The Well Planned Home Apothecary

When a fever strikes, it never phones ahead for a reservation.  A concussion doesn’t check the calendar for convenience.  Midwives and Doulas can attest that babies born without induction, do so on their own schedule and are oblivious to the existence of a due date.  When illness makes a visit, most are unprepared.  We start scrambling to make it go away immediately, but with no real confidence or direction. Whether it is you or your child who needs healing, in the moment of distress is a challenging time to make decisions. 

Why Knowing Now Matters

Natural wellness has a large population of fair weather fans.  As long as we feel great, why not root for it.  If a fever or rash or sudden bout of anxiety shows up, it takes someone confident in both the human immune system and the cooperative power of nature to stay to course.  We always encourage individual research to find your own path and the right answers for you. 

By investing the time in educating yourself in the ways of sustainable wellness and natural remedies; you will gain the confidence to apply that information when someone is sick and the environment is stressed.  Being prepared removes much of the pressure when the time arrives to take action.  

Our Ideal Home Apothecary (Click on herb title for a list of products that contain the herbs)

#1 – Goldenrod

Goldenrod is an herbal Goliath.  It functions like a broad spectrum antibiotic, without the drawback of changing microbial dna to form superbugs. It has shown especially useful in afflictions of the kidneys,  bladder and urinary tract.  Also unlike synthetic antibiotics, Goldenrod won’t negatively affect your gut microbiome.  This allows your immune system to be nurtured and supported to gain the advantage over intruders.  This incredible herb, mislabeled an intrusive weed, also has effective cancer killing properties.

#2 – Vitamin C

        Just about everyone knows to reach for some vitamin C when you feel a sniffle coming on.  It is time tested advice.  Vitamin C boosts the immune system, shortens the severity and duration of colds, improves cataracts, helps wounds heal, is great for skin, hair and nails, is a cancer fighting antioxidant, increases bone density and reduces your risk for stroke.

#3 – Elderberry

        Elderberries are a powerful immune system booster. They are proven to ease colds and the flu, speed recovery, and fight infections. This is because they not only give a jolt to the immune system but also balance and support its regulation. 

#4 – Dandelion

        Dandelion leaf and root are both powerful parts of this common “weed.” The leaf can be used in bitters, while the root is a hepatic herb for detoxifying. They purify the body and liver by flushing out toxins and excess water. Dandelion  can improve bone health and promote weight loss. It also has diuretic and laxative properties. Additionally, studies have shown it lowers cholesterol, reduces inflammation, fights anemia, prevents liver damage, and lowers oxidative stress. Others even suggest that it could

lower blood sugar levels, fight cancer, and even treat jaundice.

#5 – Skullcap

        One of my personal favorite herbs!  This beauty has anti inflammatory and antioxidant abilities.  It calms anxiety and an overstimulated nervous system.  Skullcap is helpful in reducing fever, as a sleep aid and hormone balancing measure.  It can also reduce heart disease and even treat epilepsy and muscle spasms. 

#6 – Chamomile 

        Chamomile is a calming herb for many different ailments. It is antispasmodic, helping to prevent and ease spasms in the stomach and body. It fits into most of the essential medicinal categories: digestive health, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and sedative. This little flower does it all

#7 – Peppermint

        Who doesn’t love the smell and taste of peppermint?  It isn’t just pleasant to the senses.  Peppermint boasts an array of benefits including: relaxes the digestive system and improves stomach discomfort, eases headaches, opens sinus and lung passageways, is a powerful antimicrobial, reduces depression and improves mood, is effective against parasites and is amazing for oral hygiene and health.         

#8 – Aloe Vera

        Aloe Vera is both adaptogenic and a superfood.  This means it is nutrient dense, boasting a host of vitamins and minerals and has the ability to adapt to our particular cellular needs.  This amazing plant enhances immunity, normalizes digestion, soothes and heals skin disorders and improves heart health.  Aloe is also antimicrobial, antifungal and can slow the aging process.

