In the garden of @taylorblair1
Plants For The People by @erinlovellverinder
6 Plant-Based Medicines: Inspired by Plants For The People by Erin Lovell Verinder
Eating plant based organic foods is something we are hugely passionate about at REV. Boosting our immunity in the most natural and sustainable way possible has never been more important to us. Inspired by the incredible Plants For The People book by Erin Lovell Verinder, in this editorial Taylor talks us through some of her favourite plant foods to optimise health and wellness. Taylor shares some beautiful images from her garden in California.
Food As Medicine
I was raised with the ethos that food is an incredibly powerful medicine. Now that includes vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, herbs, flowers, and more. As Erin Lovell Verinder says, “there is no one type of healthy, or balanced, or well.” Every individual is completely different, with unique issues, likes, dislikes, and emotions. Therefore, not one “diet” works for all of us. While I drink my organic wine, enjoy my chocolate, and my husband’s sourdough baked goods…I attempt to find balance within what I am feeding my body. I have continuously turned to specific foods, herbs, and supplements to aid in my body’s natural processes. I use it as an opportunity to turn to nature, like Verinder suggests. “Plant medicine invites you to return to your roots, to aid in recalibration of your body and being.”
Boosting immunity is something to focus on year-round, but for lots of us, it becomes especially important going into the winter months. Anxiety and stress can have huge effects on our immune responses, which can make us vulnerable all year. Our immune system is completely tied to the health of our skin and our energy levels, so doing things to support the immune response has a multitude of benefits.
Herbal remedies are not meant to replace any medications you are on now. It is always important to seek guidance from licensed practitioners and to do your own research!
I try and include turmeric in my diet at least a few times a week, in curries and in teas. Turmeric has incredible anti-inflammatory properties thanks to curcumin, which makes this root amazing for acne, the liver, digestion, high cholesterol, and irritable bowel syndrome. It is a warming spice, that is lovely on a cold day or if you have feverish symptoms. A favourite around the REV office, is the Turmeric CBD Oil from Wunder Workshop. The CBD in this oil helps to calm a busy mind and reduce anxiety, which as I mentioned is essential for maintaining a strong immune system. I love to add the Golden Turmeric Honey by Wunder Workshop into my teas when I have a sore throat – it is instantly soothing [source: Plants For The People by Erin Lovell Verinder].
I’m sure you’ve already heard about the true wonders of echinacea. It has so many benefits for the body, but it is especially amazing for the immune system and the skin. “It is a powerful remedy for conditions of the upper and lower respiratory systems, combating colds, flues, fevers” and a whole lot more. It also works on improving skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. If your energy is low and you’re feeling a cold coming on, grab some echinacea! I love the Defense Drops by The Nue Co. because it blends echinacea with other adaptogenic herbs to support the body’s immune response and lower stress levels.
Not only are they my favourite ingredient for most dishes, but they have incredible health benefits. I have mushroom powders in my smoothies every morning. Reishi is an incredibly popular mushroom because it boosts the immune system, eases anxiety, and also encourages sleep by calming the nervous system. Turkey tail contains PSK, which is a compound that stimulates the immune system. It is also full of antioxidants, which helps fight free radical damage. Almost every edible mushroom has an array of health benefits, which is why it is great to take daily mushroom supplements.
I swear by oregano. Not only is it a delicious herb to add to dishes, but as a wonderful oil to take medicinally. “Oregano throws out a supercharged defense against viral or bacterial bugs, with strong antibacterial and antimicrobial actions that ease colds.” [source: Plants For The People by Erin Lovell Verinder]. When I’m congested, I throw oregano from my garden into a hot pot of water and do some inhalations. Perfect for clearing the sinuses! I love taking the Gaia Herbs Oregano supplements, as it is a lot easier to handle than digesting the strong oil.
“Historically, the sacred elder tree’s medicine was employed as a spring tonic, taken when the winter had passed and left its mark, with weary immune systems all around.” [source: Plants For The People by Erin Lovell Verinder]. Elderberry/elderflower syrups are actually delicious when added to jams and even kombucha! I love taking elderberry syrup when I can feel a sore throat coming on, as it has strong anti-inflammatory and immunosupportive properties. I love taking the Perfect Attendance soft chews by Goop Wellness, because they are tasty and easy to take when I need an immune boost from elderberry!
This wild weed has been used all over the world to treat many different ailments. It is commonly used topically to heal wounds and cuts, but it is also used to treat the respiratory system. “The leaf has a strong soothing action to ease an irritated dry cough and hoarseness, and acts as an expectorant to shake up lung congestion.” [source: Plants For The People by Erin Lovell Verinder]. When I wake up with allergies, I always reach for mullein. With so much exposure to environmental pollutants, our lungs are more at risk than ever before, so it is so important to keep our respiratory system strong. You can make your own teas with mullein flowers and leaves or grab a mullein syrup when you’re experiencing a dry cough.