With Winter well and truly here, we share our top herbal picks below.
Whether you have been bowled over by winter ills and chills or are seeking protection from them, these are the herbs that will protect your vitality, ease some intense symptoms, and nourish you to recovery this season.
Tulsi: Queen of Herbs
Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) is highly beneficial in addressing toxins before they create havoc in our systems. By supporting daily liver and kidney detoxification processes, Tulsi helps us to eliminate the toxins we are regularly exposed to in our environment, from personal care products, processed foods, foods grown using conventional farming methods and general air and water pollution.
Without daily elimination of toxins, these can accumulate in our systems making it more difficult for us to remain vital and well. We then have an increased susceptibility to seasonal ills and chills.
Tulsi has also been shown to boost the immune response against infective threats in non-stressed and stressed animals and healthy humans. This supreme Ayurvedic healer is also helpful in treating fevers and flu, clearing mucous from the lungs and upper respiratory tract, assisting with lung capacity, and providing support for digestion, liver detox and stress resilience.
Turmeric: King of Spices
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is known in traditional medicine to boost the immune system, help purify the blood, strengthen digestion, and eliminate toxins.
Turmeric, or more specifically, Curcumin is well known as a famous liver spice and linked to improved liver function. Oxidative stress is a key cause of liver damage, caused by such things as alcohol, drugs, viral infections, environmental pollutants and poor diet. The antioxidant abilities of Curcumin (and also Tulsi) may protect the liver from toxin induced damage, thus preserving our vitality and immunity.
Turmeric is also known to be antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant rich and is therefore a very handy helper if there are ‘lurgies about!
Ginger: The Universal Healer
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is regarded as the herbalist’s best friend and of benefit in all diseases. Ginger is known to stoke digestive fire; a vitally important foundation for a healthy immune system.
Poor digestion is often associated with many conditions such as bloating, fatigue, poor nutrient absorption, food intolerances, sleep issues, toxin accumulation which can all impact our immune strength.
Cooking with ginger and drinking ginger tea is also a spicy, delicious way to support healthy lungs and circulation and welcome anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory support, helping us to fight infections.
Ashwagandha, the Rejuvenator.
Ashwagandha’s (Withania somnifera) role in assisting a healthy response to stress is widely recognised, and the impact of high stress levels on immunity well documented.
We can all relate to getting sick because of being run down. Regular use of tonic herbs and adaptogens such as Ashwagandha and Tulsi help to fortify us illness by preventing us from becoming run down.
Studies have found that Ashwagandha can increase stamina and endurance which makes this Ayurvedic wonder herb an essential for recovery from illness. The nourishment this tonic provides can therefore help to bring back a sense of vitality and vigour.
Don’t forget, if you do come down with a cold, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, this is one of the ways your very wise body purges accumulated toxins.
Blends of the Moment:
Tulsi Turmeric Ginger
This beautifully balanced and utterly delicious blend supports healthy lungs, drying up mucous and supporting asthmatic conditions due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Warming herbs such as Tulsi, Turmeric, Ginger and Pepper are well renowned for being able to remedy damp, cold conditions in the body, so are great for coughs, colds and other lung-related issues. This is definitely a team go-to in the colder months.
Ayurveda’s Hero & Heroine, two double-acting adaptogenic herbs in the one blend help bring us into daily balance. Tulsi Ashwagandha will help us to fall asleep & rest deeply & then provide us with a little morning pick me up, so we wake feeling energised & rejuvenated. The perfect Winter reset!