- Relaxation & Rest
- Sleeping well
- Vitamin C & D and Garlic daily
- Eating a rainbow of food colours
- Herbal nourishment
- Looking after your lymphatic system
- Connection and herb growing
A healthy immune system helps to keep us in a state of balance, homeostasis.It can recognise unhelpful organisms, respond, mop-up and return us to good health. The more stressed, malnourished and challenged it is or if there is underlying disease, the harder the immune system has to work and the more symptoms we will experience.
Firstly, the immune system remains strong when the nervous system is calm and relaxed. The thymus gland (involved in immune function) reduces in size under stress.
A simple breathing exercise to remain calm is to extend the exhalation to twice the length of the inhalation. Sit in a relaxed calm way and take a few deep breaths sighing out and relaxing down into the space. Start to gently breath in for the count of two and exhale for the count of four…if this feels comfortable you can extend to a count of three on the inhalation and six on the exhalation. Breathing like this engages the relaxation branch of the nervous system creating a sense of peace and calm. After a few minutes, return to normal breathing and then gently come back into an alert state of being.
Vitamin C, especially mixed with zinc is a wonderful immune support. Vitamin C helps the good functioning of cells in the body and can be used as a preventative for the virus. If you chew or suck a vitamin C after being in a public place, it can actually help to denature any viral particles before they get into the lungs and trigger an immune response. We have also opted for garlic capsules for ease and to make sure the kids are getting some each day.
Hand washing and using a home-made sanitiser can give you confidence in handling mail, interacting with the outside world and feeling pro-active. See our blog post of immunity protocols for a recipe for aloe gel hand sanitiser.
The Lymphatic System
The Lymphatic System is a major part of our immune system. The lymphatic system is an important transport system, helping rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. It transports lymph, which contains white blood cells, around the body. Lymph is a clear and colourless fluid; the word “lymph” in fact comes from the Latin word lympha, which means “water”. Keeping really well hydrated helps the lymphatic system to function well.
The lymphatic system primarily consists of lymphatic vessels, which are similar to the circulatory system’s veins and capillaries. The vessels are connected to lymph nodes, where the lymph is filtered.In the case of infection, the lymph nodes can get overloaded and swell.
Nourishment for optimum immunity
Eating lots of leafy greens and rainbow colours from vegetables ensures a wide range of vitamins and minerals. This gives us the best opportunity for staying well and nourished. Refined sugar dampens down the immune response so be aware of this when choosing foods to have in for a lock-down situation. Try to ensure lots of hearty, healthy snacks are available, like nuts, crackers, and fresh fruit.
Eating lots of garlic and even supplementing with garlic capsules is a great way to support the immune system and discouraging pathogens. We have been adding garlic, and foraged wild garlic, to rich chicken broth but vegan and veg stocks with yeast flakes are also nutritious and delicious.
There are daily additions to your diet that will help to keep you healthy.See this recipe for a delicious, immune system support in a warming drink…
Sensory Herbalism Remedies
We have been nourishing ourselves and families with our Immune boost tincture combination and our ImmuniT Tea.
A daily boost for the immune system, our Immune Boost tincture mix has travelled the lands with us for the past 20 years and is a staple of our home remedy kit; it contains Elderberry, ground ivy, sage & hemp agrimony.
ImmuniT Tea is a delicious immune boosting tea blend.We have slightly tweaked the herbs in this batch in the face of the Covid19 crisis to include Hypericum, Cinnamon and Liquorice which all are extremely potent plants to aid protect the body from viral infections.
We make a Tonsil Tickler throat spray which we use as a barrier at the level of the throat and mouth.It can prevent disease setting in with antimicrobial herbs and localised lymphatic support.
Getting good rest and decent sleep is vital to efficient immune responses.There is a previous blog post about Anxiety and Stress. If you are feeling overwhelmed and finding it hard to sleep we recommend calming herbal teas.We have a lovely Heart and Soul Tea with lime flowers, rose, Lemon balm and hawthorn.
We also make a Sleep Mix tincture with local relaxing herb tinctures to bring peace and calm for late in the evening.
Herbs to support rest and relaxation include:
- Lime Blossoms
Community connection and growing
We have been encouraging those around us to start planting the seeds for spring and future veg, salad and radishes are quick growing as are culinary herbs with some longer growing crops of root veg and greens to see you through the coming months. Fingers deep in the soil is soulful work and can ground us literally bring a greater sense of purpose and wellbeing.
Connect with others that want to or enjoy growing to create a network to grow food so that you are nourished both by other folk and from the garden itself.
We have focused our work into creating Community gardens for many years, these have the potential to mitigate some of the problems that plague our societies. They can be a beneficial addition to many communities by increasing the availability of nutritious foods, and useful medicines strengthening community ties, reducing environmental hazards, reducing food miles and creating a more sustainable system.
Getting our hand down in the soil, sowing seeds, planting out, weeding and creating compost is now a whole new studied branch of health! Social and therapeutic horticulture – the process of utilising plants and gardens to improve physical and mental health, as well as communication and thinking skills.
Gardening is a wonderfully flexible medium that can transform lives with the ability to help everyone, regardless of age or disability.
The benefits of a sustained and active interest in gardening include:
- Better physical health through exercise and learning how to use or strengthen muscles to improve mobility
- Improved mental health through a sense of purpose and achievement
- The opportunity to connect with others – reducing feelings of isolation or exclusion
- Acquiring new skills to improve the chances of finding employment
- Just feeling better for being outside, in touch with nature and in the ‘great outdoors’
Horticultural and woodland therapies are attracting attention thanks to the increasingly well-documented value of the outdoors for people’s mental health and wellbeing. There is a growing pile of research showing that the flexible nature of gardening projects allows service users to feel empowered in a non-threatening space. It also helps develop nurturing skills and is thought to boost mindfulness, as well as increasing serotonin and dopamine levels.