Updated: Sep 18
The days are becoming shorter and colder as the Winter season is approaching. Keeping yourself healthy and vital is essential to consider, especially to increase your immune system to prevent invading viruses and bacteria that create colds and flu.
Self-care is crucial to our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. It encompasses a wide variety of ways that we can empower ourselves to enhance our daily well-being and cope effectively with stress.
As the ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates mentioned, “Wisdom begins with wonder.”
To know yourself is the first step to gaining healing wisdom. Plato also alluded to the fact that understanding 'thyself,' would yield a more significant outcome in understanding the true nature of human life.
Knowing yourself is not a destination but a path to self-discovery and awareness.
Creating balance in our daily lives is a step-by-step journey. There are many ways to explore and integrate self-care and learn to be your own health and wellness coach.
Living a healthy, natural life today can be an overwhelming challenge. We pack our schedules to the maximum; we often eat on the run; environmental toxins are everywhere; and stress levels are at an all-time high. All of these factors can impair our immune system. When the immune system is weak, the body becomes vulnerable, creating an opening for viruses and bacteria to invade. Maintaining a strong, healthy immune system is vital to achieving and retaining good health.
Strengthen your immune system naturally:
Get adequate rest and sleep.
Drink plenty of water, preferably warm.
Use essential oils blends regularly.
Eat warm, nutritious foods.
Eliminate processed and sugary foods.
Reduce stress levels.
Add herbs and vitamin supplements: Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamins B, C, and D.
Create restorative and relaxation time for yourself.
Over time I have identified different aspects of self-care. The very basics that I include in my daily life are: drinking plenty of water, healthy nutrition, exercise, taking time for myself in nature and relaxing, deepening close relationships, and getting enough sleep.
Include these key points below to keep your digestive and immune systems healthy.
Tips for enhancing digestion:
Sit down to eat, not on the go.
Choose highly nutritious foods that are organic and unprocessed.
Eat slowly and mindfully with each bite.
Only drink a small amount of warm beverages during your meal. Cold drinks dramatically reduce digestive activity.
Do not eat when you are emotionally charged.
The use of digestive supplements and probiotics.
Spices have been used throughout history to increase the digestive process.
Historically, culinary spices and herbs were used as food preservatives and also for their digestive and health-enhancing properties. Some of these spices are used best as tea, powdered for capsules, and cooking.
A few of these spices and herbs include; black pepper (Piper nigrum), caraway (Carum carvi), cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), clove (Syzygium aromaticum), coriander (Coriandrum sativum), cumin (Cuminum cyminum), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), garlic (Allium sativum), ginger (Zingiber officinale), thyme (Thymus vulgaris) and turmeric (Curcuma longa).
These spices not only add delicious flavor to food, but are also known to increase digestion, reduce inflammation, and increase immunity.
Many digestive and immune stimulating herbs are best used in cooking, teas, or taken in capsules. Try this aromatherapy digestive blend below when you have fullness in the stomach, bloating, indigestion or other digestive issues.
Aromatherapy Digestive Blend:
Makes 1 oz.
Combine the following ingredients:
1 oz. Sesame Oil (Sesamum indicum) - Widely used in Ayurvedic medicine to assist the digestion. It has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
5 drops Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) – Reduces digestive complaints, reduces nervous exhaustion, and overall internal congestion.
4 drops Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) - Warming, increases energy and digestion strengthens immunity, clears phlegm.
3 drops Ginger (Zingiber officinale) - Warming and stimulating for the digestion.
Apply as needed to the abdomen and on the back from the kidneys to the sacrum (assists nerve flow to the internal organs).
Precautions: DO NOT apply on wounds or cuts. Not for use in the bath. This 2% dilution is not for use with children under 6.
Are you interested in learning more on seasonal wellness which combines herbs, flower essences, hydrosols, and lots of aromatherapy blends? See my new book: Harmonized Aromatherapy for Seasonal Wellness
Heart Leaf Photo - free for commercial use; CCO Creative Commons; found on Pixabay; https://pixabay.com/en/heart-sweetheart-leaf-autumn-maple-1776746/; Retrieved September 29, 2018.
Dechen, Shanti, Harmonized Aromatherapy for Seasonal Wellness, CreateSpace Publishing, Crestone, CO, 2018, p. 15, 16, 53, 54, 67, 87.
Battaglia, Salvatore, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Third Edition, Black Pepper Creative Pty Ltd, Australia, 2018, p. 199-201