Health & Herbs, January 2017

A deep breath while on the premises of Via Ghibellina 199 invites soft fragrances of citrus and jasmine floating from the San Simone herbalist shop. Dozens of yards before reaching its storefront, one can smell its ever-present, ever-fresh potpourri. San Simone’s owner, Dr. Fernanda Russo, maintains the 300 year-old tradition of the space by selling natural oils, herbs, teas, and incenses to heal, defend, and enhance one’s health and lifestyle.

Most products are handmade in-house by this passionate homeopathic doctor, whose warm smile and copious knowledge of the earth’s herbs, spices, and flowers will settle even the hardest skeptic’s doubts.

As the weather gets colder, the flu and common cold abound. Strengthen your immune system with daily supplements of Vitamin C, Zinc, Echinacea, and Propolis. It is also time to begin to think about about springtime allergy prevention.

Dr. Russo recommends starting a cycle of Cypress compresses (one daily for 20 consecutive days.) Dr. Russo also suggests eating less pasta and drinking more soup for winter nourishment.  Integrating in-season vegetables that are full of antioxidants —pumpkin, broccoli, cabbage and turnips—is a must.

January weather can also induce the uncomfortable problem known as perniosis or chilblains. The cold exposure damages capillaries in the body’s extremities which, in turn, can cause redness, itching, blisters, and inflammation on the fingers, toes, ears and nose.  While not serious, it should be treated immediately to avoid discomfort. Dr. Russo suggests using Saint John’s Wort or Mountain Arnica.

She studied both conventional and homeopathic medicine and has an extensive knowledge of herbs and aromatherapy. Dr. Russo graciously shares her knowledge through private consultations at her shop, which also sells teas, candles, incense, soaps, and much more.