Do: Stock Up on the Good Stuff
In addition to your daily regimen of vitamins and supplements, having a supply of herbs, plants, and spices on hand can go a long way in helping you stay healthy. "Elderberry, echinacea, astragalus, garlic, onions, ginger, medicinal mushrooms, and raw honey are all pantry essentials," says Jovial King, the founder, CEO, and creative director of Urban Moonshine, an herbal apothecary. "Also, keep culinary herbs such as thyme and oregano on hand." Ingredients like ginger, elderberry, and raw honey have a variety of benefits, including antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
You can create your own concoctions, like teas and soups, to warm these herbs and get them into your system. "Fall is a good time to start eating a lot of soups and stews," King says. "Go heavy on the onions, garlic, and medicinal mushrooms to get a good heavy punch of medicinal power into your diet."
Don't: Believe in Miracle Remedies
Often, supplements and tinctures claim to provide some sort of inconceivable result, like sudden weight loss, or magical infection cures. ...
Ingredients like ginger, elderberry, and raw honey have a variety of benefits, including antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
"Herbs are not miracle solutions, but they are powerful remedies when you know what you're doing with them," she says. "The most important thing when working with herbs and expecting results is starting with high-quality, certified organic, raw materials."
Do: Anticipate Cold and Flu Season
As it gets colder, you're bound to see a case of the sniffles (or even worse, the flu) going around. Reduce the risk of catching a cold by, naturally, warming yourself up.
"The first thing you should do is bundle up and make sure you're warm," King says. "That's important because it helps to support and optimize your immune system." Cap things off with a hot beverage and soup. "My three go-to remedies for when I'm coming down with something are ginger tea with raw honey, elderberry syrup, and miso soup," King adds.
Don't: Throw Off Your Sleep Schedule
We get it: the impending darkness of winter days makes you want to sleep all day, every day. While that may sound like a dream, you'll still want to be alert for things like work, school, and socializing. King has some great advice for pulling yourself out of the dreaded fog of morning drowsiness.
"Herbs are not miracle solutions but they are powerful remedies when you know what you're doing with them."
"A cold shower in the morning is a great way to get the blood flowing," King says. "It's great for your lymphatic and immune systems." Then, sip on a good wake-up elixir. "I suggest chai tea steeped with ashwagandha and red reishi mushroom."
For the insomniacs out there, King recommends Urban Moonshine's Hit the Hay formula that blends California poppy, passionflower, hops, and kava to calm your mind and relax your muscles to prep you for a night of sweet slumber.
Do: Lift Your Spirits
Another thing to worry about these next couple of months is the winter blues, that universally familiar phenomenon of feeling extra-down when it's dark and dreary outside. King recommends boosting your mood with aromatherapy. "Our Joy Tonic is a must-have for the winter as it uplifts and gladdens your spirit," King says.
"Aromatherapy is great in the winter to uplift the mood, and good-smelling plants will help, whether it's from fresh flowers, an aromatic candle, or a room spray—just make sure you use a pure, 100 percent essential oil blend."