Community Wise Womyn
                    Dr. Kayla Goulet Moonwatcher, ND, CHom.                    
                                                                                                                                         Naturopathic Doctor and Classical Homeopath in Boulder, CO 

Articles


 

Virus Season

Autumn and Spring are the seasons when viruses become most active. This is mostly due to extreme changes in temperatures and weather from morning to afternoon to evening, and how we do (or don’t) take care of ourselves during these changes.

I have lived in Colorado since 1989, after living in the Bay Area of California, where the temperature was usually within a 15-20 degree variance. After moving to the extreme weather changes of Colorado, it took me several years to acquire the habit of dressing in layers and packing snow boots and wool blankets in my truck in case the need arose.

Maintaining a consistent body temperature is very helpful toward preventing the activation of viruses. When daily temperatures jump from 30 degrees in the morning to 65 degrees in the afternoon, and then plummet to 30 degrees in the evening, it can be a challenge to prevent becoming overheated and then chilled. Whenever our core body temperature drops, viruses can activate and enter a replication frenzy. Within 24-72 hours, viral symptoms may begin to appear – itching in the ears, scratchy throat, runny nose (cold virus) or increased intestinal sounds, nausea, diarrhea (flu virus). As your immune system recognizes the invasion, you begin to spike a fever.

Encouraging a Fever

Many people have been inaccurately taught to be afraid of fever. Through the functioning of our immune systems, our bodies know when to spike a fever and what temperature of fever is required in order to overcome a currently recognized invader (virus, bacteria, foreign body, etc.). Whenever possible, we should do our best to support and encourage a fever, and to trust and allow it to do its job for us. In fact, if we have spiked a fever of 102° in order to overcome a virus, when we bundle our bodies into wool socks and cap, drink hot tea and soup in order to bring our fever up to 103°, we will overcome that virus much more quickly. However, if we panic about the fever and do something to quickly drop it (medication, cold water), we will actually support the virus into a replication frenzy and quickly become overwhelmed and much sicker.

At age 13, I was babysitting for a neighbor's young son, when the husband came home early suddenly taken very ill. He was coughing and sneezing, with a red face and spiking a fever of 104°. He got into his pajamas, bundled into bed, and I fed him some hot soup. The wife called me from work and asked me to take his temperature, which was then up to 104.6°. Despite my reassurance that he was resting comfortably in bed, the wife went into a panic, began ranting about how her husband was going into brain damage with such a high fever, and she insisted I fill a bathtub with cold water and ice and put him into it to bring down his fever. Although I was not yet trained in healthcare at the time, I intuitively knew this was a very bad idea. However, she was very insistent, and so I complied with her request. Of course, as expected, the husband cried out in shock when his feverish body hit the ice cold water, but I was completely unprepared when he went into a violent seizure. I struggled to pull him from the tub, wrap them in a wool blanket, and called for an ambulance. What began as a simple yet aggressive cold virus progressed into a bacterial pneumonia by his second day in the hospital. This event, as well as my holistic healthcare education and years of private practice, have convinced me of the significant and important benefits of allowing and encouraging our body's wisdom to spike a fever.

Holistic healthcare offers numerous options for preventing and/or overcoming viruses. Herbal infusions (astragalas, schizandra berry) and/or Young Living Immu-Power essential oils to strengthen the immune system, anti-viral elderberry syrup and anti-viral essential oils (rosewood, melissa) can all be used preventatively at the beginning of virus seasons and/or whenever you know you have been exposed to viruses. At the first sign of virus symptoms (noted above), these same options will also support you to overcome the virus. For specific cold virus symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat, fever with chills running up the spine and frequent sneezing, the homeopathic remedy Oscillococinum will quickly strengthen your vital force in order to transmute and overcome this virus. Depending upon your specific viral symptoms, a well-trained classical homeopath can quickly match your symptom profile to the appropriate homeopathic remedy to strengthen your vital force and support you to transmute your current viral condition.

