I have a heartfelt love for herbs and ‘folk medicine’, crafted in small batches with carefully sourced herbs and botanicals that carry the story, energy and tradition of the medicine our ancestors would have made. The center of everything I do, is people. I have a deep and abiding passion for people to find whole body wellness and this is my invitation to you and I hope you will be inspired to join me on this journey.
Health is circular, decisions we make every day, conscious and unconscious – they frame us, our health and the health of our families, it is the small, seemingly insignificant decisions that we make that can have the greatest impact. There are so many things we can control and many we can’t, it isn’t only our physical health, but our mental, emotional and spiritual health too. Feeling overwhelmed? I have been there too. Taking too many supplements, spending too much money and unsure of what is or isn’t working. I like to assess health goals quarterly both within our family and personally, taking into account where my family and myself are at, it is good to ask yourself a few questions to direct your health goals:
– Are we planning to conceive in this season?
– Do we have specific immune system related issues to resolve?
– Any allergies or detoxes that need to be looked at?
– Are we planning a trip or something out of the ordinary?
– Which season (weather) are we in and how does that affect my health and planning?
These are just a handful of the questions I use to assess where we are at as a family and plan. When I have the answers to those questions, I usually do a spider diagram for each family member and list specific health goals, health challenges and general health maintenance. I know it sounds a bit bizarre, but it works so well, we spend less and are more targeted with our supplementation and whether we need to see a health professional. I can’t tell you enough how helpful it is, but I hope you will give it a try!
Autumn Rhythms and Healing in the Kitchen
With the seasons changing – come new health challenges. We now go into defensive mode and start preparing for the approaching winter. Autumn is a time for preparation, a time to sow and start beautiful healthy rhythms that will see you through winter. So let us look at some beautiful, nourishing tools we can make within our kitchens – the heart of the home is for sure the kitchen, you will be amazed at what can be done with simple kitchen medicine.
A Rooted Mama’s Fire Cider Vinegar
This Fire Cider is amazing, it is really delicious and packs an immune system punch. It is also wonderfully warming and stimulating and assists with digestion, lowers blood sugar and eases sinus congestion. It is also lovely as a salad dressing or if you are feeling brave a quick shot in the morning to get you going. This is one of my ultimate ways to prep for winter. I recommend buying organic ingredients as far as possible, support a local farmer or market and they will be so grateful. Feel free to play with the ratios – there is no one set way to make Fire Cider!
In a large 3L Glass Consol Jar add:
- 3 Pomegranates (seeds removed and rest discarded)
- 2 Red Peppers chopped
- 5 Red Chilies chopped
- 3 Red Onions chopped
- 1 whole Ginger peeled and chopped
- 1 head of Garlic peeled and chopped
- 4 twigs of fresh Rosemary
- Handful fresh Thyme
- Handful fresh Oregano
- 4 Star Anise
- 4 Cloves
- 3 Cinnamon Sticks
- 3 Cardamom Pods
- 4 Lemons sliced
- 2 Tablespoons dried Hibiscus Petals
- Put all fresh ingredients into the jar – top off with organic raw unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar and seal the jar, I like to put a piece of wax wrap around the mouth of the jar before putting the lid on as the vinegar is corrosive to the metal lid.
- Shake the jar a few times a week and watch it turn a beautiful red colour.
- After 6 weeks in the jar – strain the Fire Cider and pour it into a glass bottle and store in the fridge. Enjoy!
Simple Onion Cough Remedy
This a wonderful home remedy – great to have in your kitchen with children when those nasty coughs strike! It is great for thinning mucous and removing it off the chest. The juice from the onion in this remedy is helpful for fever, colds and allergies. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, and combined with the benefits of raw honey – a natural cough syrup that reduces mucous production. It is a true powerhouse!
In a small jar:
- Peel and slice one Onion.
- Pour over Raw Honey to completely cover the Onion.
- You can add sliced Turmeric and fresh Thyme to get further benefits.
- Wait 4 hours and then take a teaspoon of the Honey/Onion juice mix.
- You can top up the jar with Raw Honey as needed and store it in your cupboard – the Honey is a natural preservative and the blend gets better with age.
Moonshine Botanicals Elderberry Syrup
This antiviral syrup is immune building and a potent addition to your flu kit. Safe for adults and children to take. It makes 500ml syrup and is very cost effective.
This syrup will be potent, made in your own kitchen with no funny preservatives and safe for the whole family – it is also good value for money and requires no fancy equipment.
Time to get your DIY on and start building immune systems!
Product featured: Moonshine Botanicals Elderberry Syrup DIY Kit
Using the Moonshine Botanicals Elderberry Syrup DIY Kit and a jar of Raw Honey
- Take 5 cups of pure Water and put it in a pot on the stove and let it boil.
- Once boiling, turn down heat and let it simmer (not boiling!)
- Add your Moonshine Botanicals Elderberry Syrup DIY Kit.
- Can also add slices of fresh Ginger.
- Simmer for 30-45 minutes or until water has reduced by half (around 2 cups).
- Remove from heat and cool for 15-20 minutes.
