When I was a teenager and first being “groomed” to be a physician, I heard from my parents’ physician friends that the reason winter is the “flu season” is that people are indoors more, so the flu germs are more easily transmitted. Through the years, this assertion has become almost dogma.
I didn’t buy it then, and I don’t buy it now. First, where I live (in the Bay Area), winter and summer aren’t dramatically different (except, hopefully, we get more rain in the winter). If anything, the weather is better now, and people are outside enjoying the warmth and sunshine. Yet, flu season hits the Bay Area the same as the rest of the country. In parts of the country like the Northeast, where I’m sure people are outside less during the winter, it’s not as if people are outside eight hours a day in the summer. Maybe they’re outside 10 percent more in the summer? Somehow, I can’t believe that this explanation is the full story.
Second, we all know that microbes, like most other living things, grow best at warmer temperatures. Freezing temperatures kill many micro-organisms, so it stands to reason that colder temperatures in the winter should lessen, not increase, our exposure to microbes. Yet, it is just in the colder times of the year that people do get sick the most. There must be some other explanation.
If one stands back and observes the facts, the one glaring and obvious change from winter to summer is the length and quality of natural light. That is the same everywhere. The question, then, is how does lessened exposure to light give us the “flu?” In my series of recently published books, ending with Cancer and the New Biology of Water, I make the case that charged and structured water is the driving force of our circulation. It is the basis of the integrity of the cell, and when it deteriorates, we become susceptible to illness. The reason is that the two most important things that we use to “charge” our water are sunlight and the electromagnetic field from the earth. The two most destructive influences on this production of charged, structured water are non-native EMF radiation (i.e., wireless devices) and artificial light. During the winter, our exposure to the energy from the sun decreases, as does our connection to the energy field emanating from the earth. As a result, our cellular water deteriorates and sickness ensues.
To help protect ourselves against the flu, we can apply this new information. For example, simply getting as much sun exposure and connection with the earth as possible will help. Then, we can add vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin,” usually in the form of cod liver oil, a proven treatment for centuries to prevent sickness in winter. Medicinal mushrooms form a kind of network of earth energy, and they also have been used for centuries to strengthen our immune systems during the winter months.
My favorite mushroom mixture is called Immunity Matrix and is available on our humanheartcosmicheart.com website. On the same site, you can find the organic Elderberry-Thyme Syrup I use to prevent and treat flu and colds. Elderberry has deep-black, alkaloid-rich berries that seem to be designed specifically to combat viral infections. And, finally, it is good to remember that the fever that comes with colds and the flu can be your best friend, as it activates your immune response. (As always, consult your health-care practitioner if you have concerns while sick.)
Hopefully, using these simple preventative measures will protect most of us from the usual winter illnesses. They can be seen as a kind of house-cleaning, and a call to be still and inward for a few days — not a bad thing in our crazy world.
Tom Cowan, M.D.
For many of us, our relationship to food is a never ending journey. Sometimes to move forward one finds themselves looking back. For bread and specifically the grains used to make it I find that the best results are indeed found in reflection. It is sometimes true that modern ingenuity has value for us, but that is usually only when paired with ancient wisdom. For grains, that wisdom is in the ancient varieties that have been grown for thousands of years.
During this time of relative uncertainty, we have decided to renew our commitment to gardening. Dr. Cowan’s Garden was originally a place, located in Napa Valley on a plot of land generously donated by a friend. It embodied our ideals and was a sanctuary for growth and learning.
The garden was our muse for new product offerings and for improving existing ones. The garden kept our ambitions grounded to certain fundamentals, as the practice of gardening can be challenging.