of the Flu Season
By Susun S. Weed
Along with the beauty of fall days comes the need to get ready for winter. Time to get out my long underwear and my warm wooly socks. Time to nourish my immune system so cold days won't be days of colds -- and flu.
I don't rely on modern medicine to keep me healthy, but if you usually rely on a flu shot to protect you, you may feel frightened by your inability to get one this year. You may be wondering what you can do instead. Or you may have discovered that flu shots don't give protection from all types of flu, just the ones the makers guess will be active this winter. And you may wonder if there isn't some other way to prevent the flu. Or maybe, like me, you prefer not to use shots or drugs unless absolutely necessary. You may wonder what herbs and remedies are the best to have on hand to help your family deal with the flu.
No matter what your situation, now is a good time to give yourself the benefit of Wise Woman Ways to prevent - and deal with - the flu. These flu presenters and flu remedies are simple. They are quite safe. And you don't have to be rich to use them. Wise Woman herbal medicine is people's medicine. Mama Medicine. You can buy most of the things I discuss in this article - and you can find them growing freely, too. You can buy the herbal preparations I mention already made - and you can easily make you own for pennies, too.
These Wise Woman Ways are supported by both tradition and science. Wise women through the centuries have kept themselves and their families safe from contagious diseases. And science has found good reasons for their effectiveness. I hope these tips will help you face winter's ills with confidence, and good health.
BEAT THE FLU
The best way to prevent the flu is to build a powerful immune system. While this can't guarantee that you won't get the flu, neither can the flu shot. Here are my favorite ways to keep my immune system strong:
1) Eat more garlic.
2) Drink nourishing herbal infusions daily.
3) Make immune-strengthening soups; or add immune-strengthening herbs to canned soup.
4) Use anti-viral herbs as needed.
EAT MORE GARLIC
One of the best immune-system helpers is garlic. Dr. James Duke says it contains at least 17 different factors that nourish and support powerful immune system functioning. Herbalists in the middle ages relied on it to prevent infection from the plague, so it might keep us safe from the flu. Garlic is anti-bacterial, too. If you don't like fresh raw garlic, powdered garlic is just as good. The dose is 1 or more cloves of raw garlic per day, or up to a teaspoon of garlic powder. Here are a few of my favorite ways to eat raw garlic:
1) Top scrambled eggs with minced raw garlic.
2) Put chopped raw garlic on pasta and cover with tomato sauce.
3) Try minced raw garlic on a piece of hot buttered toast. Delicious!
4) Add minced raw garlic to your baked potato.
5) Mix chopped raw garlic and olive oil with hot cooked greens like kale or spinach.
DRINK NOURISHING HERBAL INFUSIONS
Nourishing herbal infusions are the basis of great nourishment for the immune system and the entire body. They are full of antioxidant vitamins, minerals, proteins, phytoestrogens, and hundreds of protective phytochemicals that work to help you ward off the flu and colds too. Here's how I make a nourishing herbal infusion:
1) Choose one herb: nettle, oatstraw, red clover, comfrey leaf, linden flowers, or violet leaf.
2) Place one full ounce, by weight, of any one herb in a quart jar. A canning jar is best.
3) Fill the jar to the top with boiling water.
4) Screw on a tight lid
5) Let it steep for four hours, or overnight.
6) Strain the liquid out, squeezing the herb.
7) Refrigerate the infusion, where it will be good for 24-36 hours.
You may drink two to four cups of nourishing herbal infusions daily - over ice, heated up with honey and milk, or mixed with other beverages.
MAKE IMMUNE STRENGTHENING SOUPS
Cooking herbs and vegetables together for a long time extracts minerals, activates immune-strengthening phytochemicals, and increases the levels of available antioxidants. Raw foods weaken and stress the immune system. To make an immune strengthening soup:
1) Chop at least half an onion per person and sauté in olive oil until translucent.
2) Add at least two cloves of garlic, sliced or chopped, per person and sauté for a minute.
3) Add two or more cups of water or vegetable broth per person.
4) Add one cup per person of chopped seasonal vegetables such as:
carrots, cabbage, celery, corn, burdock, turnips, potatoes, tomatoes, parsnips
(If using canned soup, begin here.)
1) Add one small handful of seaweed per person.
2) Add one ounce fresh, or one-half ounce dried mushrooms -- any kind -- per person.
3) Add one-quarter ounce dried tonic roots per person.
4) Add generous amounts of antioxidant seasoning herbs and some sea salt.
5) Bring to a boil; simmer for an hour.
6) Turn off fire and let your soup mellow in a cool place overnight.
7) Serve it the next day, heated up, with freshly-baked bread and organic raw milk cheese.
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