Immune Boosters for Winter
If you are feeling anything like we are in these early weeks of January, energy is turned inwards and quiet despite the messages being constantly thrown at us telling us to start new projects, new resolutions, new daily regimes and make big personal shifts. Here at Rupam's Herbals, we feel quite differently about what the month of January naturally ushers in, and that is a dropping-in of presence, reflection, rest and true self care. We are in deep winter and the natural pull is towards hibernation and nourishing our roots in order to bloom forth come spring. Don't let all the hype push you into thinking that January is a natural time to call yourself into action. After the holiday thrust, our bodies now need relaxation and care, sleep and replenishing food in order to protect our immune and nervous systems which keep us vibrant and strong during the winter season. One of the best ways to support your immune system in a safe and gentle, yet effective, manner is through developing a relationship with Elderberries. Please enjoy watching the conversation below between Rupam and our beloved Dr. Catie Morse to learn more about the potent Elderberry Elixir that we carry. Catie's elderberry product is one of the only items we carry that we don't make ourselves--because we couldn't possibly make a more ethically sourced, effective elderberry immune support than Catie's!
What's New in the Apothecary?
As you saw in the video above, Rupam has a new home office! While our farmer's market booths and apothecary still reside in the San Francisco Bay Area, our lovely Moon Sisters Caravan is rooted up on Rupam's land in Nevada City, CA. We have a bit of a Town and Country division that is naturally expanding as we shift our commercial kitchen up to Nevada City and begin planting on land there, some of which we steward and some of which, such as the Soil Sisters Farm, are cared for by other like-minded souls. The intention is to keep the apothecary, markets and fulfillment center in the Bay Area but to grow more and more of the plants we use on Rupam's homestead in the Sierra foothills. It is a journey still some years in the making but it feels important to us that we keep all ingredients not only organic and ethically sourced but local and known to us from seedling to final product. And along those lines, you will see in our next newsletter the announcement of an additional Bitters formula that we will soon be adding to our line comprised almost exclusively of locally grown herbs!
This Month's Most Asked Questions:
Why do you think so many people get sick in early January? The cycle of post-holiday illness is one seen repeatedly over time, and it makes sense! After the huge energetic output that is called forth during the November and December holiday season, our bodies need a rest. However, instead of making it through the holidays and then balancing the outwards push with an inwards pull, we are always fed the line to now summon extra energy to start new...everything! The end result? Bodies pushed too hard, feelings of stress and exhaustion, depleted immune systems and illness that finally forces us to slow down and recover. The hope is that going into January with awareness of this flawed narrative can get us to quiet down, unwind, and care for our immune systems proactively in order to avoid having colds and flus force us to do so. Other than Elderberry, what are other plants that are anti-viral and support immune systems? Short answer? Lots! In truth, almost all medicinal herbs are somewhat antiviral, though below are some that we carry which are specifically potent. • Lemon Balm is one of the gentlest yet effective antivirals around. It is great for children and safe to take longer term for anyone with a chronic virus on board (such as herpes.) Here at the apothecary, we love to alternate between Lemon Balm and Elderberry throughout the year when we feel pulled to bring in foundational immune support. In addition to its anti-viral properties, Lemon Balm is a Nervine, so it also soothes the central nervous system (stress there is another hit to the immune system!) and as a member of the mint family, it eases digestive upset, particularly when anxiety is the cause of indigestion. • Ginger is a spicy, warming root that is an anti-viral, anti-microbial powerhouse to help support us during the cold season. It improves circulation, decreases systemic inflammation and is a delicious food. Traditionally, it often accompanies meals such as sushi in which bacteria or microbes might be present as a means to protect the body. It is another herb that has overall digestive uses, decreasing nausea and dissipating gas. • Turmeric pairs beautifully with ginger and is a favorite tasty combo here. This root has come to fame in recent years as more and more of us recognize how effective it is at decreasing overall inflammation, protecting against cancer, easing joint pain, menstrual cramps and supporting digestion, the liver, and skin. It is an essential detoxifier not only for every system of the body but also against bacteria and viruses. • As one of our body's most important detoxifying organs, it is of the utmost importance to support our livers if we want healthy immune systems. The liver not only produces bile in order for us to digest fats, it detoxifies our blood and cleans it of viral loads and the waste products that viruses and bacteria leave behind after our immune system has dealt with them successfully. Therefore, Bitters are a strong ally for any liver to support it to function optimally. • Combating stress is one pivotal way to avoid illness, both acute and chronic. Times of stress release cascades of hormones throughout our bodies that have a host of side effects, one being dampened immune systems. Ashwagandha is one of the loveliest ways to ease stressors so that you feel calmer and less fatigued during the day in order to then sleep better at night. • Lastly, don't forget about sleep! Both California Poppy and our Sweet Dreams Drambui will help make your nights more restful so that your days feel calmer and more energized. In order for our immune systems to keep us healthy, our bodies need rest and replenishment. Without deep sleep at night, that necessary restoration is missing and the result is extra stress on all of the bodies systems.
What product questions or health and herbal topics are on your mind? We would love to hear what interests you and receive any feedback on videos that you would find helpful.