20 MEDICINAL PLANTS FOR HEALTHY BODY AND MIND April 10 2020
The ordinary flu virus seemed insignificant this year in the shadow of its infamous and deadly relative COVID-19. This strain of the Coronavirus breeds fear and panic, as it spread quickly and globally. The ongoing pandemic has turned our whole world upside down and life will never be the same.
Everybody should protect themselves and their communities by taking reasonable and practical measures. For us, those measures involve utilizing common plants that heal, strengthen, and preserve our health. Many of those plants and their derivatives also possess uncommon, yet number anti-viral properties. We want to share with you a list of our favorite botanical wizards plus some tips on how to effectively harness their powers. To keep it short and easy to remember we'll divide them into several parts beginning with a few of their beneficial properties and end with some practical recipes and tips.
Native to Europe and North America, this bush grows small black fruits that are nutrient and antioxidant-rich. Herbalists and native people have been using the berries and flowers as a medicine to treat bronchitis, cough, upper respiratory cold infections, and fever. A recent study, conducted by a group of researchers from the University of Sydney confirmed that compounds from the elderberries effectively prevent the virus's entry and replication in human cells. They also discovered that the plant strengthens a person's immune response to the virus or other foreign to our body invaders.
HERE ARE SOME IDEAS HOW TO INCLUDE ELDERBERRIES IN YOUR MENU
+ Supplements. They come in different forms: capsules, gummy bears, tinctures and their availability doesn't depend on the season.
+ Smoothie. There is no better way to consume fruit than in its raw form. We believe that the best way to supply your body with nutrients is through a well-balanced diet. Our food contains all the vitamins and minerals that our body needs to sustain balance and wellness. That’s why when it comes to fruits and vegetables we should seek fresh, seasonal, and local produce. The Elderberry season in the Northern hemisphere occurs between mid-August and mid-September, depending on your region. Research your local growers and suppliers and stock up on raw fruits that you can incorporate into delicious smoothies. To preserve the berries, you can dehydrate them for later use or turn the fruits into jams and syrup.
+ Jam and jelly. We all love jams on our crepes and French toasts. How amazing would it be to enjoy a delicious fruit spread and boost your body at the same time?
+ Syrup. This is a fun project to do at the end of summer/ beginning of autumn. But if you don't know where to find elderberry bushes or simply rather support a local producer, HYLLEST is a lovely small producer based in Telemark.
+ Dried as a snack or in your granola. Elderberries are naturally sweet and make a great snack and addition to your breakfast.
Another felicitous member of the medicinal plants that deserves our attention is Echinacea, a group of flowering herbs from the daisy family. In North America, native people have used extracts from these plants to heal various types of conditions including viral infections and wounds.
Recent studies reveal that preparations from Echinacea purpurea, the purple coneflower have potent antiviral and antimicrobial properties that show noticeable results for neutralizing viruses with membranes, which is the category COVID-19 falls in. They also help bring down inflammation, which is our body’s response to irritants and pathogens like viruses, bacteria or fungi. Echinacea supplements can act as a preventive measure to strengthen your immune system, provide relief for the symptoms if we have been infected and speed up the recovery process. Echinacea products come in different forms – extracts, tinctures, teas, sprays derived from different parts of one or more species of the plant.
This popular flower and its essential oil have been used for millennia in many cultures. The fact that Lavender oil acts as a powerful antibacterial and antiviral agent certainly helps in its popularization. It not only protects us from these microorganisms, but it also helps us defeat them once they have invaded our bodies.
TIPS, IDEAS, AND RECIPES
+ Diffuse it in your home – this prevents viruses from spreading and will help every family member to remain calm and to sleep well. 3-4 drops are sufficient when diffusing in a smaller room. For larger space, increase the number of drops to 6-7.
+ Soak in it – add a couple of drops to your bath when you experience fatigue or the need for an immune boost. It will relax the body and the mind, as well as strengthen your immune system. If you don't have a tub at home simply do a foot soak. You will get similar results.
+ do a steam inhalation to combat the symptoms from cold, flu or any other viral infection. Add one-drop lavender to a bowl of hot water, place your face above and cover your head with a towel.
+ add lavender oil to your massage oil – as you know our skin absorbs 60-70% of what we put on it. So this is the perfect treat for you and your body at the end of the day. If you feel weak, you are coming down with the flu or cold, or your muscles are achy this massage oil will make you feel better. Add 20 drops of lavender oil to 100ml bottle of plant oil like almond, apricot, grapeseed.
+ add a drop of lavender essential oil to your fingertips and massage it on your temples to relieve a headache