“The question is not how to get cured, but how to live.”
― Joseph Conrad
December marks the closing chapter of another year. It is time to go inward and to reflect on all that has happened this year and all the lessons learned. During this Yin feminine energy time, we begin to think about planting new seeds and ideas that we will soon start to nurture.
It’s also when the holidays are celebrated and many people can overdo it if not consciously prepared for all the extra demands that this season can bring. Many folks end up getting sick.
Some healthy precautions you might take to avoid getting sick — while also celebrating with your loved ones and friends — is to make plenty of special soups with lots of garlic, broth, root vegetables, and healing herbs. I like to throw in astragalus root and powdered reishi mushrooms, which are particularly good for building up the immune system. I also put these two power plants in chai tea and everyone loves it. It has become a winter family favorite. (recipe below)
The Magic of Elderberry
A longtime effective cold and flu folk remedy is elderberry syrup. You can take it at the first sign of a cold or scratchy throat, and it will more times than not prevent your symptoms from going further. Fire cider is another tried and true remedy. I have started the habit of making both of these remedies well ahead so that when winter arrives we are well prepared. If you don’t want to make either of these yourself, you can also find them in most health food stores. Managing stress, keeping warm, and avoiding sugar (hard to do during the holidays) are also important to keep you healthy.
Have a Goddess Gathering
Here is a suggestion: invite your special girlfriends and sisters to join you for a warm winter’s night. Light candles or burn incense while you all cozy up around the fire or kitchen table. Share the insights and lessons you received this year and talk about your dreams. You can exchange small gifts if you choose, but the company of friends is more than enough. This is an occasion to bring out the Oracle cards and dress up in Goddess garb or pajamas if you are so inclined.
Bears hibernate in the winter; we need to get more sleep too! I encourage you to create a bedtime ritual to invite more rest during the winter months. Turn off the electronic devices. Brew some chamomile or bee balm tea. You may want to start a dream journal, keep it by your bed, and jot down your dreams and musings.
Speaking of dreams, one of my favorite thought leaders, Marie Forleo, recommends an exercise to expand your thinking and inspire your soul. Write down as many answers to this statement as you can: Wouldn’t it be cool if …? Don’t hold back! You might be surprised at what you come up with.
Dream big. Dream well. Dream often.
Cheers to the holidays and, as always, to your gorgeous health!
Gorgeously Healthy Chai Tea
makes 10 cups
- 8 cups pure spring or filtered water
- 2 T cinnamon chips
- 2 tsp cloves
- 7 star anise
- 1 T powdered ginger
- 1 T fresh grated ginger
- 2 T cardamom
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 3 astragalus bark pieces
- 1 T powdered reishi mushroom
- 1–2 T black tea or rooibos tea if you want no caffeine
- Raw honey to taste (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 cups nondairy milk, such as almond or soy milk
Place all ingredients except tea, honey, and milk into a pan. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cover with a lid for 15–20 minutes. Add tea, remove from heat, and let steep for 5–10 minutes. Strain through a sieve into another pan or pot. Add honey to taste and stir in milk of choice. Serve hot and enjoy!