdown:

Mullein

Common mullein, or Verbascum thapsus, pictured left, should look familiar to you. It is a medicinal plant readily found in roadsides, meadows and pasture lands. It is in season in much of the U.S right now, due to the warmer winter we've had.  However, right now, it is growing low to the ground without the flowering head.  It will look more like the second picture below. Its growth is widespread here right now, which is a good thing, given the Coronavirus outbreak. I harvested some myself yesterday.  I am careful to discard any brown leaves, as these are ineffective.

Note:  1st year plants that are not flowering are most potent.

Mullein contains various chemical constituents like saponins, iridoid and phenylethanoid glycosides, flavonoids, vitamin C and minerals.

A number of pharmacological activities, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiviral activity have been associated with the mullein plant. With regard its antiviral activity, one test-tube study suggests that mullein extract is particularly effective against the influenza virus. It has been used to treat pulmonary problems, bronchitis, and spasmodic coughs, all symptoms which often accompany respiratory viruses.

Chamomile

Chamomile is one of the oldest, most widely used and well documented medicinal plants in the world and has been recommended for a variety of healing applications. is a flowering plant in the daisy (Asteraceae) family. Native to Europe and Western Asia, it's now found around the world. German chamomile is considered the more potent variety and the type most widely used for medicinal purposes. This is the type we grow on our farm.

Chamomile contains more than 120 chemical constituents, many of which are pharmacologically active.  They include, among many others, chamazulene,  an anti-inflammatory, and bisabolol an anti-microbial and apigenin, a phytonutrient that acts as a strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial and antiviral. 

Honey

The phytonutrients in honey are responsible for its antioxidant properties, as well as its antibacterial antiviral and antifungal power. They’re also thought to be the reason raw honey has shown immune-boosting benefits.It also works as a cough suppressant. 

You can also buy bulk mullein tea on Amazon, if you don't want to harvest it yourself.  Use one teaspoon per cup of water.

Of course, always check with your healthcare practitioner. before using any herbal supplement.  


Friday, March 6, 2020

DIY Natural Hand Sanitizer & Disinfectant Cleaner


I heard on the news yesterday that stores are running out of hand sanitizer and disinfectant cleaners, due to people panicking over the spread of the coronavirus.  Upon hearing this, I remember thinking that I wouldn't use either product, due to the harsh chemicals they contain.  Instead, I prefer more natural options, both of which I decided to share on the blog today.  Both products can be easily made at home, and the items can be purchased online. Although there is an initial investment in the oils, a little goes a long way.  So, in the long run, you'll save money making your own products.

Chemical-Free Disinfectant Spray Cleaner

Ingredients:

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a large measuring cup and pour into an empty spray bottle.  Spray bottles be purchased inexpensively through Amazon and can be reused.  You can also use any empty spray bottle you may have on hand.  However, be sure to wash it out thoroughly before using.

The powerful combination of essential oils makes this an effective cleaner to kill viruses as well as any of the commercially prepared products without all the harsh chemicals. Oregano oil contains carvacrol and thymol, both of which are antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties.  Tea tree oil contains a number of compounds, including terpinen-4-ol, that have been shown to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi  Research suggests that both lavender oil and lemon verbena oil can also kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

Note:  You can substitute 70% rubbing alcohol for the water, although it really isn't necessary, as this is a potent antiviral/antibacterial combination.

Chemical-Free Hand Sanitizer

Ingredients:


Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a measuring cup and pour into a 2-ounce amber glass spray bottle.

I highly recommend using organic ingredients when making any product that will be used on your body. 

Note:  I realize the CDC is recommending hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol.  Although it really isn't necessary, as this is a potent antiviral combination, you can always add it to this mixture.

Both lavender and lemon verbena are calming scents, which we all could use right now. So, breathe deeply, always remember God is in control and carry on!


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