#9 – Medicinal Mushrooms

        The properties contained in these wonders of nature are formidable and vast.  So much so, we dedicated an entire entry to them here. Some balance hormones, most are adaptogenic, many are effective in cancer treatments. We love mushrooms for wellness and feel you will too!

#10 – Ginger

          For over 2000 years, Chinese medicine has recommended the use of ginger to help cure and prevent several health problems including; morning sickness and nausea, respiratory issues, cold and flu, colon and ovarian cancer, pain and inflammation and swelling. It is known to strengthen immunity, promote energy circulation in the body and increase our body’s metabolic rate. 

#11 – Nettle

          Another adaptogen, Stinging Nettle is also categorized as being anti-tumor, anti-spasmodic, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, hemostatic, hypotensive (calming), nutritive, kidney/ and adrenal restorative.  Used in natural medicine, Nettle has been observed to improve allergies, hemorrhoids, arthritis, asthma, blood deficiency, eczema, fatigue, hypothyroidism, menstrual cramps, sluggish metabolism, urinary tract infections, as well as strengthen hair, teeth and bones.

#12 – Cinnamon

          The aroma of cinnamon is identifiable the world over.   In every country, cinnamon is used for flavor and for health.  Cinnamon is a warming spice which fends off high blood sugar and lowers blood pressure. It has broad spectrum antimicrobial activity, making it an excellent ingredient in dental care.  It fights infections and viruses, while also tempering inflammation.  Cinnamon is believed to improve mental function and is a strong antioxidant. 

Making Empowered Choices

This is a solid place to start.  Having these items on hand makes implementing them much more likely when they are needed most.  No worried partner or parent wants to venture out in the middle of the night to a 24 hour drugstore in search of comfort.  Create your place of comfort ahead of time so when you or they are sick, the focus can be on the patient’s recovery, rather than what needs to be gathered to even collect your thoughts.  Preparedness breeds confidence.

Be Bold ???? – Roots to Remedies

The Best Defense

Types of Immunity

Your immune system is a fascinating feature that runs on such perfect automation you generally can go months and months without giving it a second thought.  It is akin to your very own force field, warding off germs and pathogens and negotiating their exit before you even realize they’ve invaded.  Immunity comes about through innate and acquired means.  Innate immunity is that which you were born with, passed on from your mother’s womb and through her breast milk. Acquired immunity can be done so through either natural or artificial means.  Naturally acquired immunity is that which you receive once you have come down with an illness caused by a particular virus or bacteria.  Once your immune system encounters one of these undesirables, it produces antibodies to mitigate the foreign pathogens.  Artificially acquired immunity is what is said to be attained from vaccines.

The Staff

Your immune system is a collection of organs and cells produced by them.  There are so many functions of the body that assist in immunity, but the key players are the Thymus, Lymphatic Nodes and Vessels, Spleen and Bone Marrow.  The Thymus gland is located near the heart and it prepares T cells, which are lymphocytes that perform essential immune response.  The soft inner webbing of our large bones are the production ground for white blood cells. White blood cells are crucial in immunity, as they fight infection. Lymph nodes and the lymphatic vessels which connect them, work together to move stagnant secreted fluids back into circulation and to filter out dead cells and impurities. The spleen is where our old or corrupted red blood cells are removed from service. The spleen also sorts through various pathogens and collects the information from them which is used to create lymphocytes according to need. it really is a fascinating process. Aren’t you so grateful for its automation?

Disorderly Conduct

Problems in the immune system

If the immune system is not performing up to par, it is because it has become either under active or overactive. An under active immune system has become weakened or is missing a key component and is incapable of producing an adequate response to invaders. Obviously, this can be dangerous and result in frequent illness and general weakness. Equally problematic, though, is an overactive immune response. Allergic reactions are the result of an overactive immune system. A third phenomena is autoimmune disease. An autoimmune response isn’t a measure of how great or how slight the reaction, but rather describes the body’s defensive mechanisms attacking its own cells. Friendly fire, if you will. Examples of conditions caused by autoimmune disease are Diabetes Mellitus (type 1), IBS, Eczema and Psoriasis, Lupus, Ciliac’s and a host of others. An immune system with compromised function is highly problematic and tends to only become more so without some nurturing.

