It’s pretty common for what we consider flu season to start right around Halloween and go through New Years, with another little flare of it around Valentines day. From a holistic perspective we can’t ignore the increase of sugar intake and stress during these months.
Sugar creates a damp inflammatory environment in our body. Parasites and yeast thrive in damp environments and can have a dramatic effect on our physical and mental wellbeing, creating the stage for disease, mental fog and emotional instability. Knowing a season of sugar and stress are soon approaching, you may choose to do a cleanse before and after the holidays. This helps stimulate the immune system and can help make it easier to make healthful and conscious choices through the holiday season.
A few things you can do to support detox (in addition to cutting out or down on processed foods and alcohol):
1. Drink hot water with lemon in the morning and throughout the day.
2. Support the liver with either herbs or teas. Nettle and milk thistle are great teas to be having this time of year. I also recommend Bairn Biologics Liver supplement that is a nice botanical blend to help tonify the liver.
4. Support the kidneys. Bitter flavors such as Celery and Burdock help cut dampness in the body and tonifies the kidneys. I recommend either juicing these, or a tincture by Herb Pharm called Stone Breaker.
5. Support bowl movements. A healthy gut has a bowl movement with every meal. If you’re getting enough fiber in your diet through whole grains and vegetables and are still having constipation, you may want to add magnesium supplement to your routine. Magnesium helps calm the nervous system, improve digestion, relaxation and sleep.
5. If you have an overgrowth of yeast a supplement can be used to treat it. I recommend Candisol by Bairn.
6. If you have parasites (if you have pets, you do.) Herbs can be used to get rid of them. You want to use a blend that will kill the grown parasites as well as the egg sacks. I recommend Dr. Mikio Sankey's Support the Mountain.
7. A probiotic is always good to keep up a strong healthy gut. Not all probiotics (or supplements for that matter) are created equal. Again, I recommend Bairn Biologics, specifically the 15/100, which offers 15 strains and 100 billion cultures per capsule.
8. If you have a sugar craving use organic unsulphured blackstrap molasses and raw, unheated honey.
*A note about supplements. High quality supplements are made of natural, organic ingredients. How they are stored will have an effect on them and can alter their potency. It's always best to get your supplements from a trusted source.
Foundation for vitality:
1. Eat healthy foods. Nothing replaces fresh organic, whole foods.
2. Eat raw greens. Raw foods give us enzymes, which help our gut be healthy and improve our immune system. If you have digestive pain when eating raw foods it’s a sign the digestive track is compromised in some way and it would be beneficial to tonify your digestive fire first.
3. Move your body. Moving helps blood and lymph move through the body cleansing and nourishing the tissues. Even if it’s doing stretches and short walks, throughout the week, it will help your body get rid of toxin buildup.
4. Breath. In Chinese medicine the lungs and colon are siblings, they are the yin and yang of the Metal element, which is a dominant energy in nature this time of year. Together they work with the kidneys and liver to release toxins. Most of us are shallow breathers. Our lives are stressful and we’re constantly on the go. If we get in the practice of breathing mindfully a few minutes each day we cue our body to release what it no longer needs.
And of course there is meditation, immersing yourself in nature when you can, fill your senses with things that are pleasing and uplifting to you, and support healthy sleep habits.