Dear beautiful beings,
None of us knew that this was to come. The news tells us that it is a time social isolation, self-quarantines, viral pandemics, a time of great suffering. I choose to write this reality differently, from an empowered stand point: it is a time of deep inner work, a time for radical self-care, connection to our Earth, our bodies, a call to return to the plants, and a collective awakening. I do not want to minimize anyone's struggles as many are sick, quarantined, without an income, and fearful. I am not telling you not to feel those realities, or face those very real things. I am telling you to lean into it, wherever you are, wherever we may be as humanity. We are left with no other option than to radically accept, trust, and revise what may have once worked in the past to create a new reality for where we are now. I encourage you not to label this new reality as better or worse, just to allow it to shift us, to connect us, to support one another near and far.
I have not shared this with too many people, because as I said this moment is encouraging us to turn in, to go deep within ourselves, however I am recently getting over the coronavirus. I did not get tested as tests were not available, but I have learned to trust my body, and it is quite clear that what I had was not like any other virus I have ever experienced before. It is no coincidence that our collective global reality is facing disease right now as many cultures have been experiencing mental, physical, and spiritual dis-ease for a long time being so out of alignment with the ourselves and the Earth.
As an otherwise healthy twenty-seven year old woman, I took this virus as a mandatory pause to my life as I knew it. It forced me to return back to the very basic building blocks of life: being and breathing.
Throughout this I turned towards some herbal allies to help me get my health back on track. Plants are amazing in the way that herbalism is both preventative and a reaction to dis-ease (mental, physical, and spiritual) Whether you are trying to prevent getting sick or you have Coronavirus already, I wanted to take a moment to share what felt good in my body during this time. Below are several herbal recommendations for how to holistically process coronavirus. They are not cures and they do not replace seeking medical care. The number one treatment for coronavirus is knowing your body and staying home.
Nettle: Nettle is wonderful for immune support, respiratory system, and inflammation. In my body it feels very balancing and grounding. It has a wonderful nutty flavor when dried and made into tea.
Tulsi: Tulsi is also known as holy basil, and it feels like just that - incredibly holy. Tulsi is fantastic for your lungs and throat, and I personally felt in my body that it eased the sensation of pressure on my chest. Plus it tastes purely delicious, sweet and spicy, and makes a perfect tea.
[Credit to Pam Montgomery for these two herbal recommendations as they proved to be incredibly soothing to the body and soul.]
Lemon balm: Lemon balm has antiviral properties and is a great herb for prevention and relief of any type of virus. It literally helps enforce your cells to minimize viral effects. It also is a nervine, which means that it helps to support and calm the nervous system through any stress.
Thyme: Thyme is pure magic- it is both anti-bacterial and anti-viral. It is a master of supporting the immune system. This is an easy one, add some fresh thyme to your grocery list or your garden and put it in everything- the food you cook, your teas, your water.
Raw, Local Honey: Did you know that honey is anti-bacterial and anti-viral too? It's pretty powerful stuff, not only is it an easy tea addition, but there is truth to the old wise tale that honey and tea are some the best medicine when you're sick.
Citrus: Besides the obvious ton of vitamin C found naturally in citrus, this one felt amazing for my lungs, throat, and headaches. Grapefruit in particular emerged as an intuitive craving that felt like serious body fortification during my bout with COVID-19.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon helps move energy in the body, which during coronavirus felt like it was stagnant in my chest and ribcage. It has natural warming properties and helps to drive toxins out of the body.
Fresh Turmeric & Ginger Root: I used fresh turmeric and ginger to support my immune system throughout the whole time I was sick. Literally every day. They were my go to allies while I was waiting for my order from The Herb Shoppe in Portland. They're another easy one to just add to your grocery list. Peel off the outside, chop it up and use the back of a wooden spoon to crush it, and then boil it in tea. (Note: turmeric will dye everything, including your hands, bright yellow-- just a heads up).
These were my allies that supported me immensely while I was sick and hope they prove to support you through these times as well. Stay tuned tomorrow for a few tea recipes using many of those as ingredients. I am endlessly grateful for the power and accessibility of plant medicine during these challenging times when we can't even get toilet paper. If you are an experienced forager and plan on finding any of these ingredients in nature - please give a prayer or an offering in reciprocity for the Earth's gifts.
One of the best medicine for my body and soul during this time was pure and utter rest - I disconnected from all social media, and spent most of my time reading, writing, resting, and meditating. I want to remind you all, whether you are healthy or sick, content or anxious, hopeful or fearful, that this is a calling to slow the hell down. Try spending less time doing and more time listening. As my wonderful friend and fellow healer, Lizzy McDonald, said to me the other day "now is not a time to try hard at anything". If you find yourself trying too hard to do any one thing - pause.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Is it necessary? Does your life, financial well-being, or emotional health depend on it? If the answer is no, you should probably stop.
Is it aligned with you at this very moment? What are habits that you have implemented in your life from years ago that do not serve you anymore but you proceed to do anyway?
Are you comparing yourself to other people? Are you working out three times a day because that's what you see the rest of the world doing on instagram? If so, pause and ask the next question:
Does it feel good? Your body has a visceral response when things do not feel good to the soul. Listen to that, just because others are doing it, doesn't mean you should.
What would happen if I just sat still? What if you put away your phone, shut off your TV, turned down the lights and just sat quietly with your thoughts? This can seem scary and hard, but in reality it feels really damn good and you might be surprised by the clarity that comes out on the other-side of it.
As always let me know if you have any questions or need support during this time. We can each be pillars of light for one another right now, even if not together in physical space. Consider how you are framing the challenges that we encounter over the coming weeks and months. Lean in and lean on.
With endless gratitude and healing, Charlotte