It’s winter and like many of my patients, you may be surrounded by co-workers who are sneezing and hacking away at their desks. Let’s talk about some things you can do to boost your immune system and stay healthy while those around you have kindly come into the office with a cold.
Echinacea is a common herbal support for the long term. But it doesn’t really help if you are getting colds. Taking a daily probiotic is also great to boost your immune system. Remember, about 85% of your immune system is located in your gut. So keep that healthy and you’ll boost your immune system for sure. If you’re going to start taking either of these, you have to make sure they are high quality. Email me if you have quality questions.
What do you do if you feel like you’re getting sick? First and foremost, stay in bed and sleep. It’s really the best thing for your body. Sip on some warm lemon water with a little honey and cayenne pepper. Cayenne is excellent to use within the first 12 hours. It increases circulation and can provide warmth for you if you feel chilled.
Another great technique is the wet sock treatment. This is good if you have a stuffy head.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, winter is the time to nourish the kidneys. It’s the element of water. The organs associated with the water element are the Kidneys and the Bladder. The emotion is fear. The adrenal glands are located on top of the kidneys and connects with the endocrine and skeletal system.
This is the time of year to tonify and support your body, not the time to cleanse. You need warm foods, not cold, raw salads or juices. It’s also a good time to eat more beans, nuts, seeds and meats. The flavors of winter are sweetness of yams, butternut squash, chicken and beef, not sugar.
Now you probably heard of this one as it’s all the craze at the moment. I think I heard that in LA there are now bone broth bars like juice bars. It’s easy to find in health food stores and it’s pretty easy to make. You just need some bones and parts of meat that you don’t eat and cook it for several hours. I make mine from the turkey bones and parts leftover from holiday dinners. My recipe includes lots of veggies too. It’s pretty amazing tasting. After I make a large batch, I portion it out and freeze it. Then I use it later to make soup. Yum.
If you don’t make your own broth, then add some white Miso to your soup. This will provide the umami flavor and it’s a kidney tonic as it’s from fermented beans. Don’t boil the miso, add it at the end.
- Sauté an onion in olive oil, add some chopped garlic after the onion becomes translucent. Use the whole onion, skin and all.
- Put in the turkey carcass and any meat and skin you have.
- Now add a bunch of veggies that you’d like. For example, parsley, turnips, carrots, etc.
- Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
- Add 1-2 chopped green apples.
- Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for 6-8 hours covered. Stir occasionally.
- Let cool completely. Strain and use immediately or freeze for later.