These are anxious times.
We’re hunkered down, respecting social distancing and washing our hands around the clock – but apart from eating well and getting regular exercise, it can be hard to feel like we’re doing quite enough to prepare our immune systems in the midst of a global pandemic.
With that in mind, Cork herbalist Nikki Darrell of Veriditas Hibernica has been sharing some extra steps you can take to feel better while you follow the official advice.
It’s important to note that there is no known cure for Covid-19. Always contact your GP if you or a loved one is exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms.
Here’s a few of Nikki’s tips:
1. Spend time outdoors
“Wrap up warm and spend time outside in the garden, forest or other places where there are trees and soil and so on.” says Nikki.
“These produce all sorts of good things that boost our immune system,”
2. Ditch the sugar
“Cut out all sugar (an enemy of the immune system), processed foods and eat healthy vitamin C and vitamin D rich foods. So plenty of fresh fruit and veg, foraged greens and mushrooms. Eat plenty of proanthocyanidin-rich foods, so purple fruits and veg.”
3. Add herbs to your meals
“Add lots of warming and drying herbs and spices to your food- for example, cinnamon, clove, thyme, rosemary, oregano, cumin, turmeric, coriander, black pepper and other peppers, aniseed, fennel, parsley, ginger, bay leaf and others.
4. Fill up on fermented foods
“Take lots of fermented foods- live vinegar, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, etc. to build immune function. Take prebiotic (fibre rich) foods like roots and fruits and veg. A large part of our immune function is our microbiome-in our guts, on our skin, up our nose and actually in a cloud around us.
5. If you are diagnosed with and recovering from coronavirus (or a cold or ‘Flu)
“REST, do not try to power through.” says Nikki.
“In convalescence take simple foods; steamed veg, stewed fruit, rice. Live yoghurt is okay too and some honey. Tahini is good for building up the lung energy. Eat lots of berries and mushrooms and continue to rest but get some fresh air.”