As we enter into the heart of winter, now is a good time to really prepare for the cold. Warming circulatory tonics can be a great way to increase circulation, internal warmth, and increase resistance to colds and flus. Circulatory tonics can be especially helpful for folks whose hands and feet are often cold.
Here are some helpful suggestions for keeping warm this winter:
Ginger: A warming circulatory tonic that is also beneficial as a digestive tonic, warming the digestive organs and stimulating digestive secretions. Drinking ginger tea everyday can be a great way to increase circulation and warm up. The dried roots produce a more warming effect than the fresh roots, but either can be used for this effect. For colds and flus ginger is an expectorant, thinning mucous and clearing it out of the body. Circulatory tonics like Ginger can also help with muscle and joint pain, bringing warmth and circulation and acting as an anti-inflammatory to cold achey stagnant joints.
Gingko: Improves circulation by promoting blood flow to brain and extremities. It is used to improve cognitive performance and memory by increasing blood flow to the brain and acting as a vascular tonifier.
Prickly Ash: A heating circulatory tonic. It is great for any signs of poor circulation and especially useful for folks whose extremities are cold. Prickly ash is stimulating and diaphoretic, meaning it opens up the pores and helps toxins move out of the body through the skin.
Cayenne: Heating and promotes circulation. Sprinkling cayenne in shoes can help warm the feet and heat the entire body up. Including cayenne in foods is also a good way to add some warmth, try adding to soups and salad dressings. Cayenne is also high in vitamin C, helping to keep colds and flus at bay. It is also diaphoretic, antiviral, and antiseptic.
Rosemary: A great circulatory tonic, increasing blood flow throughout the body as well as helping promote blood flow to the brain. Rosemary tea can be drunk daily to support circulation as well as to deal with caffeine withdrawals.
Fire cider is one of my favorite herbal formulas to make! Its simple and a great way to help increase circulation,warmth and fight off colds and flus. Fire cider is a remedy made using warming and spicy herbs extracted in Apple Cider Vinegar. Fire Cider stimulates digestion and opens pores, helping to move toxins out of the body. It is energizing, antibacterial and antiviral. It can be great to take daily as a preventative as well as to help fight of colds and flus. Try mixing with honey to ease a cough, adding to salad dressing, or diluting in water to drink.
(either fresh or dried)
½ cup horseradish
¼ cup garlic
½ cup onion
½ cup ginger
½ cup burdock
Dash of cayenne
Apple Cider Vinegar
Directions: Chop all ingredients. Fill a 32 oz jar with veggies and spices and cover with Apple Cider Vinegar. Place wax paper or cloth between jar and jar lid, as the vinegar will eat the rubber off of the jar lid if there is not a barrier. Store in a cool, dry, dark place for two weeks to one month. Strain and enjoy! For fun, fire cider can be made on the full moon and buried and then dug up on the next full moon. Make sure to label your cider with the date made and ingredients. Store in the fridge for maximum freshness.
Have a great winter and stay well!
-Jenae, lead Herbalist at Rainbow