We, who live in the Northeast, are very happy at the first sign of spring. We had a rough winter this year in terms of the cold temperatures and the amount of snow. However, despite the hard work of shoveling and wearing thermal undergarments, there is one saving grace: the view. When you look out of your window and see that the trees, houses, and the entire landscape, draped in glistening white snow; it has a way of rejuvenating and elevating the spirit. That scene is majestically beautiful. It brings with it a clean, crisp and a wintry aroma.
As winter is ending, we eagerly anticipate the coming of spring. In the past, the ‘seasons of illnesses’, were are little more distinct. That is to say that you knew what diseases your patients would be most likely to suffer from during the winter months and what diseases you would expect to see in the springtime. Now, we can see patients who are having signs of spring allergies when we still have snow on the ground and nothing is in bloom! We have to stay vigilant with patients who continue to present with symptoms of a Flu like illness even though Flu season should be over. So you see, the ‘seasons of illnesses’ are blending into each other.
Keep in mind what you know and get ready to move into the next season. If your are living in an area that does not have the four seasons, then you may have a wet and dry season. Just remember that each season can bring a different set of symptoms and that they can blend together. During the change of seasons, remember your Herb Teas. There are many prepackaged varieties but it is perfectly fine to make your own. To each cup of boiling water add: 1 Tbs dry herb tea leaves or 2 Tbs fresh herb tea leaves.To make herb teas: Bring water to a boil. Add tea leaves. Remove from heat. Let steep.(Do not boil leaves) Strain, serve hot or cold with honey.
For allergy sufferers, remember the basics. The best habit to cultivate is the washing out of the nose! Yes, you can use the ‘cupping of the hand technique’, the nasal lavage system or the neti pot. The neti pot is a small pot designed for washing out the nose. The solution for the pot is 1/2 teaspoon sea salt per cup (8 ounces) of distilled water. Plan on using the neti pot twice a day.
The next step, for adults, is to increase the amount of vitamin C that you are taking. If you are accustomed to taking 500mg C, then increase to 1,000mg per day. If you are accustomed to taking 1,000mg per day, then increase to 2,000mg per day. Remember very high doses of Vitamin C can cause diarrhea. This is not harmful, it just means that you have taken too much: decrease your dose. For children, an extra glass of orange juice should work just fine. The papaya and kiwifruit are also very good sources of Vitamin C that kids love. Be sure to keep one of the natural cough preparations on your shelves. I love the Little Remedies-Soothing Syrup,Honey cough syrup, Hyland’s 4 kids, Vicks, Sambucol for kids,and the Zarbees Naturals products for kids. Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the label.
If you have a sinus infection, (foul green-gray drainage),fever, or muscle aches and pains, then contact your Primary Care provider or go to Faith and Medicine on-line. There are plenty of natural and pharmaceutical treatments that are available for you.
If you have air filters built into your heating and air conditioning system, that is great. If your in an older home, then the purchasing of an air purifier is a great investment. If your surrounding environment is somewhat toxic or highly allergenic, be proactive in making the environment safe for everyone. You may need to start a recycling program, advocate for safe waste disposal, or contact influential people who can start to make changes.
Remember to enjoy the season. The colors, the scents, the sounds are all part of the healing arena. Drink plenty of fresh water. Encourage the kids to drink water. Be sure to make it easy for them to get a glass of water!
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