Give Yourself a Boost

If you want to be sure your force field isn’t slacking, there are some steps you can take to start improving your defenses today. There are some threats to your own immunity that are not foreign invaders. The most detrimental forces are those of mental and emotional stressors like fear and worry. While identifying that as so may only produce more of the same, there are ways to tend to your emotional body that will help you feel better. First, get plenty of sleep. Sleep is when we heal. it is when we are completely relaxed and offer no resistance or friction to natural processes. Once you wake up, move. Find a way to move your body. If you are inclined to workouts, do those. Play a sport. Dance. Just move. If you have let a sedentary lifestyle creep in, and exercise sounds overwhelming, go for a walk. Yoga and Tai Chi are also excellent for low impact stress reduction. Moving your body helps with lymph drainage and blood flow, crucial elements in immunity. Staying hydrated is essential. Your body needs plenty of water to help move all fluids through the circulatory process. Numerous formulas are available to guess how much water intake a particular person needs; but for most the answer is – just drink more. If your urine has color to it, you need more water. When you get hungry, eat your colors. colorful fruits and vegetables tout immune building complexes like Vitamins A and C, all the Bs, and much more. It is also highly beneficial to reduce sugar intake for immune building purposes. If you have a sweet tooth, try indulging in fresh fruits, dark chocolate and yogurt. Don’t deprive yourself, just love yourself a little bit more.

Herbs for Immunity

God’s medicine cabinet hosts a bounty of powerful herbs useful in both building immunity, and fighting infection. Stand-outs in this field include:

Elderberries – These tart little wonders contain an incredible compound called Anthocyanidins, which is a known immunostimulant. Studies have also determined them to have powerful antiviral, antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties.

Astragalus -This incredible herb helps is a favorite in traditional Chinese medicine. Its roots contain known antiviral, antibacterial and adaptogenic properties. Additionally, they increase the production of immune cells and help with the prevention of colds.

Echinacea – This herb has been used for centuries to boost the immune system. The anti inflammatory and immune stimulating effects help open up airways and alleviate symptoms. This herb can also help address viral and bacterial infections.

Oregano – An absolute must have for every home natural medicine cabinet, oregano offers a wealth of benefits. It contains thymol and carvacrol, both of which are highly antifungal and antibacterial. Carvacrol has the incredible ability to reverse viral infections, allergies, tumors, parasites and inflammation.

Ginger Root – One of the natural oils from in his herb is ginger which helps suppress fungal, viral, and bacterial infections.

Garlic – Among its notable properties, this bulb has shown to have broad spectrum antimicrobial might. It can also reduce the risk of cancer, and is incredible for heart health. The allicin contained in garlic reduces hypertension and helps curb hair loss.

Reishi – Literally a magic mushroom, as it is an adaptogen. This means it has the ability to bring the body back to homeostasis and regulate the immune system. This mushroom is known to be an incredible immune booster, energy booster, and mood booster. It is high in antioxidants and can improve heart health and support blood sugar control. It can reduce body weight and prevent weight gain and fat accumulation. This mushroom can also help with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Maitake – Studies have shown this mushroom to possess the following medicinal properties: anti-bacterial, anti-candida, anti-tumor, anti-viral, blood pressure moderator, blood sugar moderator, cholesterol reducer, immune enhancer, lungs/respiratory support**. It also can help with weight loss! Maitake is also one of the best sources of Vitamin D! This mushroom is packed with so many benefits!

Now that Fall is beginning to blow in, it is the perfect time to tend to your immune system. Some of our favorite formulas for keeping your defenses intact are available here

Relax, you’ve got this! – Roots to Remedies