healthy immune system

Winter Wellness - Medicinal foods in your garden, pantry and fridge

Winter is here. That means the season for coughs, cold, snot, ear infections, tonsillitis, upper respiratory sickness, croup, you name it! How well prepared are you??

The germ, bacteria, bug, virus, whatever you want to call it is not the problem, it is the host in which it is living. The germ can only thrive in the right environment, that is our immune system. When the immune system is not as strong and resilient as it should be, it will really struggle to fight off these bugs and more often than not will succumb to them.

There is so much goodness in our garden and pantry that is truly medicinal in nature and  have stood the test of time. Wouldn't it better to use these than feel helpless and use over the counter medication which do have a damaging effect on our eco system, the MAIN hub of the immune system?

With a little education and a little preparation, you can be fully prepared for whatever is thrown your way.

Harnessing the medicinal properties of readily available herbs:

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  • Rosemary – It’s aromatic smell has been known to help improve memory tasks. Great for upper respiratory tract infections and is anti-microbial

  • Oregano – This herb is highly antimicrobial and is very effective at treating chronic & acute infections. Add it to food regularly or have as a medicinal tea with a little raw honey

  • Lavender – who is not a fan of the smell of lavender, me actually, but that is a story for another day. Not only is the fragrant soothing and helps you fall asleep, it also contains anti-oxidants called polyphenols that fight belly bloating

  • Thyme – This has to my favourite herb for medicinal purposes and is my go to when the dreaded cough kicks in. This is a great herb to use for respiratory problems and is also very antiseptic. I will share an easy cough tea recipe in the download below. My daughter loves it when I make this tea.

  • Basil – This little beauty is great at calming the nerves and also has a detoxing effect on the liver

  • Parsley – This common garnish is packed full of nutrients. It contains Vit A & C and just teaspoon offers nearly half your daily intake of vit k

  • Chives – A member of the onion family that can help boost the immune system. Admittedly I don't use this herb as often I could do.

  • Coriander – This is my go to herb for stirfries and salads. It provides iron and fibre and is also known as a great chelator of heavy metals to help draw them out of your tissues

  • Mint – A rich source of Vit A and useful for the breath, digestion, nausea and headaches.

In short, add a variety of herbs daily where ever you can in your diet and reap the benefits, a little really goes a long way.

Suggestions – Garnish, salads, add to stirfries, casserole, soups and make your own brew of tea

Medicine in your pantry:

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  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Rich in it’s own probiotics, it has been known to be great for detoxification, supporting digestion, anti-microbial and supports the immune system. It is also known to have benefits of topical applications for dry skin, as an anti-fungal agent, whiten teeth and relieve rashes. One little product and so many uses.

  • Honey – no pantry should be without a good quality local if possible, raw honey. It is definitely my go to for the first sign of sore throat or cough, taken straight off the spoon. It is very useful as part of a gut healing journey harnessing the prebiotic benefits, however still to be used in small amounts. Also fabulous a moisturiser for dry skin, acne and wound healing.

  • Olive oil – Firstly make sure it is a good quality. Not only it is wonderful as a moisturiser for hair and skin, it is a great source of good fats which are essential for the immune & gut cells, not to mention the brain.

  • Good Quality ORGANIC tea bags – These are fabulous to have on hand during sickness and a good selection will be found in any good health food store. My favourites are:

    • Rosehip & hibiscus

    • Ginger & lemon

    • Chamomile

    • Peppermint or mint

    • Immune tea

    • Digestive tea

What's hiding in your fridge that can serve as medicine?

  • GINGER – This little innocent unassuming vegetable is so potent. Really get creative how you can incorporate it into your diet as much as possible. It is known to be useful for treating:

    • Inflammation

    • Remedies motion sickness or an upset tummy

    • Cold & flu prevention

    • Assists digestion

    • Assists common respiratory conditions that helps break down and remove phelm and mucous

    • Strengthens the immune system

  • TUMERIC (fresh) or spice from the pantry - It’s the compound curcumin in this food that makes it so magical and gives it the amazing anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties. I love adding to broth to pimp it up and a few shakes of the spice where ever I can.

  • LEMON – This wonderful citrus fruit so readily available and has many health benefits such as:

    • The juice of a lemon is useful in assisting indigestion and constipation

    • It is one of go to treatments for fever and works a charm breaking a fever by increasing perspiration.

    • Soothes respiratiory disorders

    • Helps to flush out bacteria and toxins from the body

    • With it’s antibacterial properties, it’s a fabulous choice for sore throats

Here you can download a few DIY recipes using the ingredients above to get yourself all ready for winter:

Included in the EBOOK are recipes for the following, however they all have multiple uses:

  • Immune System

  • Cough

  • Resiliency Tonic

  • Digestive

  • Tummy Upsets

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Chantal Khoury is a Certified and Accredited Nutrition & Wellness Coach with a special interest helping mum's implement Healing Wholefood & transformational wellness practices to improve the health of their family one personalised step at a time.

What is needed to build a strong healthy Immune System

I don't want my child to be strong, healthy and resilient. I'm OK with them getting sick ALL of the time - said no mother ever!

As a mum who suffered with a child that was CONSTANTLY sick I was desperately searching for the answer that was going help me FIX this and I was prepared to do WHATEVER it took. I was relentless in this search, often wanting to give up at times.

I did so many supplements, potions, tests, in and out of doctor and naturopath offices, all of which had very limited or very temporary success.

I intuitively knew the heart of the issue was that he needed to eat better, but if the truth be told, I had no idea how to do this, even after seeing 4 different pediatric dieticians in 5 years.

Completely frustrated, but not deterred I kept searching and finally I understood the root cause of the issue, i.e. his gut needed healing. Without this being addressed, no supplement or potion was going to help.

We used GAPS (Gut & Psychology Syndrome) as the spring board for this process and I can’t even begin to tell you how life changing that was.

Having said that, you don’t NEED to do GAPS, but you definitely need to address the nutritional status and address gut health. This is non negotiable. There are no magic pills or quick fixes.

85% of the body’s immune cells plus genetic material reside in the gut – hence the link between immunity and gut health .

Understanding the other factors that affect gut health and ultimately affects immunity and resilience?

  1. Refined sugar
  2. Processed food
  3. Trans fatty acids
  4. Lack of dietary proteins
  5. Food intolerances
  6. STRESS
  7. All prescription or over the counter medication
  8. Lack of sunshine
  9. Living in a sterile environment
  10. Chemical cleaning products
  11. EMF

Ways to boost the immune system:

  • Wholefood that is plenty full in fat, protein and vegetables
  • Healing foods including broth, fermented foods and drinks
  • If you feel you need to supplement, ensure it’s good quality and wholefood derived. Anything else is still seen as toxic by the body
  • Sunshine
  • A bit of dirt

The aim is not to make our children bullet proof to getting sick, as that is definitely how the immune system learns, but we do want them to be resilient and bounce back quickly. So it’s all about supporting the body with the right nutrients and tonics when they do get sick, rather than give them medication that harms and treats symptomatically. This is such a trap most mum's fall into, and I did this too for a little while.

Today, I only use food as medicine and a few key herbal supplements to boost and support the body during a time of sickness.

To help you start your Natural First Aid kit, I’m gifting you my key DIY Homemade Remedies that will support and build resilience rather than harm. These remedies will be suitable for:

  • Coughs
  • Digestive upsets
  • Colds
  • Building resilience & overall immunity

You only need a few key ingredients to get started, all easily sourced from your garden, supermarket or health food store.

Chantal is a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Coach that specialises in helping stressed and overwhelmed mums heal their children with wholefoods using a personalised wholistic step by step approach.