Daylight savings seems to elicit woes in many of us. Waking up without the morning light, only to drive home from work, catching a mere glimpse of the sun’s rays before she settles down beyond the horizon. This can all feel incredibly depressing. Recently, I’ve been searching for ways on how to accept this change with eagerness, allowing my body to transition with joy, instead of frustration and resistance.
In the wild, many of nature’s givings must undergo a period of stratification in order to germinate during the following spring. Stratification is a process in which the hard, outer shell of the seed softens due to spending time in the ground throughout the winter. The cold is a necessity. During this season, the winter awakens the seed’s embryo, allowing its energy to grow and develop. Come spring, the embryo eventually breaks through the now softened covering, hoping to catch the sun’s warm light, and the nutrients it provides.
Our bodies too, need a softening period. Utilize the winter to awaken your energy, and shift the perspective from, “shut down” mode, into the growth and development of your spirit. I so deeply appreciate the many examples creation gives us to learn from, challenging our own way of existence, both physically and mentally, but recognize it’s always easier said than done. Don’t be too harsh on yourself, change is seldom easy. Here are a couple of remedies that may ease your mind, and prepare your body for the upcoming shift.
Winter flu season may be one of the most difficult changes our bodies experience throughout the year. Echinacea is an incredible herbal medicinal, and just so happens to be one of my “go to” herbs when I start to feel that cold a brewing. Interestingly enough, this medicinal also requires a winter stratification period, before it’s able to burst forth come springtime. There are three species of echinacea that are most commonly used for medicinal purposes: Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea pallida, and Echinacea purpurea. Many Echinacea preparations, including teas, tinctures, and capsule forms, contain one, two, or even all three of these species. Personally, I have had the most success growing Echinacea Purpurea, but have heard mixed results from other growers.
When choosing how to use echinacea, be sure to select high quality herbs, and begin taking it as early as possible. If using in tincture form, (which is my most recommended method), take about 1 drop for every two pounds of body weight. For example, since I weigh about a 110 pounds, I take take around 50 drops, 2-3 times a day the moment that winter cold or flu hits. Continue using throughout the your sickness, and about 5-7 days after all symptoms are gone.
For an even greater boost to your immune system, choose goldenseal to accompany the echinacea remedy. Goldenseal, (Hydrastis canadensis), is an incredible woodland medicinal, containing a bacteria killing compound called berberine. By activating white blood cells, berberine gives your immune system the boost it needs to fight off infection, including yeast infections, diarrhea, and of course, the common cold. Studies have also shown that goldenseal can positively aid digestion difficulties, and an upset stomach (University of Maryland, 2015). When taking goldenseal via tincture, use 10-30 drops of the extract 2-4 times a day, alongside the echinacea. People with high blood pressure, liver disease, or heart disease, and those using prescription medications, should consult their healthcare provider before taking goldenseal. Generally speaking, it is always recommended to consult your doctor before introducing any new type of remedy into your system, herbal or pharmaceutical.
May we embrace the changing season in our own lives with eagerness, experiencing ourselves, others, and all of our surroundings, in a new way. This cold, softening phase, is a winter necessity for new growth. Yield to the natural cycle of creation, and accept the shift knowing that we are all moving forward in our own unique developments each day. All we have to do is allow it.