After days of rushing madly around the con, seeing your favourites and friends you finally get a good night’s sleep, only to wake up to the dreaded con flu.
Con flu (colloquial, noun): a viral infection that occurs after a pop culture convention.
Let’s face it: nobody likes con flu. Sure it means another week off work, but con flu often hits like a truck. Con attendees can be so run down because of lack of sleep, after parties, the stress of finishing cosplays and long flights, that their immune systems simply can’t handle the giant sized petri dish that is the convention. Protecting yourself against getting con flu comes down to several factors, and this year at PAX I kept my immune system strong while still enjoying late nights and after parties, as well as flights back to Sydney.
Not only did I keep up my hand hygiene, rests and nutrition, I also used adaptogens and immune boosting herbs to protect and support my immune system.
Adaptogen is a fancy term for a herb that may promote homeostasis (balance) and support the body to adapt to stress.
Herbs have long been used to support or boost the immune system. When we are run down and stressed, our immune systems might not function properly. Immune supporting herbs may help protect the body from infections.
Anti Con Flu Tonic
This tincture is meant to be taken short term. I recommend taking 10mL twice per day: the day before, during and the day after the convention. As I made this for PAX which was a 3 day convention, this recipe is enough for double the amount you will need (you can give one to a friend like I did). This gives enough for a daily dose of 2.5g of ginger, and 1.25g each of astragalus, lemon balm and echinacea. It may help support the immune system and prevent con flu.
*Note: Ginger may interact with blood thinning medication.
Skill level required: Apprentice Journeyman Expert Master
Gather the following mats:
- Measuring cylinder or jug
- 300mL of vodka. Try and get 40% if you can.
- Large bowl
- Filter paper or coffee filter paper
- Clean linen tea towels
- Funnel and filter paper, or something like a Hario coffee filter
- Two 100mL glass bottles
- 12.5g dried astragalus root
- 25g dried ginger root
- 12.5g dried lemon balm
- 12.5g dried echinacea
- Add all of the herbs together into the blender.
- Pour vodka into the blender.
- Place a linen tea towel over a bowl
- Scoop out the mix onto the tea towel.
- Gather the edges of the tea towel together, and press until the marc (the left over herbs in the tea towel) is dry. The liquid will be squeezed out into the bowl.
- Prepare a glass bottle, with a funnel and filter paper in the top. I use a Hario coffee filter which works really well and can be picked up new for around $40.
- Filter the liquid through the paper. This can take some time, so be patient!
- Once it has finished filtering, remove the funnel and the paper, seal the bottle and label it with all the herbs and extract ratios:
1:3 Zingiber offinicale (ginger)
1:6 Echinacea purpurea (echinacea)
1:6 Astragalus membranaceus (astragulus)
1:6 Melissa officinalis (lemon balm)
- Wash your equipment.
- Take 10mL, twice per day for 5 days.
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Disclaimer: recipes provided are for entertainment purposes only, and should never replace the advice of your healthcare professional.