My Dear Friends,
I hope that May finds you safe, healthy and warm....
I have found real solace in my kitchen, family and my garden. It feels wonderful to be spending this much time at home.. I feel like a little bit like a Brambly Hedge mouse!
I’ve been enjoying Zoom sessions with my family and I’m sure that many of you have been too! Tea parties with my friends and happy hours have become the new normal. Thank goodness we have this wonderful technology to enjoy each other with.
And then there's the garden!
I’m building a huge victory garden patterned after the blueprints I found of my fathers after he died and I’m working on my little Herban Farm and a new business that I've always dreamed of that I've named The Herban Stillroom. The trees in my orchard are blooming and I’ve got two bare root Apothecary Roses soaking to plant on each side of my grape arbor. My big experiment this season is to try to naturalize my own patch of ramps. They are notoriously fussy so we’ll see how that goes!
A lot of people have been asking me what I’ve been doing to support my immunity during these uncertain times.
First and foremost? The same simple things that hopefully you've all been doing! Wearing crazy and wonderful hand sewn masks..mask sewn with love from my family and friends. I've been washing my hands with delicious fat and fragrance filled hand soaps and I carry homemade hand sanitizer scented with thyme, oregano, cinnamon, lavender and lemon and I've been social distancing...learning to say even more with eyes and my words so that the hugs are not missed.
Really, the most important things for me are the simplest things…Lots of love and laughter, 8 hours of sleep, some extra zinc and vitamins C and D. Lots of fresh vegetables, especially onions, garlic and ramps, plenty of relaxation, yoga and hydration consisting of spa waters and lots of lovely pots of tea made with my favorite of the anti-viral supporting botanicals: rose petals, star anise, white pine needles and lemon balm.
All of these blended together into a tea with lots of violet infused honey are absolutely delicious and are traditionally thought to be supportive of your immune system.
Most people don’t realize this but the common blue violet we all love is thought to be a wonderful support tonic for the respiratory system. It has been used in Europe for centuries as a pulmonary remedy for bronchitis and a dry hacking cough. Both the flowers and leaves can be made into syrups, poultices, compresses and salves and they can be infused into honey and vinegar.
Currently I’m picking them and infusing them into honey. It’s easy to do. Just pick your violets, make sure they’re clean and pack them into a jar. Cover them with fresh honey for a couple of days. Stir a spoonful of the honey and violets into a cup of tea. Enjoy!
Some people can be very allergic to these plants so please take that into consideration before using or serving any herbal teas.
Last but not least, after speaking today with my brother in law who is an infectious disease specialist and my nephew the ER Doctor, I wanted to pass along one very practical suggestion for your consideration. The pneumonia associated with COVID- 19 is a sneaky thing and I am told that it can, in certain circumstances actually begin before you have really bad respiratory symptoms.
Their hope is that everyone in this country will begin using a fingertip pulse oximeter at home, so that oxygen saturation can be checked and a personal baseline established. I guess current thinking at this time is that if you know sooner than later that your oxygen saturation levels are dropping you can call your Doctor faster and potentially stay off the ventilator. They call it “the silent symptom”. Pulse Oximeters are easy to find online and inexpensive. I purchased one this morning and I have to admit that it gave me a bit of comfort to do so. Just a thought I wanted to pass along because you just never know.
Please be well and stay safe. If there is anything that I can do for any of you please do not hesitate to ask.