“Let food be thy medicine”
We all know that quote. I’ve heard it my whole life. But the last 5 years or so, particularly the last 3, I’ve been delving deep into herbs and foods for healing, immunity and wellness and what I’ve learned is that Mother Earth provides us with many safe, healthy remedies and natural immune boosters. No boxed, factory made food or protein bar can do this for us. What grows in the gardens is the source of delicious wellness foods we all need.
With viruses everywhere, we can’t escape. We all get sick time to time. Using herbs and foods to help us fight those germs and generally strengthen our immune system is a choice most of us should make. Of course, this is not medical advice- you should always check with your health care provider AND do your own research.
I made a list of supplements, herbs and foods to have on hand. Some you may want to add regularly, others are as needed. Please always read precautions on any supplement you take. But eating real foods and herbs are something we can all add into our meal preps and diets.
Garlic- buy garlic NOT grown in China and add to meals, soups, stir frys. You can also take it in supplement form like from Kyolic, a brand I like.
Ginger- Easy to buy fresh in the produce aisle and eat at home.A popular drink is grating ginger into water, steeping for an hour, then strain the ginger out and add lemon and raw honey to the water. This is an immune strengthener and can help fight germs and is good when you have a mild cold or cough.
Turmeric- an anti inflammatory. You can use it on your foods or buy capsules or even liquids.
Mullein- This is an herb that can help loosen phlegm and relieve congestion. You can find it in Earthley’s Cough Be Gone tincture. Use my code ‘naturalbeautymama’ for 10% off if you’ve never shopped before!
Astragalus – used for centuriess, as most of these herbs have been, it is immune boosting, anti inflammatory and said to be anti aging.
Elderberry- anti viral, an immune modulator, and a potent cold and flu fighter, elderberry is very popular! You can find it in Earthley’s elixir here ( it’s mixed with synergestic herbs and does come in a milder kids version as well).
Vitamins D,and C. D has too many functions to mention and new studies have shown that many people are low in D, which can lower immunity. Since sun helps us make D. For many of us , we live in cold climates in winter, so we should take D. ( along with K and magnesium- do your research to learn more about these work synergistically)
Probiotics- Chewable, tablets , liquids or in yogurts, these help keep our bodies and guts humming, since it’s said most of our immune system is our gut! Get the kids used to Kefir and yogurt, particularly lower sugar ones.
Magnesium- Yet another many people are said to be low in since the soil is depleted of this mineral, the foods we eat have less than they did a hundred years ago. Supplementing is a good idea. Magnesium can help with hundreds of small functions in our bodies including keeping muscles free of aches, helping us relax and sleep better, helping with anxiety. You can take it in a tablet, capsule, chewable or even topical. I’ve tried sprays and they itch like all heck! Try Goodnight magnesium lotion from Earthleyif you don’t want an oral supplement. The lotion is pure magnesium chloride with nourishing oils and butters that moisturize your skin while the magnesium absorbs quickly. The result is healthy skin and a healthy body! Win win.
L-lysine – this has been used to cut short cold sores and I have seen recently that some believe it may help with colds too. L Lysine is an amino acid that supports immunity and helps with collagen synthesis. This is a good one, and very affordable
Zinc- We’ve all seen the lozenges that say to take a few times a day when we feel like we are coming down with a cold and that it can shorten the duration and severity of a cold. That’s some good benefits from such a small thing to do! Zinc also comes in other forms like liquids.
Lemon – Add lemon to water to help the liver eliminate toxins. it fights free radicals too. Add to teas also. Or try an easy ginger lemon water by grating ginger into water, letting sit 30 minutes, then strain ginger pieces out and add honey and lemon.
Cinnamon- Cinnamon ( buy organic and try to get Ceylon cinnamon) besides being delish, can help balance blood sugar, is said to contain powerful medicinal qualities and is loaded with anti oxidants. It may have anti viral and anti fungal properties too. Mix with honey and swallow when you have a cough. Use on toast, popcorn and in recipes.
Echinacea- used for thousands of years and suspected to help with colds and flus as both prevention and treatment, though some studies show no effect. It is still popular and has is said to also treat pain, inflammation, and other health issues. Find it in several of Earthley’s tinctures like Feel Better Fast
Mushrooms- There are many mushroom varieties and all are said to have major immune strengthening benefits. You can eat mushrooms of course, but since most of us likely can’t eat enough, and many don’t like them, taking them in other forms are best. Many supplements are powdered mushroom and you can even get mushroom coffee nowadays like Four Sigmatic or a powder like this organic one you can add to various smoothies or recipes
Honey- Full of anti oxidants and as sweet as sugar but tends to raise blood sugar less, honey is not only good for coughs, it’s said it can ease stomach issues also has anti fungal and anti bacterial properties and a load of micronutrients! Remember to buy RAW honey, not the cute little bear honey or anything that doesn’t say raw on it. There’s a good book on Amazon if you’d like to learn more.
What would you add to this list?