So now, with some new information and ideas, you are well armed, educated and prepared to maintain optimal health throughout Colorado's extensive viral seasons.

 

Spring Gardening

Spring is absolutely my favorite season, and shortly after the New Year, I often spend dreaded dark cold Winter days daydreaming about and planning my Spring gardens. I find it so enjoyable to pull out new seed catalogs, gardening books, and all of my flower, herb, and vegetable seed packets in order to stimulate my visual creativity and remind me of all the possibilities I have for new plantings. Although here in Boulder, Colorado, our growing season typically runs from mid-May through mid-October, there is much that we can do to prepare for spring plantings.

I have three large compost bins in my backyard and create much of my own organic compost. Throughout the year, I save all of my organic egg shells and about every four months I put them into a big leaf bag, smash them into tiny bits, and stir them into my compost. In early February, on a beautiful 50 degree day, I had a huge bag of egg shells which I split into three quantities, stirred them into each of my compost bins of half-cooked Autumn leaves, alpaca and sheep manure, dead-headed peony greens and left-over apples from my neighbor's tree, and re-wet everything to help it cook throughout the rest of the winter. As the days continue to get longer and warmer, this compost will continue to fully process, and as the ground begins to warm in early April, I will take batches of this compost and dig it into my numerous raised beds throughout my gardens. I become very inspired by the promise of new Spring gardens contained in the colors, textures and smells of fresh compost and soil, and by the sounds of birds singing, squirrels mating, and my honey bees buzzing eagerly throughout the neighborhood seeking early nectars.

A few years ago, I invested in a large 3-tier compact fluorescent light deck, which allows me to grow my own organic garden seedlings inside my home. Depending upon my choices for this year's gardens, I will plant the seeds of tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower or other vegetables in early to mid March. As spring days become long and warm in mid-to-late April, I will bring my seedlings outdoors during the warm middle of the day to begin to harden them off and prepare them to be planted in the garden, usually around early to mid-May here in Boulder. In this way, I know exactly what species of plants I am growing, and I know they are strong, healthy, free of disease, and totally organic. At age 57, I attribute much of my health and strength to the fact that I have grown and eaten a large percentage of my own organic foods throughout most of my life.

Are there gardening chores that you didn't get completed in Autumn? Warm late Winter and early Spring days are the perfect time to complete the raking of leaves, the dead-heading of spent flowers, and the pruning of shrubs and trees. It is also an excellent time for laying fresh bark mulch into your perennial beds and fresh straw into your gardening beds in order to protect bare soil from the weed seeds blown in upon the wind and to retain the moisture from Spring rains in the soil. Early Spring is also a great time to deep-soak shrubs and trees and for giving all your garden plants a good feeding of organic nutrients. In our family owned organic gardening business, we use Age Old Organics liquid plant nutrients (Kelp, Grow, Bloom), as well as Rocky Mountain Soils organic mushroom compost and sheep/peat fertilizers. IF YOU NEED HELP IN YOUR GARDENS, PLEASE GIVE US A CALL (303-516-9527) TO SCHEDULE A SPRING CLEAN-UP AND PLANT FEEDING FOR YOUR GARDENS. WE ARE ALSO HAPPY TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR VEGETABLE AND HERB GARDENS DEPENDING UPON THE SIZE OF YOUR YARD AND YOUR FAMILY’S FOOD CHOICES. I find that people are much more likely to eat a diverse and healthy diet when they have an intimate relationship with the growing, harvesting and cooking of their own foods. Children in particular are very excited to learn how the seed, sprout, seedling and plant look and change as they progress through the growing season and produce their food.

So what are you waiting for? You can always start small, perhaps growing a few plants of basil, lettuce, and chard (even in pots on an apartment patio) just to add a few fresh items to your diet that you have grown for yourself. It is also a lot of fun to grow a few of your favorite culinary herbs (chives, oregano, rosemary) to enjoy their fresh smells and flavors in your favorite Summer meals, and to chop and dry them for use in your cooking throughout the year.

Website Builder