Covid, Facemasks and Adaptogens
To wear or not to wear a facemask. That seems to be the current debate. From a physical health perspective, let me give you a few thoughts.
Certainly there is good reason to wear a mask if you have compromised health and you are out in a very public place where folks are apt to be in close quarters - like the grocery store. AND a compromised health does NOT equate to being over 60!!!!! Unless you have "bought" the idea that you should expect your immune system to go down after 60, there's no reason that some of us 60 and 70 year olds who are still active and not on major medications should be considered compromised. No offense to those of you who may have immune issues and are on major medications, but you know who you are and being wise is a good thing.
The thing about wearing a mask all the time, is that you will be continually breathing and re-breathing your own bacterial makeup. When it comes to our bacterial microbiome, it is important to have a continuing variety of bacterial exposure. That is what actually BUILDS your immunity and allows your body to develop strength against bad vs good bacteria. Your body was created to be able to drive out and overcome bad bacteria with the balance of good bacteria that your body develops. Things like gardening where we put our hands in the dirt and collect soil bacteria that are absorbed through the skin to continued interaction with other human beings that have varying microbiomes of their own; help to develop the strength and resistance of our own immunity. Science is now showing us that the more variety of bacteria we have in our systems, the better our microbiome and ability to overcome any new virus and bacteria that it comes in contact with. Eliminating ourselves from this exposure and using things like antibacterial cleaners which destroy the good bacteria as well as the bad, on a continual basis, do not allow our bodies to take that bacteria and develop anti-bodies.
We must always live wisely. I have always advised folks that when we feel like we are coming down with something to stay out of work and away from others. Compromised immune systems are a good reason to avoid possible exposure and take precautions. But if you have confidence in your immune system, there is no reason to fear. Most healthy people survive the flu every year and this Covid - 19 is no different. We can't live our lives in exclusion and fear because that is not healthy either. In your households, you are only as strong as your weakest link. So be wise, consider each person accordingly and live life to the fullest.
Adaptogens are herbs and supplements that help the body adapt from the many stress responses that bombard us daily. The stressfulness of this whole Covid culture is one that is not controllable in our daily lives as we each learn individually how to navigate our own set of circumstances. The adaptogens are the ones that help our fight or flight response to stay strong and not burn out during uncontrollable circumstances. They help to keep the communications between our brain and the rest of our organs both sympathetic (unconscious) and parasympathetic (conscious thoughts) nervous systems working at their peak. They also help condition us to respond in a calm, logical process so we are not reacting in fear.
Whether you're dealing with Covid or some other uncontrollable stressor in your life (like pain), adaptogens would be good to have on hand. The following are a few of them that are well known for their specific applications:
GABA - an amino acid that helps to generate and sustain the electrical connections (synapses) between nerve cells that carry the impulses in our nervous systems. It has a calming and anti-anxiety effect
Cordyceps Mushroom - boosts stamina
Ashwaganda - reduces stress, anxiety, & sleep
Astragalus - combats fatigue, boosts immunity
Rhodiola - reduces physical and mental fatigue
Holy basil (Tulsi)- reduces stress related anxiety and depression
American Ginseng - boosts memory, reaction time, calming, boosts immunity
Eleuthero - improves focus & mental fatigue
Schisandra - boosts endurance, mental focus
Tumeric - reduces inflammation, increases brain function, reduces depression
All of these adaptogens can be used daily, according to directions on the bottle or your healthcare provider, during times of long-term stress. Shalom!
3 John 2: “I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”
Over 40 years of Herbal and nutritional experience.