The body knows how to heal; we need to remove what is blocking it from doing so.
When we get sick it is partly a "breaking down" and a recovery. Why would I say that? Well, getting sick is part of the healing process so to speak. We often get sick when we are overloaded and undernourished. And when I say undernourished that might not mean eating too little, but rather too much of the "wrong" stuff. Wrong here means what overloads the body and its balance.
Confused yet? I know it seems like a paradox, it all makes sense from a body view perspective.
The foods that overload the body's balance are those that create excess mucus, also known as bacteria overgrowth, and for some it becomes more of a condition called candida. We have more mucus build-up and the immune system is both working harder but also getting weaker, add to that the bacteria coming from our environment, such as a cold or the flu, and you get sick.
This condition of excess and the growth of bacteria is part of the body's ability to get rid of excess. In a round about way you can think of this as both the healing process and the "dis-ease" because of the phlegm.
Now let's get to the solution:
To avoid this mucus building up we need to cut down, limit or completely avoid the foods that cause the mucus. That means processed foods, dairy, sugar, and flour products like wheat based bread, pasta, cake, and cookies.
The other factor is that the more intolerant you are to something, for example wheat and/or gluten, the more mucus your body might produce. This is also part of what makes you bloated.
Excess fruit, juices, and other raw foods like salads are cooling foods and therefore best suited for summer time. In the winter they tend to cause more dampness and mucus in the body. Cooling foods in the midst of the dry summer might feel really good, but not in the middle of the cold winter.
Foods to eat and potions to drink:
Cooked foods and lots of good veggies.
Green vegetables like broccoli, broccoli rabe, asparagus, brussels sprouts...
Leafy greens like kale, collards, and bok choy.
Bitter foods, like the greens above but also roots like turnip and kohlrabi, as well as radishes and daikon.
Carrots and onion are nice sweetness to add.
Have good fiber from gluten free wholegrain like brown rice, job's tears (hato mugi), and also quinoa and amaranth are great. These are actually considered protein as well. Have beans, especially aduki beans are good winter foods, and choose fish over meat. Avoid tofu, but have baked tempeh instead.
For a good potion:
The ingredients in the picture above create a nice tea for warming and soothing yourself, not only when you have a cold.
Fresh ginger (cut about 1-2" chunk into slices, depending on how strong you want it).
Stick of cinnamon.
Star of anise, all boiled in a pot of water.
Let it simmer for a good 15-20 min. and then pour into a cup with a teaspoon of raw honey. You can make a couple of cups at a time. You can also add lemon to it.
For some herbal helpers:
Cook with herbs and good quality spices, add black pepper, ginger, mustard seeds, garlic, cayenne and cinnamon. Cinnamon is great on your morning porridge.
For my witches brew
: use herbal tinctures (about 20 drops each) in a small amount of water and keep it in your mouth for a minute or two before you swallow.
- Cat's claw
- Oreganol or oregano leaf
There are more options but these are good essentials :)
Sleep, self love, self-care, self-nourishment.
Remember: Feed your body, nourish your soul, embrace your SELF.
Being sick is a time to simmer down, go inward, and spend a little time with you.
Stress and the immune system:
We tend to get emotionally out of balance when we are stressed. Stress builds inflammation in our bodies just like some food do. We also tend to eat differently when we are stressed, and choose not only convenient foods, but also comfort foods.
What comes first; eating better or feeling better?
A wise man once told me...(it was my dad); "you do not get stressed from what you have to do but rather from what you don't get done".
So consider for a moment how you get into overwhelm. Is it your to-do list or your have-not (done) list?
I am not suggesting to not care about your commitments and responsibilities, but I am suggesting to not beat yourself up! Self defeating thought patterns are the most depleting of not only your energy, your mood, and mental outlook, but also of your immune system.
So start noticing what you do get done, and start noticing what you have. We tend to focus on the opposite of what we want, meaning; what we don't have, what we did not do, and with that we feel we fail more than we succeed.
It is like riding a bicycle, if you look at the pot-hole you will hit it,
if you want to avoid it then look where you are going.