Herbal Allies for a Strong Immune System by Audrey Barron
n the age of information, it can feel like a tornado of articles and advice on health and how to eat are constantly swirling around us. So let’s cut through it all and get to it. Certain plants can heal, strengthen and create vitality in the body. Before the age of pharmaceuticals, we were a people with a close relationship to the herbs and plants in our area. After all, this is the knowledge the pharmaceutical industry is built upon. Now, in the age of taking pills for illness or discomfort, our culture has forgotten the simple magic and beauty of using plants to heal. Guess what my friend? That world is as close as your neighborhood health food store, vibrant café or even right outside your door. This winter has proven to be a doozy when it comes to sickness. As I’m writing this article, we’ve had over 100 flu-related deaths in Indiana and this is happening in communities around the country. The flu is hitting people harder and lasting longer. Allergies are also on the rise—seasonal, food and the like.
Our immune systems are being exposed to more pollution from the air, water and food than ever. What do we do? You don’t have to spend a lot or have some secret herbalist connection. Turn to the people’s herbs and you will find relief. Here are the top four herbal allies I recommend using as prevention; not only during cold and flu season, but all year long. 1. Garlic is one of my favorite herbs and in my opinion, one of the very best for the cold and flu. It’s easy to get, afford-
able and highly potent. It’s been used for centuries for everything from strength, virility, stamina and a variety of diseases and ailments. I like to use garlic for it’s antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. If taken in time and in conjunction with plenty of water and a clean diet, it can stop a cold or flu in its tracks. 2. Raw local honey is such an important food for humans. Like garlic, raw honey has also been used for approximately 8,000 years and is anti-bacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal. Honey is also super high in antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Make sure you are getting real honey. The best place to get it is from your local beekeeper. Farmers’ markets are a great place to find them. A bonus: When you support your local beekeeper, you support the bees. They need all the help they can get. 3. Turmeric, the magical root the color of the sun. Its claim to fame is the anti-inflammatory action that takes place when you consume it. Turmeric is known to March 2018
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