Winter blues

Learn how to boost your immune system before the snow flies.

— M.V. Times

As the colder seasons bear down on us, who couldn’t use a little help warding off the potential for the winter woes to start creeping in? Yana Andrea Klimova is offering us a nature-based way to combat the winter blues. She has come to her wisdom through a fascinating path, which she’ll share with us on Oct. 20 at 6 pm through a Zoom webinar titled “Fending Off the Winter Woes” sponsored by the Vineyard Haven library.

Growing up in St. Petersburg, Russia, Klimova struggled with acute and chronic pain from an early age that began her life-long search for relief. She sought healing as a youth in the country with her herbalist grandmothers, learning about growing and foraging plants for food and medicine. At the knee of these wise women, she learned the healing traditions that wove folklore, plant identification, and practical medicinal applications into what had, after all, been a trusted means of survival for generations.

However, as an adult in the United States, Klimova ended up leading a double life of a successful career in finance, having earned a dual master’s degree and working in Boston, New York, and Denver while juggling never-ending doctor appointments, procedures, ER visits, and prescription cocktails.

Eventually, Klimova determined to return to traditional wisdom and undertook a formal study of herbalism through scholarship, workshops, and hands-on practice to address what she had been told were incurable conditions. With her growing strength and knowledge, Klimova became impassioned about helping others alleviate their suffering and rekindle hope and gain a sense of agency over their own well-being.

During the webinar, Klimova will focus on topics such as strengthening the immune and respiratory systems in preparation for the flu season. And more specifically she will take a look at:

  • Foods and herbs to include in your diet to increase immunity.
  • How to strengthen your lungs and respiratory system.
  • How to recognize the difference between “hot” cold and “cold” cold and treat them appropriately.
  • A few things to do right away when you feel that “Uh-oh, I’m getting a cold” feeling.
  • How to “temper your body” to the cold.
  • How to purchase and make herbal remedies that are safe, potent, and affordable.
  • And, yes, she will cover symptoms of COVID-19 and answer questions.

Anne McDonough, program coordinator at the Vineyard Haven library, says she loves the idea of sharing Klimova’s wisdom. “We want people to be aware of and use more natural — as in not pharmaceutically made — ingredients to build immunity. We think it’s good to tip the scales in favor of health over getting run down with the flu. Especially this year with COVID-19 in the air.”

Join Klimova has she addresses some ways to make yourself seasonally savvy and more healthy.

Yana Andrea Klimova will give a Zoom talk on “Fending Off the Winter Woes” on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 6 pm. For more information and to register, contact Anne McDonough at