Part 1 – Preparing
My favorite time of year is almost here. With fall’s promise of cool evenings, I am anxiously awaiting bowls of warm chili, delicious apple cider, and football time in Tennessee!
In addition to glorious 70 degree weather headed our way, as an herbalist, fall kicks me into serious DIY mode. This is the time of year where we start preparing for the onslaught of germs that will soon be invading schools, work, and all other gathering spots. At our house, this means checking our supplies of Fire Cider, Elderberry Syrup, Oscillococcinum, and dōTERRA essential oils.
First DIY stop: the kitchen. A couple of our wintertime staples take a little prep and processing time. With that in mind, I like to start in the kitchen with some very pungent veggies and herbs well known for their immune boosting abilities. Each plant adds amazing health benefits to this recipe but the powerhouse is garlic because of its antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Garlic (allium family same as onions) is high in sulfur compounds, more specifically in allicin. It is unstable, therefore the strongest health benefits are found just after crushing or chopping. That’s why when making Fire Cider, we blend it and immediately pour in the vinegar to capture the most potent effects.
One hundred forty-six volunteers were randomized to receive a placebo or an allicin-containing garlic supplement, one capsule daily, over a 12-week period between November and February. The active-treatment group had significantly fewer colds than the placebo group. The placebo group recorded significantly more days challenged virally and a significantly longer duration of symptoms. Consequently, volunteers in the active group were less likely to get a cold and recovered faster if infected. Volunteers taking placebo were much more likely to get more than one cold over the treatment period. An allicin-containing supplement can prevent attack by the common cold virus. (1)(2)
Next on the kitchen list is Elderberry Syrup. This one takes a few hours to make but can be enjoyed right away. Elderberries are a strong antiviral packed with antioxidants and vitamins that support your immune system.
So how are elderberries thought to work as an antiviral? There are probably many mechanisms of action, but a prime one is that elderberries contain hemagglutinin protein. This protein has been shown to stop a virus’ capability to replicate by inhibiting its ability to penetrate the cell wall, thereby preventing the virus from causing infection if taken before exposed. If elderberries are taken after infection, that keeps the virus from spreading, which reduces the duration of influenza symptoms.(3)
Life gets hectic sometimes, we get rundown and stressed out. This is usually when our preventative care falls by the wayside and when someone nearby accidentally shares their wintertime germs with us. Now is the time to reach for dōTERRA oils. There are several high quality blends I always have on hand to support and relieve these temporary miseries. Since this is a three part series, I’ll start with the two most relevant to this day’s post: BREATHE and ON GUARD.
Second DIY stop: the Oils Chest. Time to head over to your oils chest and open those airways with Breathe, it’s named the Respiratory Blend for a reason! Grab the bottle and inhale deeply to enjoy an instant cooling relief and a feeling of easy breathing. A quick swipe of the Breathe Touch along the sides of the nose and cheekbones also feels amazing!
While the oils chest is open, it is also time to get the On Guard and start diffusing it. An easy relief supporting DIY is to gargle with warm salt water followed by gargling with a couple drops of On Guard in warm water.
This Protective Blend really lives up to it’s name. dōTERRA is moving the research on essential oils to new levels. Many of the already published papers include the oils present in the On Guard blend. Studies indicate the oils are beneficial to supporting healthy immune responses. (4) So whip up these awesome essential oil DIYs to have ready if needed this season.
Superpowers Activate…form of a stronger immune system. Ok so that’s a throwback to Saturday morning cartoons that not everyone reading will appreciate but the benefits of supporting a healthy immune system response with this power packed “super team” of oils are definitely worth bookmarking these DIYs for the upcoming winter months.
Final DIY stop: bed! Gather up the tissues, a good book, and crawl into the nice cool sheets of your bed. Rest is one of the most important things you can do to support your body’s natural healing abilities. Home-cooked chicken noodle soup made with love doesn’t hurt either!
Wishing you a health-filled autumn surrounded with beautifully colored trees and 70 degree temps!
Join me next time as I continue the DIY series:
Part 1 – Preparing
Part 2 – Cleaning During Illness (coming soon)
Part 3 – Candy & Your Immune System (coming soon)
1 – Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11697022
2 – Supplementation with aged garlic extract improves…and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22280901
3 – Elderberries: A Potent Cold and Flu Remedy? https://www.pharmacytimes.com/contributor/cate-sibley-pharmd/2017/10/elderberries-a-potent-cold-and-flu-remedy
4 – [Multiple studies listed] https://www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/science-research-news-doterra-research-introduction
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