Winter is on its way and the bustle of the holidays are close at hand. This is the time of year where I pay close attention to my body and try my best to support my immune system.
Rest and good sleep pay a key role in helping our bodies stay healthy through the holidays as we may eat heavier or even more sugar than we usually do. Sugar has been shown to suppress the immune system for a period of time after we consume it! I have a hard time passing up sweet treats during the holidays!
Because this is a busier time and my eating habits shift I like to support myself by including more soups for meals as a way to get in the nutrients to support a healthy immune system. I add Elderberry syrup as well for the added immune boost! I also like to use an immune essential oil room spray to help clear the air and will use essential oils more regularly to help fend off any unwanted bugs that may make the holidays a little less fun!
Below are a few of my favorite recipes and concoctions to make during this time of year.
This chicken soup recipe is my go to if I have been eating differently or if I am feeling run down.
2 cloves garlic, 4 thin slices of ginger
2 tsp salt, 2 tsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp. soy sauce
Vegetables – carrots, celery, parsnips, sweet potato, onion or any others that you enjoy
Herbs – Astragalus (2 slices), burdock root (1 root), thyme, oregano, rosemary (you can add some or all!)
Combine chicken, herbs, garlic, ginger and salt. Bring to a boil then simmer 1 – 2 hours. You can simmer as long as you like really – the longer you simmer the more it becomes a bone broth. Remove Astragalus and burdock. Remove and debone chicken. Add meat, vegetables, soy sauce, and sesame oil and cook until vegetables are soft.
Freeze in individual jars and use when needed. Eat when feeling run down or to support digestion. You can also use at the change of season or when exposure to sick people is high.
This Elderberry syrup is s fun recipe my family makes together. In Asheville, NC we used fresh Elderberries from our tree!
ELDERBERRY SYRUP (Sambucus nigra)
Begin with 2 ounces of Elderberry infused in 1 quart water. Over low heat, simmer the liquid down to one pint. This will be a very red/purple and concentrated tea.
Strain the herbs from the tea and compost the herbs.
Add honey. Depending on your preference of sweetness you can add ½ to 1 cup of the honey per concentrated pint of tea. Stir in the honey. Keep stirring the honey for about 5 to 10 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil so stir on low heat. When finished, cool and pour into a jar. Store in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 months.
Adults take 2 teaspoons daily and children take 1 tsp daily. This can be taken for 5 days. Take a break for 3 days then take for 5 days during change of season or high exposure to sick people.
IMMUNE ROOM SPRAY
Room sprays are easy to make and help the room smell fresh and diffuse essential oils into the air during seasonal transitions or when members of the family are feeling run down. You can also use this spray to wipe down frequently touched surfaces by hands such as door knobs.
To create a spray start with a 4 ounce (preferably glass amber) spray bottle. Add three ounces of witch hazel and a half ounce of distilled water. Add 20-30 drops total of essential oils that support the immune system and are anti-microbial. General immune support oils are Eucalyptus radiata, Ravintsara, Lavender, Niaouli, Tea tree and Pine to name a few!
ESSENTIAL OIL IMMUNE BLEND
A blend I like to use during times of feeling run down, during the change of season or when my family is exposed to other sick people is Eucalyptus radiata, Ravintsara, Patchouli, and Lavender.
The blend can be diffused in the air up to 3 times a day for 20 minutes at a time to help clear the air. You can also create an oil by using a one ounce amber bottle of grape seed oil to 30 drops total of the essential oils. The oil can be rubbed on the feet or on the the acupuncture point Stomach 36 which is on the outside of the leg below the knee cap. Google the acupuncture point for the location!
These are a few of my favorite go to immune support recipes. Take care during the holiday season! Slow down when your body gives you signals like feeling more tired, a stiff neck, slight itchy sore throat. Sleep more and drink plenty of water. This is an exciting time of year and I want you to enjoy it so try some or all of these recipes. Be well!