What’s special about this autumn?
Autumn is traditionally a peak season for viruses. Children return to school, we all get busier with our daily grind and the temperature drops, which means coughs and colds are on the rise. This tends to happen each year.
But this year, levels of infection are expected to be higher than normal. Social distancing and other restrictions throughout 2020 and 2021 have meant that people have not had opportunities to build up natural immunity through everyday social contact. And the number of people contracting respiratory viruses such as RSV is on the rise compared to pre-pandemic years. Researchers are predicting a more severe flu season than average.
So, this autumn, more than any other, it’s important to look after ourselves. And herbs can help. You may well have heard of elderberry syrup - it’s a popular immune tonic due to its antiviral qualities (and its great taste!). You may have some echinacea tablets hidden away somewhere too. But there are many more ways herbs can support your health this season.
How do herbs play their part?
Herbs can help by responding to your body once it shows signs of infection - for example, soothing your cough and easing fever. But prevention is better than cure, and herbs play their part here too. From pantry staples such as garlic, to the centuries’ old recipe for ‘fire cider’ there are plenty of ways to boost your immunity via herbs. In this blog I share 10 immune boosting herbs and foods that it’s worth having in your kitchen this year. Definitely worth bookmarking, or printing out and sticking to the fridge.
Herbal medicine isn’t just about dealing with specific infections though. It’s about bringing your body into balance. Unlike conventional medicine, which often focuses on a single issue (such as dealing with a cough), a medical herbalist aims to get to the heart of what’s going on.
Your body’s reaction to a virus may be different to mine. We have all witnessed this with Covid-19: some people who have caught the virus are asymptomatic, some experienced it as a cold, others were hospitalised. With plenty of other responses in between.
Rather than simply dealing with symptoms, herbal medicine aims to understand the root cause of your health issues and select the right combination of herbs to help. It’s why my practice is called ‘Bespoke Botanicals’. The medicine I dispense is bespoke to you. Herbal medicine works by considering your whole person, not just the collection of symptoms that are causing you trouble. And that means we look at your lifestyle and emotional health as that will all have an impact on what’s going on in your body. People who are stressed are more likely to catch colds, or have autoimmune flare-ups, for example.
Look at the bigger picture
One of the easiest things you can do to look after your health this season is to pause for a moment, and do a quick self-audit of the bigger picture:
- What’s going on in your life that’s causing you stress at the moment? Are there non-essential tasks you can cross off, or postpone? Are there essential tasks you can delegate?
- Are you able to create habits that support your underlying health - such as getting enough sleep everyday? It can be difficult to pay attention to the basics when there’s so much going on in our lives. But these basics are important.
- Are you able to get outside more often? We are less likely to catch respiratory diseases outside and it is often a mood-enhancer too, even in colder weather.
Whether you are suffering from the effects of a virus, feeling rundown or want support with a chronic condition, herbal medicine can help. When you book in a consultation with me we will establish a full picture of what’s going on for you, and how that might impact your body. And that means I’ll provide a tailor-made herbal prescription that is designed specifically for your body and needs.
Don’t let the damp and demands of autumn bring you or your health down. Book in a consultation with me so we can restore your body to good health from the inside out.
You can ask any questions or book in for a consultation here.