How I Took Care of Myself This Week- Sasha

From Sasha

Those of you who are just getting to know Violet Folklore may not realize that Amber and I are not only vintage clothes lovers, we are herbalists! In fact, that's how we met-- we were taking an Herbal Apprenticeship together from our local herbalist Kathi Keville. We knew we wanted to be friends the moment that we saw each other, though little did we dream that we would open a clothing shop together on Etsy one day! 


As we started up our store this fall-- and threw ourselves into it with all of our time and energy-- we both noticed that we were giving our health a lower priority, in the service of our all-consuming new endeavor. We also found that we had much less time to devote to our beloved herbal blogs, Kitchen Witch and Nourished Mother. 

In an effort to satisfy our urge to educate and inspire others to greater health, and as a way of holding ourselves to a better standard of self-care, we decided to start a new series of weekly posts called "How I Took Care of Myself This Week". No clothing or makeup can replace health and happiness, which is our true Beauty-- even Photoshop can't fake it for us forever. Here is my first post of the series-- and here's to taking better care of ourselves!


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This week was slamming busy at work (I am the office manager at a Naturopathic clinic), pre-Christmas stress was in the air, and it was finally getting really cold out. Naturally everyone seemed to be getting sick, and I felt like I was on the edge of fighting off something a few times myself. My number one remedy for this or any other combination of challenging circumstances? Nettle tea, of course. Here is is being poured from the mother mason jar where it steeped all night into "to go" jars for me and my hunny (can't have him getting sick either!). Nettle is just unbeatable for improving your basic vitality, and has a special affinity with the respiratory tract, one of my "weak links". For more on Nettle, and to learn how to steep your own tea, check out my post on my herbal blog here.

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My two easiest and most effective standbys for revving up my immune system are tinctures of Echinacea and Medicinal Mushrooms. They are a little pricey, but they cost a lot less then missing days of work because you are down and out with a cold. Most health food stores on the west coast carry the Herb Pharm brand that you see here, and I stand by the effectiveness of their Echinacea-- just remember that it is best taken before any serious symptoms set in. When you feel even the slightest bit off-- or when you know you are going to a place that is enclosed and germy (like a school, a movie theater, or a party)-- take it before you get there. Don't be moderate with the dosage, either, for this short-term, occasional use; taking too little is a waste of your time and money. I take two or three good droppers full three or four times a day if I'm feeling "off"!

These particular medicinal mushrooms I got at work, so you won't see the brand in commerce, but there are a lot of good ones out there now. (The lame-o companies don't seem to have quite "gotten it" yet about the mushrooms, which means mostly pricey, quality stuff is on the market at the moment.) These, combined with the Echinacea, seem to fully arm my immune system. If you can afford to, you can take mushrooms long-term as a kind of "supportive food". I try to take a few droppers full a day, more when I'm feeling that my immunity is lowered. If you are someone with chronic compromised immunity, of course, you should check with your health care practitioner before trying either of these potent remedies!!! 

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Of all the Emergen-C flavors out there, I swear that this one works the best (the picture is kind of blurry- it's the "Ruby Lemon Honey" kind). I think it's the enhanced Zinc. It makes it taste kind of weird, I admit, but it has the Power. This one only seems to be on sale at this time of year, so if you see it, grab a couple of them! I take one or two a day. The Vitamin C (along with lots of water) will also clear up your skin something fabulous... that's why I try to take this even when I'm feeling good. And yes, that is Elvis... he lives by the snacks. He is probably a little disappointed about our healthy choices, but it still seems to be his Happy Place in the house.

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The seat of our health is in our digestive tract-- that's where most of our immune cells live. Eating heavy, junky food that taxes our digestion, then, also brings down our immunity. Inthe afternoons at work, I get cravings for empty calorie foods like potato chips (yes, I have to admit to myself, even the baked potato chips are empty calories, despite being a huge improvement on the normal deep-fried ones), so it really helps to have a healthy alternative around. This week we got our first Satsumas in Nevada County- and there was serious celebrating! These are cheap. easy to peel, and their anti-oxidant power fights colds and flus. Eat the spongy pulp under the skin to get the most benefit. (My hunny thinks this is just plain weird, but I like the way it tastes!)

So that's a tour of my cupboard this week! Though I like to make all my own medicine whenever possible, pre-made and easy things like these come in really handy when I'm super-busy. Hope I've given you an idea or two for better health!