- Strain Herbs using a mesh strainer and wooden spoon and be sure to squeeze out all the goodness.
- Cool to room temperature.
- Measure 1 cup of Honey and stir in.
- Bottle and store in the fridge.
Lasts around 4-6 weeks in the fridge with 1 cup of Honey (33% Sugar) or 3-4 months with 2 cups of Honey (50% sugar content).
You can add Moonshine Botanicals Viral Tincture or Moonshine Botanicals Echinacea Tincture to further preserve the syrup and give the added benefits of the herbal tincture. 1 part alcohol to 3 parts syrup.
Preventative – Adults 1 tablespoon daily, Children 1-2 teaspoons daily.
Acute – Adults 1 teaspoon, Children 1/2 teaspoon every 2 hours of duration of illness.
A Winter Tool Kit
Whole Food Supplements
Nature intended us to consume foods in whole form because the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients and antioxidants are all right there. They work synergistically to give your body the nutrition it requires to support good health.
Research suggests that nutrients from whole, raw food may have a valuable holistic, effect that allows key vitamins and minerals to work more effectively. This could be because the vitamins and minerals in foods are also influenced by other components of the food, not just the ‘active ingredient.’
The term ‘bio-availability’ generally refers to the ease that any particular nutrient can be accessed and absorbed by your body. You get optimal bio-availability from nutrients found in whole food.
Wholefood supplements are an amazing way to support our body in a truly natural way. For the past few months I have been using Heart of Cultures powerhouse trio and they are incredible. Nicci, the owner behind the brand has so much heart and integrity and she truly is passionate about what she does. Each product is carefully made with only the very best ingredients and the way our bodies respond to these products is amazing! I love that these products are locally sourced and made, and what a wonderful way to support an amazing small company with big heart!
Products featured: Heart of Cultures – Vitamin C, Bee Bread Perga & Desiccated Liver
Whole Food Vitamin C fuses wild harvested indigenous and organic ingredients to provide a 100% natural, whole food vitamin C. This potent, highly bio-available form of vitamin C is exploding with countless anti-oxidants and health supporting phytonutrients, free from synthetic ascorbic acid. It is non-acidic and naturally pure and whole – immune supportive and healing, like nature intended.
Anti-oxidant, assists detoxing of pesticides and chemicals, chelates heavy metals, aids in activation of fat transporting molecule – carnitine, assists in manufacture of adrenaline and cortisone, regulator of cholesterol levels.
Bee Bread Perga is a super food comprising of naturally fermented Honey (25%) and Pollen (75%) produced by the enzymatic activity of the bees themselves. This enhances bio-availability and absorption considerably.
It has the most incredible health benefits: antioxidant, antiviral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, metabolic stimulant, agent promoting digestion, immune stimulant, natural energy booster.
Pure Desiccated Liver is obtained from healthy free range, pasture fed beef, feeding exclusively on pesticide and chemical free lush pastures in the Eastern Cape and the Garden Route. They are raised completely hormone free.
Desiccated Liver is a rich source of Vitamin B 12, Iron, Copper, Zinc, Vitamin A, Coenzyme Q10, Potassium, 16 essential Amino Acids and Heme Iron – which increases bio-availability and quick absorption in the body. It prevents anemia, boosts energy and supports liver function.
Product featured: Moonshine Botanicals Sea Moss
This wonder Herb is incredibly nutrient dense and contains an amazing 92 of the daily 102 nutrients and minerals our bodies need! It is a natural Multivitamin and contains many of the crucial minerals lacking in our modern diets.
Wild harvested Irish Sea Moss, harvested off the coast of France.
It is also Collagen building and therefore a wonderful form of natural Collagen for vegans and vegetarians. It contributes to glowing and healthy skin. Use topically as a skin and hair conditioner and treatment. It is beneficial in healing sunburn, dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema.
Sea Moss is also radiation protective and helpful for oxidative stress that is constantly experienced by our bodies. It is a cell proliferator and helps repair and rebuild damaged cells in the body.
A wonderful immune builder, it may assist with colds and flu and is a natural expectorant.
Improves the digestive system. Sea moss assists with many digestive issues such as indigestion, gastritis, ulcers, and constipation. Sea Moss is demulcent and can provide relief to inflamed and irritated mucus membranes by layering the intestinal wall whilst simultaneously pulling toxins out of the body.
It promotes thyroid function, improves metabolism, increased circulation, immune system boost, assists digestive system, full of vitamins and minerals and numerous skin benefits
The easiest way to use Sea Moss is to make a gel and add it to smoothies/water as well as use the gel topically. Full recipe on VitaSoul for Sea Moss preparation.
Herbal remedies, much like whole food supplements benefit the body holistically and look to heal the root issue and work from the inside out. No medicine toolkit is complete without a few key herbal remedies – you will be amazed at how well our bodies respond to herbs!
Product featured: Moonshine Botanicals Immune Tincture
I really love this tincture and I make sure my family and I are never without it. Building up our immune systems is one of my top priorities and this herbal tincture is a wonderful way to do that.
