HEALTH & WELL
BEING - January 2008
No Colds This
Hands, Moonflower manager,
and Molly McClish, master herbalist
Wintertime. For many
of us, winter is a chance to spend more time with our family
and friends, catch up on our reading, and experience our
town and its beautiful surroundings without the tourist crowds
common other times of the year.
also holds some challenges for us; cold and flu season are
in full force, our children are bringing home the latest
bug from school, and oftentimes we overdo it during the holiday
season. Not to mention the stress of money worries for the
seasonally employed. Not enough sleep or too much overindulgence
can leave us susceptible to illness.
There are simple ways
to cope during the winter. Eat lots of green foods, eat your
fruits (or drink them, if you are a juice lover), drink plenty
of water. Keep the air in your house humidified; a pot of
water on the stove works great for this. Put some dried thyme
or eucalyptus leaves in the water; these herbs are good for
your sinuses, and they smell wonderful as well.
Apple cider vinegar is
another simple tonic you can use. We are more susceptible
to colds and flu when the ph level in our body is out of
whack. Taking apple cider vinegar can help keep your body’s
PH in balance. It is also a great thing to use for stomach
upset. Put 1-2 tsp of apple cider vinegar in 8 oz of water,
or tea, and sweeten with honey.
are a great winter indulgence; they help warm and hydrate
our bodies. They are a wonderful way to get those vitamins
and minerals out of your vegetables.
Add ginger, or cayenne,
to your soup to help your circulation get moving, and help
your sinuses stay clear
Astragalus root is a
good herb for nourishing your body’s immune system.
Put a couple slices of the dried root in that pot of soup
you have simmering away on your stove; remove the root before
serving. Shiitake mushrooms are also a great immune system
booster, so toss those in as well; they also taste wonderful
sautéed, and complement anything, not just soup.
Following is a simple
recipe for hot and sour soup taken from “Secrets of
Fat-Free Chinese Cooking” by Ying Chang Compestine:
6 cups water
8 Shiitake mushrooms
8 ounces firm tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes
kale or collard greens, sliced
1 green onion, minced
1.5 TB rice vinegar
3 TB soy sauce
¼ tsp chili pepper flakes
2 TB cornstarch
1 tsp sesame oil
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1) Bring water to
a boil in a large pot. Add the mushrooms, tofu, and greens.
Boil for 2 minutes.
2) Reduce the heat to low and add the vinegar, soy sauce,
and chili flakes. Dissolve the cornstarch in a little water
and add it to the pot. Simmer 3 to 4 minutes while stirring
occasionally. Stir in the sesame oil.
3) Garnish with green onion and black pepper before serving.
If you do succumb, drink
plenty of fluids – coffee doesn’t count! – and
get your rest. And Moonflower Market offers a large array
of herbal supplements, for adults and children both, that
can help ease discomfort and help you recover.