In these current times it seems everyone is looking for a way to boost their immune system. The framework of permaculture would tell us that whatever we do has to be based on some greater pattern awareness to be truly effective. How can we value the edge and get the most to and from our bodies; from source to sink? With the microbial world on everyones mind, its time to give your micro biome more consideration and support. While they are not the only way, these health tips for better immunity below do focus a lot on them. The irony is the healthier others are because there are less toxins wafting and floating about!
The following suggestions come from my own health journey and have proven indispensable over the course of my life. While they have helped me, they may not help you, yet I do see them as fairly universal. Diet is an extremely personal choice and how you handle your health is too. Bill Mollison’s book Fermentation and Human Nutrition was a pivotal background book to this movement, which is why I include this page in this publication.
1. Gut health:
Like the soil food web for healthy plants, the body needs healthy gut flora. Without healthy gut flora you can’t absorb essential minerals and nutrients. Fermented foods are essential in the healing process and the care for these symbiotic microbes is paramount to health.
2. Get dirty:
Through this you will get exercise, antidepressant microbes from the soil, and minerals leaching into skin. To create with nature is also a beneficial growth point because nature is such a teacher and a point of reflection through continual observation. Don’t just walk through nature, be with nature through creation. Be producers not just consumers.
3. Eat seasonal and local:
Follow the rhythms that your ancestors did in whatever country and climate you live. Yes you can buy any vegetable or fruit at any moment and you can alternatively choose wisely to eat seasonally. The more you grow your own, the more you develop a relationship with this.
4. Cook with herbs and spices:
Traditional cooking was laden with these and it is a way to bring flavor without compromising the health aspect of eating. Medicinal qualities come through whether its thyme in Italian cooking or ginger in Asian dishes. Grow an herb garden, grow an herb planter box in a windowsill, or plant herbs with your guilds.
5. If you are going to eat grain, soak them first:
This essentially is a form of fermentation as the organic chemistry within the seed holding it stable (not to sprout or mold or be eaten by insects) is not so good for us. Wash these compounds away to bring the food alive through soaking and make it more nutritious.
6. Go organic and read labels:
The toxicity of pesticides, colorings, gmo’s, and preservatives is damaging beyond belief. Pesticides imbalance systems that regulate like your nervous and endocrine system. Also they destroy gut health and impact environmental systems greatly. Buy organic on the regular.
7. Have a story behind your food:
Attend farmers markets or seek direct purchases rather than retail outlets as you get to know your producers and food processors. Most of us producers live somewhat secluded farm lives and are happy to talk to others. It is the story of knowing producers that creates entertainment through food. It has both place and a face behind it.
8. Do a parasite cleanse:
Parasites plague human health and while we think we have sanitary conditions always, we don’t. Buy a medicinal herb tincture that is anti parasitic that contains at least black walnut, wormwood, and cloves. Do that for one full moonth, full moon to full moon. These are powerful medicines and contact a naturopath first if need be.
9. Lean on medicinal herbs:
If you can opt for these instead of pharmaceuticals, do it please. While modern medicine is a blessing in many ways, it also falls short on holistic health often. Medicinal herbs allow us to connect to nature in this time old tradition and improve our health. Grow, forage, or buy from medicine people as a way to also support local economy and artisan culture.
10. Mental health:
Look it is a real thing and we can no longer ignore it. Our physical and mental health are very intertwined. Cultivate practices that allow for expression, calmness, fun, playfulness, movement, stillness, and more. Lay off drugs and alcohol to deal with anxiety and instead develop mindfulness/exercise practices that work for you. And please don’t be afraid to seek professional help.
11. Drop the sugar and the white and fluffy:
The quick fix of simple carbohydrates, in the end, wears on the body. Eat whole grains, food with fiber, and kick the sugar addiction. These sugars feed microbes that aren’t healthy for you inside your gut and destabilize your immunity through poor blood sugar regulation.
12. Drink clean water:
Tap water is full of toxins normally and the chlorine has damaging effects on your gut health. Search for spring water and at least drink well-filtered water. If drinking bottled water, make sure it is spring water. If possible bring it back alive through the vortex motion.
13. Fasting: the best way to press reset on your health once you have implemented many of the steps above, is to fast or commit to time-restricted eating. A true fast for at least three days can help your body clear pre-cancerous senescent cells but can take a short term toll on your immune system. Time-restricted eating is much easier and sustainable, giving yourself an eating window each day (say 12 on-12 off or 8 on -16 off) so that your body has time to rest from digestion. Plus, it has been shown to greatly improve sleep quality!
There is more but lets stick with these tips for now. Cooperate with your circles of influence to broach these tips and begin the healing process of yourselves and the planet.
Written by Doug Crouch
Header Art by Joana Amorim