October marks the autumn harvest, Halloween and All Souls Day. Unfortunately, however, it's also the beginning of cold and flu season.
Don't let that get your spirits down. Take a cue from the witches' brew instead to discover some of the best immune boosting and seasonally healthy herbs and vegetables available this time of year.
Those bubbling cauldrons contained more than forbidden fruits and eyes of newts. Witches are notable forebearers of some of the best herbal remedies around. Those cackling crones were actually some of the earliest herbalists. When it came to healthy recipes, they really knew how to stir the pot for your immune system and help chase away the ghouls and goblins of colds and the flu.
Here are seven foods and herbs to boost your health and protect you from bad energy and things that go bump in the night:
Keep your bones strong with a healthy dose of bone broth
every day. Ever wonder why your grandmother went straight to chicken soup when you were sick? Bone broth not only provides valuable nutrition for your bones, it boosts your immune system, aids in digestion, and protects gut health with powerful vitamins, minerals and antioxidants such as B1, B12, collagen, zinc, calcium, phosphorous and magnesium. All these nutrients are great fortification for the immune system and will keep your skeletal "cage" from being rattled when cold weather dampens your spirits.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” The active ingredient in apples that makes them such a rich resource to our health is pectin, a form of soluble fiber. Apples have been shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, protect against ulcers, and have even been shown in lab studies to kill liver, stomach, breast and esophageal cancer cells. Apples are also good for your brain! Pectin helps prevent oxidative stress to your arteries which helps your cognitive performance - keeping your brain's plasticity intact. And lastly, apples also contain quercetin, an antimicrobial compound which is found in tea and onions as well, which can protect you against periodontal disease. Now that's something you can sink your fangs into.
Apple Cider (Vinegar)
Organic, raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar is thought to be one of the best things you can drink daily to maintain your health. High in enzymes, it alkalizes your body to reduce congestion of fatty buildup, flushes the liver and kidneys and boosts metabolism. The recommended dosage is 1-2 teaspoons mixed with 4-5 teaspoons of spring water daily. Add a pinch of cayenne, organic honey and/or lemon for a wickedly effective detox drink that both helps digestion and burns calories.
Pumpkin is so much more than just a Halloween decoration with a mischievous smile. A pumpkin's bright orange colour is nature’s signal that it's loaded with antioxidant beta-carotene—as well as being rich in vitamin C and folate. Carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and protect against heart disease.
Pumpkin seeds too are loaded with zinc, a vital trace mineral for enhancing memory and thinking skills. They are also a rich source of magnesium and phosphorous which, along with zinc, can optimize bone health and help prevent osteoporosis. Raw pumpkin seeds are also packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce your risk of heart disease.
Pumpkin seeds contain high concentrations of phytosterols, plant compounds that inhibit cholesterol absorption in the small intestine, thereby lowering the effects of unhealthy LDL cholesterol, and playing a pivotal role in heart protection and overall cardiovascular health.
Pumpkin seeds have also been proven to dramatically improve bladder function, which is great news for men with enlarged prostates.
Add some pumpkin to your soup or stew this season for a great flavor with a powerful punch!
Garlic is good for so much more than repelling vampires. As part of the allium family, garlic is closely related to onions, shallots and leeks. Garlic contains allicin, a sulfur compound known to be a super defender against colds and the flu.
Most of the health benefits of allicin are activated when a garlic clove is chopped, crushed or chewed. Allicin is also responsible for garlic's strong smell. Allicin enters the body from the digestive tract and travels throughout our blood stream, combating evil spirits along the way.
One ounce of garlic contains manganese, Vitamins B1, B6, C, selenium, fiber, calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus and iron. Don’t be afraid to add lots of garlic to your autumn dishes for ghoulishly good immune support.
Healing Energy Tea
Healing Energy Tea
is a blend of 12 premium traditional Asian herbs including Chinese boxthorn, mulberry leaf, persimmon leaf and other cleansing and tonifying herbs to energize and support your liver and digestive health. A happy digestive tract makes for a happy immune system and a flu-free body.
Its liver friendly herbs makes it an excellent tea for regulating blood sugar, eliminating toxins and aiding in weight loss. Its powerful antioxidants remove free radicals, act as a mild laxative and help burn body fat, making you a leaner, meaner running machine when you're being chased by ghosts and goblins!
Lastly, soothe your spirits with the refreshing, nerve-calming scents of the hwangchil tree. Burn some incense and listen to your own spirit with Hwangchil incense
Of all the adaptogenic herbs, nothing surpasses Hwangchil for stabilizing the nervous system and supporting your innate healer. And, because Hwangchil is so pure and natural, you can even eat the incense sticks. But maybe it's better to just enjoy the smell while you eat your pumpkin pie!
Happy Halloween and best of health to you, this season and all year 'round.
Have another suggestion to protect from colds and the flu? Leave a comment below and share your knowledge with us and the CYE community!