Winter Allies Protect Yourself the Wise Woman Way part one
© 2023 Susun S Weed
I don't rely on Pharmaceutical Medicine. In fact, I rarely ever take drugs.
So I make sure I have plenty of winter allies on hand as the cold and flu season blossoms into coughs, runny noses, fevers, and viral infections.
I give myself the benefit of simple, safe green blessings that prevent -- and deal with -- viral (and bacterial) infections. Remedies made from the abundance around me, not bought at a drugstore. This is people's medicine. Mama Medicine. You can easily make you own winter remedies. Here's how.
Beat the Flu
1. Eat More Garlic
One of the best immune-system helpers is garlic. Dr. James Duke says it contains at least 17 different factors that nourish and support powerful immune system functioning. Herbalists in the middle ages relied on it to prevent infection from the plague, so it might keep us safe from the flu. Garlic is anti-bacterial, too. If you don't like fresh raw garlic, powdered garlic is just as good. The dose is 1 or more cloves of raw garlic per day, or up to a teaspoon of garlic powder.
To get the most medicine (allicin) from your garlic, mince it and let it oxidize for a few minutes.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to eat raw garlic:
Top scrambled eggs with minced raw garlic.
Put chopped raw garlic on pasta and cover with tomato sauce.
Try minced raw garlic on a piece of hot buttered toast. Delicious!
Add minced raw garlic to your baked potato.
Mix chopped raw garlic and olive oil with hot cooked greens like kale or spinach.
2. Drink Nourishing Herbal Infusions
Nourishing herbal infusions are the basis of great nourishment for the immune system and the entire body. They are full of antioxidant vitamins, minerals, proteins, phytoestrogens, and hundreds of protective phytochemicals that work to help you ward off the flu and colds too.
Here's how I make a nourishing herbal infusion:
Choose one herb: nettle, oatstraw, red clover, comfrey leaf, or linden flowers.
Linden is one of the world's best herbs for preventing viral infections.
Place one full ounce, by weight, of any one herb in a quart jar. A canning jar is best.
Fill the jar to the top with boiling water.
Screw on a tight lid
Let it steep for four hours, or overnight.
Strain the liquid out, squeezing the herb.
Refrigerate the infusion, where it will be good for 24-36 hours.
I drink two to four cups of nourishing herbal infusion daily -- over ice, heated up with honey and milk, or mixed with other beverages.
3. Make Immune Strengthening Soups
Cooking herbs and vegetables together for a long time extracts minerals, actives immune-strengthening phytochemicals, and increases the levels of available antioxidants. Raw foods weaken and stress the immune system.
To make an immune strengthening soup:
Chop at least half an onion per person and saute in olive oil until translucent..
Add at least two cloves of garlic, sliced or chopped, per person and saute for a minute.
Add two or more cups of water or vegetable broth per person.
Add one cup per person of chopped seasonal vegetables such as: carrots, cabbage, celery, corn, burdock, turnips, potatoes, tomatoes, parsnips.
(If using canned soup, begin here.)
Add one small handful of seaweed per person. Seaweeds build powerful immunity. Kombu and wakame are excellent in soups. Cut them small; they swell to 5-7 times their dried size when cooked.
Add one ounce fresh, or one-quarter ounce dried mushrooms — any kind — per person.
All mushrooms — even common button mushrooms and portobellos — strengthen the immune system. Dried shitake are available and inexpensive at Chinese grocery stores. Dried porcinni are often available, too. I harvest and freeze wild edible mushrooms for winter use.
Add one-quarter ounce dried tonic roots per person. Tonic roots help our livers, lymph, and kidneys work well, protecting us from infection. I often put these tough roots into a jelly bag and drop that into the soup so I can fish it out before serving. I use one or more of these, fresh or dried, depending on what I have available: astragalus, burdock, dandelion, chicory, yellow dock, red ginseng.
Add generous amounts of antioxidant seasoning herbs from the mint family. Herbs from the mint family — like rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, marjoram, and sage — are loaded with antioxidants. I don't just season the soup with them, I add them by the handful for the greatest impact on my immune strength.
Add some sea salt; it draws minerals from the roots and mushrooms into the soup solution so you can use them to build immune system components.
Bring to a boil; simmer for an hour.
Turn off fire and let your soup mellow in a cool place overnight.
Serve it the next day, heated up, with freshly-baked bread and organic raw milk cheese.
To be continued...