Better Botanicals

Isn’t it often the case that just as we start to exhale after holding our breath (metaphorically) throughout the Holiday Season, BOOM, we come down with the flu or a cold – right?

The body seems to have an unerring instinct to carry on until it needs to rest.  Sometimes that rest comes uninvited in the form of an illness.

I have picked some helpful hints to stay healthy throughout the year.  Here is to your good health!



Not only should you drink at least 48 oz. of fluid (preferably water) everyday, remember that adding moisture to the air through the use of a humidifier is the best way to ground airborne germs and keep them out of your system. Research over the past 70 years has found that increasing the relative humidity in your indoor environment above 40% greatly reduces the instances of the flu!

Don't want to run an electronic humidifier?  Try hanging a wet towel in a room, or leaving a shallow dish full of water (the bottom of a planter is ideal) in each room.  



The two most effective herbs during this season are Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng) and Turmeric, both of which are clinically proven to strengthen a weakened and susceptible immune system.

  • Ashwagandha supports the nervous system and gives the body ability to cope with stress.  Take 1,000 mg twice daily.
  • Tumeric is antiviral and antibacterial and helps keep bacteria and viruses in their place and not in your body!  Ingest 1,000 mg with food as often as three times a day.  If you feel a bug coming on, take every two hours initially.



Mushrooms increase the number of disease fighting white blood cells in your bloodstream. You can simply add mushrooms to your next pot of vegetal soup or look for dried medicinal mushrooms or mushrooms in supplement form. Here is one in particular that is very popular among eastern practitioners.

Maitake Mushrooms

These mushrooms are commonly referred to as “Hen of the Woods” because of its resemblance to the tail feathers of a nesting hen. Although few Westerners beyond serious mushroom connoisseurs are familiar with this fungus, it has a powerful reputation in the East. In fact, those seeking to balance their bodies and super-charge their immunity often consume maitake on a daily basis; it may provide the greatest immune-boost of all mushrooms. In addition to being known to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke, maitake is often used in immunotherapy to complement surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy, where patient response rates have been seen to improve up to 28%! 



The Neti can be traced back thousands of years in India, where it was used as a cleansing technique in Hatha yoga. As most colds enter the body through the nose’s mucous membranes, a neti pot helps clear the area of mucus, allergens and viruses; thereby helping to boost your immune system (reduced work load) and prevent the virus from spreading throughout the body.  



Heart opening poses like Cobra, Fish and Bridge Pose stimulate blood flow to the thymus which is located behind the breastbone and which is instrumental in the growth of the immune system’s frontline cells.

Practice each of these three poses several times a day and visualize your body as strong, flexible and open hearted.

Written by Patricia Tedeschi — January 03, 2014

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