Updated: May 27, 2020
We all know that when faced with the onslaught of viral symptoms, timing is important. Getting rest, getting strong antiviral assistance into your body and maintaining a clean, clear and hygienic environment is paramount to getting your body back to normal and your life back on track. But choosing the 'right' herbal helper can often be confusing, so I choose to use herbs that inherently know how to help in several areas and work with other nutrients to form a web of support. These are called 'adaptogens' and they are more common than you may think.
When you live a life less toxic your body is already prepared for any immune system challenge, and if you've taken the time to fortify before cold weather, or the weather during the change of seasons, (TCM calls this time of imbalance The Fifth Season) you'll find that your body will be able to repel and fight off viruses and bacteria with more ease.
Less toxins and more fortification of the herbal kind assist you in staying strong and healthy because your body isn't wasting energy on managing physiological stress, therefore the normal amount of spontaneous distress experienced in everyday life is handled with less energy.
This is where herbs with synergistic qualities are incredibly potent life enhancers. I love adaptogenic herbs, because to me they are the over-achievers of the plant kingdom. I may take a herb commonly known for increasing energy and also have it help with my nervous system and improve my quality of sleep...I kinda love that.
Some adaptogens you may already be familiar with; Ashwagandah, Liquorice, Cardamom, Ginger, Nettle, Lemonbalm, Yarrow, Rooibos, Honeybush...and the list goes on. Each of these adaptogens works within the system that is your body, to either regulate or balance the metabolism. Some work well on the nervous system to positively impact digestion and vice-versa. Others work in a protective way on the cardio-pulmonary system to prevent illness of the respiratory system or blood. It's great that these botanical helpers know what to do without us having to direct them. You get an blanket effect of releasing toxins and fortifying your immune system, so it's a win-win-win cycle that ultimately benefits you.
MEM's best sellers packed with adaptogens are:
Epic Red Chai - The addictive taste of sweet Rooibos and Honeybush and robust spices that warm, soothe and improve digestion, flowing out into the body via the nervous system and being picked up by the emotional receptors in that first sip of 'ahhhhh'. Mix it with a plant milk and other botanical powder like Cacao, Reishi (or several mushroom powders) and Maca to make a ritual of self care that works from Mind, to Heart and into your Aura.
Bliss & Flow - designed specifically as a womens' tonic blend, this collection of metabolic balancers helps to improve menstrual health and restore vital nutrients lost during each cycle. It also addresses the release of tension in the body that may add stress in the form of aches, cramping and irritability. A perfect sleepy-time-brew for anyone of any age. Soothing for anyone who is experiencing mild muscular discomfort or sleepless nights. (I thoroughly recommend pairing this one with Rescue Remedy or Release Bach Flower Essence blends if you are injured or experiencing acute menstrual cramping).
Sweet Devi - Master herbs of Ashwagandah, Liquorice Root and Cardamom provide support to increase energy and improve sleep while also being a powerful lung tonic blend. Take it when you are sleep deprived or in the run of a big project and need to turn up at your best. When you are in recovery from colds or flu, or at the first little 'tickle' of glandular inflammation which alerts you to the fact your body is fighting something off.
I blend all my herbal teas from Australian Certified Organic stock that I purchase through an accredited Australian supplier. I've been working with them for nearly two decades and can vouch for the quality of their product. I also only purchase small amounts so that I can keep fresh stock here for blending. The fresher the herb, stored correctly and used well within it's vital-timing, the better the outcome of using it inside your body. I'm also an advocate for going bag-free. Paper or polypropylene fabric used for teabags interferes with the taste, and also carries its toxin load, so I avoid that, and use a stainless steel strainer or muslin drawstring bag :) Easy. No fuss. No bits. Real taste.
All the herbal teas are available as samples so you can pick a few to try out for yourself. Have a go at blending some of them together. For example I find that if I mix Divine Green and Petals & Mint together in hot weather I get a beautiful cooling and energising drink for the whole morning that helps me 'get stuff done' even if the weather is humid and heavy. In cooler weather I like to blend Epic Red Chai with Sweet Devi to give me a super restorative blend to sip on cold evenings after completing the 'to do' list.
As I only taking botanical medicine I always say "Consult your health care professional if you think any medication you are on might interfere (or interact) with the therapeutic properties of the ingredients of this blend". In my experience it's not the herb that hurts, it's the pharmaceutical that carries known negative side effects we need to be concerned about. That said, if you have a pronounced condition that you have been receiving pharmaceutical treatment for then it is up to you to do your research and consider the implications of all avenues of help available to you.
You are the Master of your Destiny, the Captain of your ship, the Navigator of your Life. Take responsibility for your health, try some adaptogenic support, and I wish you well.