Updated: Nov 23, 2022
I've had so many people ask me, "Ilona, you're the healer, you do this for a living. So, what do you do when you're sick?!"
Let me begin by saying, I used to get sick A LOT. I was not blessed with an incredibly strong immune system. It was through herbalism and vibrational healing with flower essences & meditation that I built one, and got to learn a great deal about myself along the way! I truly believe sickness goes deeper then just our physical bodies, and both spiritual & physical need to be treated and maintained for optimal wellbeing.
Before we begin, I feel it important to acknowledge that sickness is our body's way of naturally clearing out energy, pathogens, icks of any sort, and building up immunity. Getting sick often is considered abnormal, but the occasional cold is, typically, not a sign of serious imbalance!
So, today I share with you my tips, tricks & rituals to get healthy & stay healthy.
They are all incredibly simple, and most are things we already know, we just have to regularly put them into practice!
When you are not actively sick:
I cannot stress this enough. Ritual is at the forefront of what I teach, because if we don't give ourselves space to process, we go through life without any awareness of what is going on around & within us. Daily practice is linked to a much lower stress response. And less stress = a healthier immune system. Even 5 minutes a day makes a huge difference. Whether you are meditating, breathing, drinking a cup of herbal tea, doing yoga, dancing, or journaling. A daily practice is the key to mental wellbeing.
Food is your best medicine. Red onions, ginger, garlic, broths & kitchen herbs.
Lemon Balm, Echinacea, Elderberry, Thyme, Oregano, Mint, Rose Hips, Nettle, and Medicinal Mushrooms are all incredible sources of immune support. Truly, any herbal tea is better then no herbal tea. Drink at least 2 cups a day of your favorite tea.
My Happy Belly Tea, Lungs of the Earth Syrup & Kryptonite Elixir are fantastic every day immune boosters, will link a few of my favorite immune boosters below!
*A healthy immune system begins in the gut. Eating fermented foods, eating inflammatory foods like sugar, dairy & gluten in moderation, cutting out foods that irritate you, and loading up on leafy green veggies and healthy fats is the best way to feed and build your immune system.
This may seem simple, but lack of sleep takes a huge toll on your immune system. Your body needs to recharge every night. The quality of your sleep matters as well. Good quality sleep is essential to a healthy immune system.
When you are actively sick:
This is the most important thing you can do. Do less. In yoga, we call getting sick "Getting Yin'ed" by the universe. This is the universe telling you that you need to sloooow down, purge out what is not serving you, in order to make space for what is to come, that is much, much better. Or, that you've been overdoing it and are on the verge of complete burnout. If we listen to our bodies, we'll know we're getting sick before we actually get sick, and sometimes can turn it around. Rest is the key component to that.
These are different then the immune boosters you take daily,. Higher doses of Elderberry & Echinacea can be taken to support a deeper healing response, and studies show that when taken at the onset of symptoms, these herbs can cut down sick time by up to 50%! So chug that elderberry syrup! My favorite tried and true tea for being sick is Traditional Medicinals Gypsy Cold Care. It has yet to fail me, and I will drink 4-5 cups a day of this. It helps to cool the body down and reduce fever by causing you to sweat it out. It is also delicious.
When I am sick, I stay away from inflammatory foods like dairy & sugar in particular, which create mucus. I stay low on the gluten as well or cut that out too, unless it's garlic bread.
It is important to eat foods that support proper elimination because that is the only way our body can get rid of toxins. Eat lots of apples, pears, chia seeds, nuts & oatmeal (if you need a good recipe, I have about 10 on this blog so far, I love oats so much!)
Garlic Bread (I'm not talking the store bought garlic butter nonsense, I'm talking 3-5 cloves of garlic that burn your mouth in the best way, crushed onto some crusty whole grain, drizzled with olive oil and put in the oven for 7 mins) and Broth will forever be the most healing foods out there. When I had Covid, This is all I ate, and it made me feel so nourished when I had no appetite.
2 tbsp Olive Oil
7 Cloves Garlic
1 Bay Leaf
Nettles (dried work just fine, but fresh is best!)
2" slice of ginger
3 Reishi Mushroom Slices (1 tbsp of powdered reishi is okay too. Any mushroom works here)
Peel of 1 Orange
1/2 Sheet Kombu, Hijiki or Wakame Seaweed
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
*If you want to make this a bone broth, boil grass fed chicken or beef bones in water for 3 hours prior to following any of these directions, and go from there.
Chop up Onion, Celery & Carrots as finely as you can.
Heat up Olive oil in the bottom of your soup pot, and add onions and sauree for a few mins. Add celery & carrots and cook until they soften a bit. Add garlic & ginger, and cook just until fragrant. Add all other ingredients, cook for just a minute to incorporate and heat them up. Pour in water, bring to a boil, turn down to med-low and simmer for 1 hour.
Strain all ingredients out, discard & use only the broth!
Sip throughout the day or use as a base for soups or instead of water when cooking grains!
Store in the fridge for up to 1 week, or can it and have it on hand!
I like to use 2 full cups of epsom salt, with some black lava salt (if you can't find this or don't have it, a pinch of activated charcoal works well) to draw out toxins & deeply relax the body. Add a few drops of Eucalyptus essential oil to open up the airways, and some rose petals to open up the heart.
I love aromatherapy, and diffusing essential oils, especially when youre sick is incredibly powerful. I like to do 3 drops of Lavender (for relaxation), 2 drops Eucalyptus or Peppermint (to open the airways), and 1 drop of Tea Tree (to kill bacteria in the air).
Bleeding Heart: to move grief out of the heart space
Star of Bethlehem: to release stuck emotions or trauma from the body
Dill: for the emotionally overwhelmed
Echinacea: to reclaim pieces of the soul & rebuild a stronger sense of self, thus building stronger immunity to the outside world
Rosemary: to clear the mind & return to the body
Lavender: to restore a sense of calm, and activate the 3rd eye chakra, releasing tension in the sinus area, neck & shoulders
I do a TON of energy work when I am sick. I spend most of the day in meditation, moving my body through restorative yoga poses, breathing deeply, visualizing my sinuses draining down into the ground out my feet, surrounding my body and filling it with golden light. At the bottom of this post, you'll find a guided meditation I recorded just for you, that will activate your body's inner healing potential.
If you enjoyed this meditation journey, and this post, and are interested in learning more from me through your own customized journey, click the link below to book a consultation with me for the Activate Your Magic Mentorship, a 16-week journey through the lower chakras to help you become your absolute highest self!