In winter, deciduous trees lose their leaves and draw all their energy inwards. Their sap is drawn into the tree’s heart and roots. They know not to stretch too far, grow too much, or live beyond their means. Our circulation is similar in colder months, drawing away from the cold air into our warm and vital core. We often feel more vulnerable and can be more susceptible to winter bugs. Supporting ourselves with potent botanicals both inside and out can ease our path through the 100 days of winter so we can emerge stronger and more resilient in the spring.
When it comes to botanical immune support, potency is key. What is more potent than something grown in our own backyard? New Zealand grown organic Echinacea Root has naturally high levels of the active constituent alkylamides. These give Echinacea its unique ability to support white blood cell production and immunity, while also giving the distinctive ‘tongue-tingle’ effect that lets you know it’s working! Also grown in New Zealand are antioxidant stars Blackcurrants. Darkest black-purple, the colour of these shows that they are packed with anthocyanins (cyan means blue). New Zealand-grown Blackcurrants have been tested and shown to be one of the most powerful antioxidants of any fruit or vegetable. Elderberries are also well known for their immune enhancing properties, specifically supporting our body’s defences when they are under threat.
Antioxidants are essential for immune support, as oxidation compromises our immune function and makes us more vulnerable to bugs. People with chronic illness can have increased levels of oxidation, as can athletes, allergy sufferers, older people, and anyone using frequent airline travel. The other important part of our population with an increased need for antioxidants? Anyone who is undergoing stress! Pollution and smoking also increase oxidative stress. It's not hard to see that we all could do with a dose of antioxidant support, especially over the winter months when weather contributes its own unique form of physical stress.
If winter leaves you stiff and creaky, botanicals will not just be important inside, but can also be utilised topically, rubbed onto the skin for supporting physical comfort and mobility. Again, local is powerful! New Zealand grown Arnica can be utilised to support muscle stiffness, the healing of sprains and strains, and circulation. Arnica supports the body’s response to trauma, helping to enhance the healing process. Comfrey, traditionally known as Knitbone, is another powerful healer that literally grows like a weed! Applied topically, clinical studies have shown that this herb is a useful agent for supporting the body’s response to trauma and recovery.
Winter is a time for nourishment, for nurturing our bodies inside and out with all the goodness we have at our fingertips. Use your 100 days of winter to utilise locally grown powerful botanical allies to keep you thriving and flourishing, limber and vital, standing tall.
Kiwiherb specialises in 100% natural, premium quality herbal health products. KiwiHerb SprainAway Cream is a premium potency combination of NZ-grown Arnica and Comfrey. In combination, these two herbs provide proven natural support for strained muscles, sprains, stiff joints, bruises and sports injuries. Kiwiherb EchiBerry® with New Zealand Blackcurrants is another great antioxidant support for overall health and sports recovery.