Community Supported Herbalism
Respiratory, Immunity and Nourishing Herbs
Prepared by Amber Friedman
Welcome to the fourth basket of this season. The focus for this month’s basket is Supporting our Respiratory + Immune System. We’re into the darkest time of the year now, it is a wonderful time to strengthen your Respiratory system with herbs like Elderberry, Ginger and Cinnamon. Continue to boost your immune system to prevent viruses from getting you. Sleep, Rest and a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, proteins and fats will all go a long way at this time of year. Take care of yourself in this dark time.
Elderberry Immunity Syrup. Elderberries are a local source of vitamin A, B and C, tannins, amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids and rutin. Elderberry syrup is a common treatment in Europe for colds, flus, and upper respiratory infections. You can use Elderberry flowers to help reduce a fever. Anthocyanins are found in Elderberries and they enhance immune function by boosting the production of cytokines, these proteins act as messengers in the immune system to help regulate immune response, thus helping to defend the body against illness. Store this in the fridge, take it by the tablespoon a few times a day or every few hours if you have a very sore throat and/or chest infection. Safe for children, just lower the dose. This product will expire within a few months, so make sure to use it up.
Hot Chocolate with Mushrooms is delicious. Try this hot chocolate with your favorite milk alternative, and in the Vitamix if you have one with some coconut milk! I’ve been drinking this over the past year to help strengthen my immune system. Chaga is used as an immune modulator, to balance blood sugar and detox the liver. Reishi contains hundreds of bioactive compounds that may help balance the immune system and have anti-inflammatory, sleep promoting, antibacterial and anti-viral qualities. Cordyceps militaris has similar active compounds and activities to C. sinensis and is traditionally used for fatigue, general weakness, improved respiratory function and improved sexual function. Coriolus, Wild Trametes, also known as “turkey tail”, grows naturally worldwide in all types of forests although it is primarily found on deciduous trees. Medicinally it has shown to be useful for all types of conditions where immunity is compromised. Lion’s mane is a choice edible that grows wild on deciduous trees and is an immunomodulator that is useful for many conditions where immunity is compromised. It has also been used for gastritis. Current research suggests that it may have some effect on nerve growth. Maitake is a choice edible that only recently has been utilized for its medicinal properties. During the 1990’s extensive research demonstrated the activity of maitake beta-glucans as immune system potentiators. Chocolate works synergistically with the mushrooms to help bring more nutrients. Cacao and Cocoa are anti-oxidants and stimulating.
Nail Oil is a highly penetrable blend of oils that moisturizes nails to maintain their strength and flexibility and prevent brittleness, dry peeling and cracking. Use this daily. If you have fungus on your nails, add 5-10 drops of Tea Tree Essential oil to kill fungus.
Conifer Body Bar helps you breathe clear. Conifers help strengthen respiratory system, boost immunity and stimulate circulation. This bar is full of nourishing oils to sooth your skin.