Spices, herbs, tinctures and essential oils have been used for millennia to season our food, heal our bodies and boost our spirits. In our Throwback Thursday (#TBT) series, we at re:iimmune will take you back in history to learn how these gifts from Mother Nature have been used. We'll focus on their use through the ages and beneficial purposes in regard to nutrition, natural health and household care. This week we discuss plantain, a "weed" that has many benefits!You’ve probably seen plantain (the plant variety, not the fruit related to the banana) growing in your backyard and dismissed it as a weed. However, this plant has been used for thousands of years by native peoples as a source of nutrition and healing. Plantago major or common plantain can grow almost anywhere, sprouting up even through cracks in asphalt and concrete and it can thrive in nearly any climate. Related to spinach, plantain leaves provide iron, beta carotene, calcium, ascorbic acid and contains vitamins A, C and K. It can be added raw to salads but adult leaves tend to be stringy. It can be cooked just like spinach and the seedpods are edible as well, a bit like asparagus. Plantain is a little more bitter than spinach or asparagus and are great to use in stews or soups and stir-fries. They also have gentle astringent properties which help to dry up excess secretions in the respiratory and digestive tracts and can be helpful in treating chest colds and diarrhea. Plantain is also commonly used as a natural poultice to draw out toxins and stingers from bug bites and stings and to alleviate other irritations. Crushed and added right to the problem area like a paste, it’s anti-inflammatory properties make it useful on wounds, burns and even removing splinters. Even if you don’t plan on harvesting the plant for use from your own backyard, it’s good to keep this information in your mind when camping or hiking in the woods! Plantain can also help to cool and heal sunburns and because it contains a phytochemical called allantoin it generally promotes healthy skin by stimulating new cells and healthy tissue. While you may be able to find plantain in your own backyard, if it’s been sprayed with chemicals and fertilizer you may want to find it from a different source. It is invasive so if you are thinking about planting some in your yard, be forewarned. Also keep in mind that while young shoots are more tender, the larger leaves contain more of the beneficial phytochemicals.
Vacation. Whether it be a tropical spring break trip, a honeymoon to the Virgin Islands or a guy’s ice fishing trip in the frigid Pacific Ocean—we all have fond thoughts and eager expectations of what we call “vacation”. The last thing you want to think about after spending hundreds of dollars on flights and accommodations, not to mention, numerous hours daydreaming about the sound of waves lapping outside your cabana, is a round of the stomach flu or an unexpected sinus infection interrupting your moment of bliss. The unfortunate news is, travel related sickness is far too common for comfort. From crowded airports, unfamiliar foods, abnormal sleep schedules, and stress caused by unexpected delays--your immune system takes a hit!
Needless to say, if you're planning a trip, it's time to step up your health game.
Hydration: Often times it's difficult to stay well hydrated when you're traveling. Rushed commutes, hot beaches, and extra activities can leave you depleted. Not only is dehydration often accompanied by a long list of uncomfortable side effects, but it also inhibits your cells from healing properly and ultimately damages your immune system.
Digestion: Rich foods, extra desserts, and foreign bacteria all play a part in most of our travels. Since 70% of your immune system is located in your gut, it's vital to give your digestive system some extra attention. Ginger is a powerful digestive aid, it has been known to help soothe your gas pains, digest and metabolize fats and even relieve common stomach pains.
Immune Booster: When you're in the business of protecting your sacred getaway, you want to come at it with all of your guns blazing. Beefing up your immunity with some extra supplements, such as zinc, adds just the right amount of power behind your punch. Zinc is a supplement that is helpful with reducing inflammation--that often leads to infection--and is thought to be the most important micronutrient, as well as a key co-factor of the immune system.
Ultimately, the goal is to catch nothing more than a healthy glow and an extra pep in your step on your upcoming venture. So, next time you start packing your bags, don't forget to add re:iimmune® to the top of your travel list. With its clinical strength hydration, blend of pre and probiotics, a dose of zinc, and 275mg of ginger extract, you're on your way to healthy and happy travels!
Information on this blog is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this blog for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.