In the spirit of over-saturated days and under-slept nights, I thought I would share a handful of my year-round essentials that will keep you perked up for the holiday season and through the new year. So drop the NyQuil, toss the meds and read on for a healthier you!
1. ECHINACEA GOLDENSEAL
What It Is: A potent botanical duo that works as an immune stimulant in liquid, capsule or tablet form.
Why Keep it Handy: Great for preventing symptoms from worsening. Take at first sign of the flu, ear infections, cold sores and even UTI’s.
How I Use It: When I feel like my immune system is blah, I add a couple drops of this herbal duo to some cranberry juice and drink it 3 times throughout the day. It brings me back to feeling normal in no time!
What It Is: An herb whose leaves, seeds and flowers are used to flavor food and make medicine.
Why Keep It Handy: This potent herb is a powerful antibiotic that helps eliminate infection, reduces inflammation and regulates high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
How I Use It: A week before I go camping, I take garlic pills to ward off the mosquitoes- works like a charm and I stay bite-free! I also try to cook with it on a weekly basis – roasting it is my favorite.
What It Is: A plant whose root is used as a spice and for flavoring in cooking and candy.
Why Keep It Handy: This root is full of medicinal properties, from relieving indigestion to helping ease nausea and menstrual cramps. It’s also a great remedy for cold and flu symptoms by strengthening your immunity.
How I Use It: I enjoy it as a side with my sushi and also drink it as a tea with lemon and honey. Fresh ginger is the best, store your roots in the freezer for longer preservation!
4. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
What It Is: A gluten-free vinegar made from organic apples.
Why Keep It Handy: For its diversity! This vinegar has endless uses and a host of benefits, from beating bloat and soothing a dry throat to keeping your skin and hair healthy and assisting with cravings. (Shiny hair AND a lean tummy? Yes, please.)
How I Use It: My favorite way to enjoy apple cider vinegar is drinking it as a tea, with lemon and honey, or taking it as an AM shot. I also use it as a post-shampoo rinse which leaves my hair amazingly shiny and soft.
What It Is: A fermented yeast enzyme tea that has been around for thousands of years.
Why Keep it Handy: This probiotic powerhouse provides outrageous benefits for digestion and gut health. Aside from cleansing and detoxifying your body and gut which take a hit during the holidays (can you say Moscow Mules and Jello molds), this drink also aids in weight loss, strengthens your immune system and helps boost energy levels. No wonder kombucha is known as the “elixir of life.”
My Favorite Flavor: Pink Lady Apple by Health-Ade.
*You can also make your own Kombucha. Check out this recipe from Healthy Green Kitchen.