Potent Herbal Remedies from The Inside Out
Immunity is not just about staving off colds and the flu in the nick of time and bolstering up your internal engines against what’s going around, whether it’s related to the current pandemic or not. Real immunity is about strengthening the immune system through healthy foods that support overall nourishment, engaging in regular physical activity, and connecting to whichever restorative practices such as meditation or yoga (or even just disconnecting from your phone for an hour) keeps you grounded. Immunity enemies are all around us: anxiety and stress, environmental factors like poor air quality or chemical-laden processed food, lifestyle habits like lack of sleep or substance use, and even just the subtle shift of the winter temperature from day to day.
Real immunity is a two-way street. Bolstering your daily intake of nutritive ingredients and herbs which support your body’s natural defenses is the ultimate in multi-tasking care for your skin and beyond.
Think of your skin as a reflection of your inner landscape. The more supported your liver is, the better your skin will look. The more optimal your vitamin and mineral levels are, the more easily your skin can stand up to the everyday stressors of life like hormonal fluctuation, dietary indulgences, extreme weather whims, or even the daily task of wearing a mask.
From the Inside Out
What teas can you use to support your immune system from the inside out? Immune system booster all-stars of the herbal world include dozens of different plants from the ubiquitous elderberry and echinacea to the less well-known Andrographis, Tulsi basil, and Reishi mushroom. Reishi is revered worldwide for its ability to support the physical and spiritual heart while heightening the immune system. In fact, any of the medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, turkey tail, chaga, maitake, or shitake, have a centuries-old reputation for promoting longevity and immunity by helping the body adapt to various stressors.
Claiming that Andrographis is bitter is an understatement; its nickname in traditional Ayurvedic medicine is the ‘king of bitters’, and it promotes proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients even as it fights off viruses and bacteria that threaten to invade the immune system. It’s an excellent herb to have on hand for stopping an illness in its tracks at the first sign of a scratchy throat or runny nose.
Tulsi basil also makes a great choice for all-around wellness for the whole family. As delicious as it is beneficial, this sweet culinary/medicinal herb activates the natural immunity by providing the body with more resources of energy, adaptability, and resilience with which to work.
For a winning combo that pleases the tastebuds as much as it inspires inner immunity, try an herb-forward hot toddy made with tulsi basil or mushroom (one of the several mentioned above) teas mixed with a splash of lemon, a drop of honey, and a shot of your favorite whiskey (or skip the booze for a medicinal mocktail). Why do hot toddies have a reputation for healing? The power of herbal tea plus bacteria-destroying bourbon (which, let’s be honest, may have some mood-optimizing benefits as well) along with honey and lemon, which have their own wellness properties, is a knockout.
On the Outside Looking In
The skin absorbs 60-70% of what is put on it, so it makes a fantastic channel for herbs like comfrey, birch, calendula, and Oregon grape to work their healing magic. Comfrey is what it sounds like: a comforter – especially when it comes to the skin. Reducing inflammation, boosting skin cell production, and healing scar tissue, comfrey is an all-around skin panacea. Regular use of comfrey increases skin flexibility and elasticity while also softening and toning, a surefire way to maintain skin immunity.
Birchbark extract, derived from the beautiful outer ‘skin’ of the birch tree itself, contains wintergreen essential oil, a proven anti-inflammatory with an intoxicating fragrance. This lovely silvery bark offers our skin the same protection and polish that it offers the birches which produce it. It promotes a finish and glow on the delicate and gorgeous outer layer that is the healthy dermis.
Calendula is the desert-island skin herb. As in, if you were stuck on a desert island with only one skincare ingredient, what would it be? Calendula, every time. An enemy of inflammation, scarring, redness, and dryness or patchiness, calendula provides a powerful yet gentle barrier of protection against outside influences on sensitive skin.
Oregon grape root is not a grape at all but a spiny-leafed bush which promotes clear, vibrant skin through the channel of the liver and elimination systems of the body. Tender enough for daily detox but vital enough to strengthen the liver, which in turn creates amazing skin tone, Oregon grape root is a must-have immunity ingredient.
Having beautiful skin all season long is a team effort between the choices you make about what you put on your skin and what you put within it. Your best bet is to use herbal extracts to boost your immune system while using topical products with potent botanicals, such as our exquisitely crafted Rapid Repair Balm or Fluid, which uses comfrey, birch, calendula, and Oregon grape to calm inflammation and activate immunity simultaneously.
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