Self Medicating: We All Do It, Shouldn’t We Do It Well?

Dana and I at our Shire City Herbals booth this past weekend.

Dana and I had an amazing weekend at the Alchemy Imitative Handmade Holiday Festival.  It was so great to meet and talk with so many Berkshire County residents and we really had a blast handing out samples of our Fire Cider!  Huge thanks and apprecation to all who helped put on the festival and to all our brave and adventurous taste testers.  We actually sold all of the Fire Cider we made and are now putting together a new batch, ready in 6 weeks.  We will be using the commercial/certified  kitchen at The Unitarian Church, just a block away from where we live on Wendell Ave, truely a community project.

One thing in particular really got me thinking this weekend about what ‘medicine’ is and how we use it.  A woman and her son came to our booth at the fair, daring each other to try the Fire Cider.  They did and really liked it. Mom made an offhand refrence to her son being good at ‘self medicating’  but then thought better of her comment as it was a reference to an adult behavior associated with abusing drugs, alcohol, even food.  But I thought, don’t we all self medicate, all the time?  Shouldn’t we teach our children to become increasingly aware of their needs and how to meet them healthfully?

What do I mean by ‘self-medicating’?  When you get up in the morning and you choose to wake up with a coffee and a doughnut you are self medicating.  When you choose to eat greens with homemade dressing for lunch, you are self medicating.  When you take Fire Cider at the first sign of a cold instead of cold medicine, you are self medicating.  When you take a nap to recharge mid afternoon, when you go to the gym or get a massage, all these things are forms of self medication.  We are all constantly making choices that alter our physical, mental and emotional state. And when we do it well, we feel well.

What if we taught kids to self medicate, the healthy way, so that when they become adults they can use those ‘recreational substances’ for recreation and know that to feel good and be healthy they have to listen to what their body is asking for.  It takes introspection, awareness and a genuine passion for health, longevity and life to self medicate well.  We are all constantly choosing our lives moment to moment, meal to meal, activity to activity.   You can start self medicating healthfully by choosing to construct your reality out of the best foods, supportive relationships, optimal physical movement and environment, work that feels satisfying and challenging….if you need help with this, give me a call!

And remember, you are a unique and vibrantly amazing human bean and you deserve the best!  So give yourself the best you can everyday, one day, one meal, one hug at a time.

Another soon to be classic by Brian Huebner of 'A Fine'

Shire City Herbals’ Tips For A Healthy Winter Season

Winter Survival Kit: Echinacea with Osha, Fire Cider and Winter Sunshine Tea

Last winter was my first Berkshire County winter in almost ten years and it was tough.  I was cold and sick frequently, almost every month it seemed I spent a few days totally out of commission.  Last winter I learned a lot about how to stay healthy during the colder months and this winter, I am happy to say I’m much better prepared for the low temperatures and all those opportunistic germs.  In preparation  for the coming winter my husband and I started making our own stay healthy herbal tinctures and remedies and just recently launched ‘Shire City Herbals’ so we can share our health building herbal formulas with all of you.   Here are my tips, including herbal formulas, for having a healthy and happy winter season.

  1. We call them colds because it’s easy for our bodies to become susceptible to pathogens when we are too cold for too long.  Our body must spend its resources keeping our temperature stable and can’t always fight off every germ that comes our way.   So, your first line of defense is to dress warmly.  I know this seems obvious but when I switched from cotton to wool clothing, wow, what a huge difference.  Wear a hat, a scarf, wool socks and a thin wool layer under your regular clothes and you’ll be toasty warm and healthy too.
  2. Eat warm foods.  Soups, hot tea and anything spicy will help keep you warm from the inside out. Hot peppers are great at warding off viruses and germs and flushing out your sinuses.  Garlic, ginger and horseradish are also great foods to eat regularly so look for ways to incorporate them into your diet.

    Me playing with the organic ginger we juiced and then froze in small batches.

  3. Exercise daily.  Whatever it is that you like to do that gets you hot and sweaty (yes, sex counts as exercise!) make sure to keep it up as often as possible throughout the winter.  Exercise warms you up and strengthens your immune system.  It’s also a great mood booster.  If you are like me and the lack of sunlight gets you down, you’ve got to exercise!  I love to run and this year I’ve ordered insulated carbide studded running shoes so I can keep up my daily run even when the roads are icy and snow covered.

    Echinacea with Osha: awesome immune boosting powers!

  4. Take immune boosting supplements like Echinacea with Osha, a Shire City Herbals specialty, and lots of Vitamin C at the onset of a cold or flu or take a low maintenance dose on a daily basis to insure your immune system is strong and healthy.

    An 8 oz bottle of Fire Cider

  5. Take your Fire Cider! ‘Fire Cider’ is based on the traditional New England cure-all of apple cider vinegar and honey, our Shire City Herbals Fire Cider tonic is spiced up with a synergistic blend of immune-boosting, health-enhancing, pathogen-fighting roots and fruits.  Fire Cider can be taken daily as a preventive and also at the onset of colds or flu. As an expectorant it breaks up congestion and helps to ward off respiratory ailments and sinusitis.  Fire Cider is also an excellent digestive aid for such common problems as heartburn, gas and bloating as well as sluggish digestion and Candida overgrowth.  Fire Cider increases circulation and warms the body, and thus is valuable in cold winter temperatures and for those who frequently experience cold extremities.

These simple and easy suggestions will help you make it through the coldest months and maybe even have you enjoying the winter!

All our Shire City Herbals creations will be for sale at the Handmade Holiday Festival this coming weekend, December 4th and 5th, click the link to view the official invite.  We will be giving out samples of our amazing Fire Cider and are looking forward to meeting you!

I am also launching my new website soon, same address, better site, and you’ll be able to read about and purchase all our Shire City Herbals through the new site or you can email with any questions or special requests: