As the weather warms up…

On Monday, when lockdown restrictions eased, it felt like Sleeping Beauty awakening from her 100 year sleep. People emerged blinking from their homes and smiled shyly at one another. Everyone seemed a little kinder and friendlier and peaceful. Here in London it will be 22 degrees later today, late spring is merging, as it always does into early summer.

Because there have been no blokes with strimmers and mowers around where I live, Mother Nature has blossomed, and bird song fills the hedgerows. 
This is peak time for Herbalists to be gathering their medicines for the coming year. Out now, in the Northern Hemisphere is Elderflower, White Deadnettle, Dandelion, Roses, Nettles, some Cleavers the Linden blossom is about ready and so is the Lady’s Mantle.

Many people have discovered nature again during the lockdown. There have been pictures of penguins in the streets of South Africa, goats taking over Welsh towns and the Himalayas visible for the first time for 40 years, from nearby towns. We hope that this love affair with Mother Nature will continue and blossom. One of the things implicated in the spread of covid19 is pollution. In fact, one doctor predicted last year where the next virus pandemic would come from, and yes, it was Wuhan in China, one of the most polluted cities in the world. Why Northern Italy should have seen so many deaths when the south has escaped relatively unscathed? Northern Italy is the seat of Italian industry, and yes, it is very polluted. The more time people spend in nature, the more likely they will defend her against the strimmers and polluters-we hope anyway!

A second cause observed is the high morbidity of people with diabetes and obesity as well as other chronic conditions such as heart disease. This might be explained as the immune response in such people is reduced and they’re bodies simply do not have the wherewithal to fight another ‘attack’ on them. It may also be possible, in the case of Type 2 diabetes, that the diet is poor in nutrient-rich foods like fruit and vegetables. Britain, which has had an eyewatering number of deaths, 36,000 as of last night, has one of the highest obesity rates in Europe, (26%). This is probably not a coincidence.

A third cause of those who do contract the virus, (it is reported 17% of Londoners have-a sure under estimate-City of Westminster stastistics) and who go on to suffer very badly from it, approximately 1% according to some figures, is Vitamin D deficiency. The classic flu period is February/March, the end of winter, when Vitamin D levels are always low. This may explain why BAME people have a higher morbidity from covid as they have more melanin in their skin which slows down Vit D absoption. In any case, get out in the sunshine. When I lived in the Caribbean the people said the sun before 11 am was good for you, so walk around in the mornings, arms and face uncovered to absorb the vitamin naturally. You can of course, get vit D supplements, but nothing beats the real thing! Don’t slather on suncream and roast in the afternoon sun, skin cancer is real and becoming more common. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, which means it is stored in the body, so you can overdose on it. If you take a supplement, stick to the recommended dose. But if you are taking supplements, make sure your body is absorbing them efficiently. Take a bitter which helps absorption, Dandelion-which is here in all it’s glory at the moment in the North, Agrimony, Marigold, Rosemary and Milk Thistle are all good bitters to make sure your digestive enzymes are working well. Take a dose before you have your supplements.

The final thought, which is speculative, is that Statins have a negative effect on lung tissue. I have no direct experience of this, but in principle I am against the mass medicalisation of the over 50s and consider the benefits of Statins in no way outweigh the risks. More detail here. There are better herbal alternatives for heart health, contact your local herbalist for support here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

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