Taking time to care for our bodies is something we're not good at in our culture. Sure, we love to stay in shape, taking time to run, walk, bike, lift weights etc. But when it comes to illness that requires rest, Americans tend to just drink some caffeine and keep going.
Which leads us to one of the biggest mistakes we make when cold & flu season hits. Instead of taking a moment to slow down when we feel the first hint of funkiness (usually that stage where we wonder, "Am I getting sick or am I just tired?"), we shoot some caffeine and keep going. I've said this before but it's worth repeating.
Contrary to current popular belief, wandering around feeling like crap, trying to prove you're superman (or woman) - and likely infecting everyone you're in contact with is not 'Fighting the flu, cold, etc.' It's just giving whatever nasty bug you have more time for a big windup that will likely knock you down for the count.
This brings me to part of the blessing of using herbs and food to maintain health. In a culture where we expect to pop a pill to cure us (which doesn't work for a lot of things), using herbs (or even food) to heal what ails us requires that we stop and really listen to our bodies (and sometimes our minds/hearts) to figure out what's going on inside of us. We get sick for all kinds of reasons - but tired, stressed and overworked immune systems (and spirits) are always more vulnerable to illness. Making that cup of tea or smoothie & resting takes mere moments more than glugging some Imodium. But taking that time will build your immune system and provide real healing rather than just mask the symptoms till you're so worn out you crash.
Using herbs doesn't guarantee you'll never get sick. We do our best to create health with a reasonable diet, exercise and herbs. Sometimes, crazy schedules and kid germs just get the best of us. But, rest, herbs, exercise and good food usually means illness visits us only briefly. Which is good because I have lots to do this season, and I don't have time for that. I bet you don't either.