As the colder weather descends our immune systems need a boost. Happily our natural health and well-being columnist Naomi Murray from Botanica Health in Rusthall is on hand to provide some effective remedies which will help you de-stress and sleep better
We are in the throes of beautiful autumn. A period of hunkering down and preparing for the winter ahead.
For those of you who enjoy the slower pace of life this is your season; beautiful walks, glowing fires, doing less and staying in.
Low stress, quality sleep and a relaxed body and mind are the perfect foundation for a more resilient immune system. So let’s start here…
I hope the following recipes are therapeutic in the making and in their restorative actions. All ingredients available to buy from Botanica on Rusthall High Street.
“In November, the trees are standing all sticks and bones. Without their leaves, how lovely they are, spreading their arms like dancers. They know it is time to be still.”
— Cynthia Rylant, In November
Stress Less and Sleep Well
Moon milk is an Ayurvedic tradition where milk and honey has the addition of adaptogens – in particular ashwagandha.
An adaptogen is known as a substance which helps the body adapt, adjust and reset which is just what we need at this time of year. Adaptogens are the most amazing tonics and there are countless studies proving their efficacy for stress, depression, stamina and immunity.
Sleep is so important for a strong immune system; for repair, rejuvenation, energy and mental health.
- 1 cup of cow’s milk or a plant-based milk
- 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon of ashwagandha powder
- 1 teaspoon of freeze-dried blueberry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder
- 1 heaped teaspoon of raw honey
Optional alternative: you can add 2 teaspoons of collagen powder
Add 1 cup of milk to a saucepan and warm gently. Then add the coconut oil stirring until dissolved. Whisk in all the other ingredients apart from the honey. Pour into a cup and stir in the honey. Take to bed and enjoy with a relaxing book.
Relaxing Lavender Bath Salts Recipe
There is nothing lovelier than a warm, fragrant bath in a dimly-lit room.
As a child I remember feeling soothed by the fragrance of lavender bags as I opened my grandmother’s chest of drawers. It was a comfort somehow, and I would pick them up, inhaling deeply.
There is growing evidence that the aroma of lavender can relieve anxiety, stabilise the mood and act as a natural sedative. And if you combine it with Epsom (magnesium sulfate) or magnesium bath salts you have the perfect marriage to support relaxation.
This is a simple recipe to make. The perfume is divine as you put this bath soak together and may induce sleepiness. Do not operate machinery whilst you make your lavender bath salts.
In a bowl combine the following:
- 500g of Epsom salts or magnesium salts
- 100g course or fine Himalayan salt (not necessary if you don’t have them)
- 2 tablespoons of dried lavender flowers
- 3 tablespoons of dried rose petals or cornflower or other pretty flower
- 40 drops of essential oil of lavender
Dispense into a glass pot with a lid. Leave by the bath and add about four generous tablespoons under hot running water. And now, most importantly…relax.
Co-founder of Botanica Health