The Immune tincture strengthens the immune system, activates white blood cells, stimulates T-Cells (our wonderful fighter cells!), improves oxygenation, promotes healing and protects against bacterial and viral attacks.
The herbal ingredients are: Sutherlandia, Milk Thistle, Devil’s Claw, Olive Leaf, Echinacea, Astragalus, Pelargonium, Mate.
Product featured: Moonshine Botanicals Cold and Flu Tincture
This is a great blend for winter as it is anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antiseptic, can be used for infected sores and wounds and for stomach infections – it is also wonderful for moving mucous off the chest and assists the upper respiratory system.
The herbal ingredients are: Lions Ear, Ivy, Barberry, African Potato, Wild Garlic, Elderberry, Elderflower, Mullein, Boneset, Lobelia, Cayenne.
I love this local herbal company and they have an array of wonderful and supportive herbal products that truly do what they say they do. Pulmo-Fast is a staple in my kit and for good reason Pulmo-Fast acts as an expectorant, which helps break up and expel chest congestion. Soothing irritated nasal passages and airways. Relaxing the muscles near the upper respiratory system to quell a cough. Calming the release of histamines. Fighting the harmful organisms that can produce upper respiratory problems. Pulmo-Fast is a source of antioxidants, reducing oxidative damage and redness.
Ingredients – Astralagus, Chaparral, Boswellia Serratta, Lobelia, Elecampagne.
This herbal product is great where targeted action is required for the lungs but is also good for asthma sufferers, COPD patients and those looking to do some lung repair and strengthening.
Products featured: DNA Biopharm Pulmo-Fast & Serra-Fast
This product is not only something I recommend having on hand, but also something I utilise daily. If you have any chronic condition or autoimmune condition, are fighting inflammation anywhere in your body and have any painful conditions as a result then this is a great product to look at. We experience inflammation in a multitude of ways every day – our daily stress causes inflammation. Serra-Fast is designed to help the body fight chronic inflammation. Not only that, but illness causes inflammation and this can be a wonderful anti-inflammatory support in times of illness.
Ingredients – Serrapeptase, Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Curcumin and MSM.
We often forget this really important step in our health preparation and Autumn is a great time to do a herbal detox to clear out parasites and support our liver. Many people don’t know that worms have a 21 day lifecycle and the problem with traditional allopathic deworming medication is (besides damaging our guts) they only kill a handful of the varieties of parasites we have and also they only kill them at a certain stage of their lifecycle, meaning, if they have laid their eggs, and you use the allopathic deworming medicine before the full moon, the eggs will all hatch at full moon and you will be infested with parasites again. It is also really important to do liver care alongside a parasite cleanse to open up detox pathways to be able to effectively eliminate and flush out the parasites.
Cleanses the bloodstream and the liver, helps to rid the body of excess fluids, Strengthens and purifies the liver.
Ingredients – Milk Thistle, Dandelion, Red Clover, Devil’s Claw, Yellow Dock, Dill, Tumeric, Sutherlandia, Barberry, Centuary, Cayenne.
Products featured: Moonshine Botanicals Liver Tincture & Parasite Tincture
Clears body of parasites. Assists with detox pathways and liver cleanse. Gently cleanses colon and purifies blood.
Ingredients – Black Walnut, Wormwood, Olive Leaf, Taheebo, Cloves, Thyme, Calendula, Gentian, Milk Thistle, Cayenne.
Guidance for a Parasite and Liver Detox
- Plan to start your detox 10 days before the next full moon.
- Start by taking the Liver Tincture for 5 days – this will open up your detox pathways and help your body effectively eliminate parasites and other toxins in the body.
- After 5 days add the Parasite Tincture (continue with the liver tincture) for 21 days – this will mean that it coincides with the full moon and kills parasites at every stage of their life cycle, preventing reinfection.
- Finish off your cleanse with 5 days of the Liver Tincture.
- While doing this cleanse remember to be gentle with your body, drink lots of water to help your system flush, eliminate coffee, sugar, alcohol and processed foods.
- It is best to repeat every six months.
Encouragement for the Season ahead
Your Winter Toolkit and preparation will be personal to you and your family, it is my hope that you will approach it with wisdom. Looking within your kitchen for wonderful folk remedies that you can make, being inspired to turn toward whole food supplementation and powerful herbal allies, and that you may be amazed at the resilience and strength of your immune system.
‘For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.’
– Psalm 139:13-14
There are few things more rewarding than changing the course of your and your family’s health and seeing the benefits you will reap. It is our privilege to witness it in our client’s lives.
Lucy has always said to me ‘I can’t help everyone, but I can help 10 people, those 10 people can help 10 more and that is how we change lives’.
I hope you are encouraged to change things not only for your immediate family, but reach out your hand and pull up 10 more, that is how we build immunity, not only as individuals but as a community.
Yours in love and health,
Disclaimer: Each person’s physical, emotional, and spiritual condition is unique. The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your doctor for matters pertaining to your specific health and diet. The author of this article is not held responsible for any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use or misuse of any information, suggestions or procedures described herein. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.