Irises symbolize hope and trust. I think most of us could use both. The last couple of months I have been working with private clients, attending e-seminars on COVID-19, and coping with the new realities of living with a bizarre virus. I often have people asking me for something to boost their immune system. And it is true, there are essential oils and botanicals that boast the immune system. But in the case of COVID-19, boosting the immune system when symptomatic with the virus is not prudent. Early studies indicate that certain immune boosting herbs can exacerbate a cytokine storm (an autoimmune type response) increasing one’s chances of having the severest reactions to the virus.
My own health has been a struggle. I have several health challenges. Improving my health has at times seemed to be an insurmountable task. At one point it was so poor, I didn’t know if I could continue working full time. But I started with one change and continue my efforts. It was through the continued daily healthy practices that my health improved. The life that I am finally able to have is more beautiful and brighter than anything I could imagine.
I have the following thoughts to offer you about improving your immune system considering the current social events. The BlackLivesMatter movement and the immune system have a lot in common. Improving your immune system is a daily activity. Diet and lifestyle choices should be at the forefront of your methods for achieving and maintaining optimal health. But our society does not really assist us in aligning our lives to be healthy. Most of us have work expectations that exceed a healthy daily capacity. Most of us do not get enough sleep. Most of us feel inadequate, anxious, and stressed. Botanicals can help support us to in making healthier choices, lower stress responses, improving sleep, reducing pain, and even boosting our immune system when appropriate. To improve your immune system, I recommend you begin with choosing one thing to support your health goals. For example, mine still is struggling to get to bed in a timely manner.
Against the backdrop of quarantining, many white people have awakened to a few of the realities that Black people deal with every day. There have been protests. There have been riots. There are promises for change. Books for realizing racial injustice and systematic racism are sold out! But as a society we are at the beginning of doing the work that needs to be done. And it will have to be daily with constant vigilance to really enact the changes that need to be made. It seems almost insurmountable! And so, once again, we can start with one thing. Maybe you resonate with social justice, a book club, a donation (time or money), or a new favorite business. Whatever it is, make it a part of your efforts to extend your healthy life into a healthier freer life for those who need it most right now.
What does Meet the Herb Halfway do for the Black Lives Matter movement? I (Katherine Clancy) am a professor at a university. I serve on my university’s Hate/Bias Committee, which deals with all reports of hate and bias for racism, sexism, and homophobia. I do not receive any compensation for this work (nor does anyone on the committee) and it is not a high-profile activity leading to opportunities. It is a zero funded committee started at the behest of the student government association.
One of the three reasons I started Meet the Herb Halfway was to be able to provide donations to local organizations. Most of the ones I have chosen are associated with improving the lives of children. MTHH just completed a fundraiser round (spring) for the Suzuki Institute and donated $100 for scholarships for economically disadvantaged music students. The next fundraiser round (summer) will be donated to either the aforementioned UWSP hate/bias committee or the new Portage County Diversity Affairs and Inclusivity Committee (if it is founded). Meet the Herb Halfway is a small business, and I realize my steps towards helping change are small too. My efforts are offered with the realization that I alone cannot resolve systematic racism, but I can start and add my efforts to accumulate and build a society more beautiful and brighter than I can currently imagine. #blacklivesmatter