Donna Troy Cleary

39. Stressssssssssss and the Immune System.

Donna Troy ClearyComment

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Finding Home and Stresssss....

Two Things.
First and foremost, Spiral Herbal Remedies has found a NEW HOME. We landed in one of the busiest shopping areas in New York - Soho!! @ 435 Broadway in ManhattanWe have more space and new products available for your Holiday Shopping. We've also stocked up for the Cold and Flu season.

Of course, your favorites are still here and they're still 100% organic, including CBD oil, salve and lube, Wild Medicinal Mushrooms, Ginkgo, Beyond The Sea Face Serum (I found the recipe for La Mer and took out the toxins). Come visit! We're open 7 days a week,
Tuesday-Saturday 11-8, Sunday-Monday 11-7.

Now let's talk about stress and its effect on your immune system. 

At Spiral Herbal Remedies the majority of people who visit my shop have some sort of inflammatory process going on. People present with eczema, chronic hives, asthma, arthritis, Hashimoto's, celiac, IBS, etc. 

Many of these problems are the result of our immune system being in overdrive. The immune system is designed to keep us free of infections and mutated cells. When it's healthy, it detects invaders and switches on to eliminates them so we don't become ill.

Sometimes the immune system becomes confused and switches on when there are no invaders. Often this happens after an infection or physical damage to the body. This is what is referred to as an autoimmune response. Essentially, the body is attacking itself, causing inflammation that isn't the result of an infection.

Stress can be a contributor to an inappropriate immune response. Emotional stress can stem from trauma, isolation, job insecurity, relationships, threat, poverty, etc. Physical stressors can come from food produced by industrialized farming practices utilizing preservatives/pesticides/genetically modified plants. Animals treated inhumanely and then consumed literally add stress hormones to our bodies. When stressed, the animals also release stress hormones. When we eat them, they enter our blood. Air and water pollution contribute as well. Excessive use of drugs, tobacco or alcohol, even living in the city, spending large amounts of time indoors on the computer or on our phones can increase our stress level. Think about your body being exposed to toxins all day.  It's like it's being attacked constantly. In addition to being chronically inflamed, it wears out the immune system, leaving us susceptible to disease.

Once the body is in overdrive with an autoimmune response, what are some things that can be done? Get out into nature. Recently, the New York Times published an article about a study that evaluates humans after spending time walking on a tree or plant lined route. The study found that your body actually relaxes - confirmation that what your mom has been telling you since your youth. Get outside, walk, get some fresh air, slow down, pay attention. 

Medicinal mushrooms can be helpful as well. Some medicinal mushrooms, like Reishi, Chaga and Turkey tail modulate our immune system. This means they calm the immune system when overstimulated. They will also boost the immune system when we’re coming down with an illness. These mushrooms contain antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, antimicrobials and anti carcinogenic properties. Reishi is called the mushroom of immortality for that reason. 

Here’s the best part about the mushrooms from Spiral Herbal Remedies - I found all but one kind in the wild - in the deep woods of Eastern PA, upstate NY, western MA or CT. Foraging mushrooms is one of my favorite activities. It's a good excuse for me to be out in the woods. Wild mushrooms contain more medicinal properties because they have had to survive the harsh climate of the Northeast and in doing so, have built up defense mechanisms to fight off the same diseases we are susceptible to. Ganoderma Lucidum mushrooms don’t grow locally but I grew them outside on a log. When mushrooms are grown in warehouses it stands to reason they don’t contain the same amount of healing properties as wild mushrooms.

Mushrooms are actually our ancestors. They breathe oxygen, exhale carbon dioxide and are susceptible to the same diseases as us. Some believe we should share a genus - the groupings that separate plants, animals, etc. Watch this TED talk by Paul Stamets to gain some insight into our origins. Mushrooms were the first living organisms on the planet. They were responsible for breaking up the soil so plants could then grow and the entire process of populating the planet could ensue.

I plan on taking my Reishi Purist blend as a preventative for the rest of my life. It’s made from Ganoderma Lucidum and Ganoderma Tsugae. Both are a type of Reishi mushroom. Both modulate the immune system. My Super Reishi Plus contains some mushrooms that only boost your immune system - so it is intended for use during an illness. My Nerve Blend, is a combo of Reishi and Lion's Mane. In laboratory studies, Lion's Mane has been found to regenerate damaged nerves.

Come by my shop to talk with me or write and ask questions. It's the best part of my job.

You can also visit my online shop Spiral Herbal Remedies where I've linked research to the plants I use - blending science with tradition.

My art practice is about becoming the healer, wise woman, shaman. Check out my art as well if you're interested. 

Our new shop at 435 Broadway in Soho.  Come visit.

Copyright © 2018 Donna Cleary, All rights reserved.


 The reishi I found this past spring growing in CT. The white mushrooms are black staining polypores. I thought they were miatake but it was too early.

The reishi I found this past spring growing in CT. The white mushrooms are black staining polypores. I thought they were miatake but it was too early.