How I Work With Immune Herbs
As a practicing clinical and traditional herbalist, when I work with the immune system I do so in a multi-tiered way. When someone comes to me for immune support, first I am going to look at any potential need for healing. Is the immune system out of balance? Overactive? Deficient? My first is always going to be determining if things are running smooth, and if they're not, I'm going to use herbs, foods, and lifestyle practices to restore energetic balance to the system. Then, I am going to look at building, especially when heading into a time when the immune system may be taxed. What can we do to nourish and build the system to strengthen it for what lies ahead. Proactive and preventative care is always the best approach (at least from my herbal perspective) when it comes to immune system health, and is a major tenant of most traditional systems. Then, once things are balanced and fortified, I'll look at situational care for those inevitable moments when we get a bug or a virus, feeding the body to help it do it's job and fight off invaders. By using this three prong approach to immune system health we help to love build resiliency and strength from the ground up.
Seasonal Immunity: Fall Is A Time For Building
Ah, Fall. My personal favorite time of year, and definitely one of my busiest times as an herbalist. When the weather shifts there seems to be a sort of magic in the air, and an innate drive to head inside and start nesting. Stocking out pantries and freezers for the winter ahead and clearing clutter from the home - fall is all about preparing - and it when it comes to our bodies, its no different. A time to prepare for the seasons ahead, when I think of fall medicine it's all about building and nourishing to set the tone for what's to come. While we often think of tending to the immune system as something to be done when we're sick, from a traditional herbal standpoint, the time is now to begin preparing your body so that you can move into winter, nourished and strong. When working on building the immune system I'm looking at traditional methods such as herb infused broths and soups made with deep building herbals such as roots and mushrooms, alongside more modern approaches like proper supplementation, rest, and circadian health. All this combined with an active and well-fed lifestyle is my favorite way to work with clients (and myself) on building and caring for this immune system once fall hits.
How Does It Take For Clients To See A Difference?
In our modern society we're conditioned to think that healing is instant, but the reality is that good things take time. Similar to how you can't build a house in a day (though that would be nice), most time, you can't heal a body overnight either. While I have seen immune boosting herbs do wonders in a 24 hour time span, when it comes do deep immune building we typically allow 2-3 months for nourishing, and longer if there is balancing that needs to occur too. As a general guide, when I start working with immune nourishing herbs in early fall, I continue with them for 2-3 months before switching gears come winter. Just like diet and exercise, when we start using herbalism to support our health, some changes can be felt almost immediately (like the high that comes with completing your first workout), and others take longer. Just like building a house, when we want to build a strong structure, we must start at the foundation and work our way up.
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