Natural & Holistic Ways to Boost Immune Health
It's winter time...and I'm starting to feel a bit sniffly, a little congested. I feel like this is one of those times of year where we all start to feel not so hot at some point or another. Maybe it's just a cold, or maybe its the flu, ya never know... Regardless, it's never too late to prevent more colds & flus from coming on again!
Like I said, this past week I've been feeling sniffly. My nose has been blocked up, making breathing and sleeping harder than usual. Usually, when I know I'm getting a bad cold, I'll ALWAYS get a sore throat first. Then the stuffy nose, then the cough, then the sore throat again. It's awful. BUT, this time I think I'm stuck with just the sniffles and occasionally puffy eyes... which DON'T go away easily!
That being said, I'm NOT letting this turn into a full-blown cold. NOPE. I'm about to be traveling across the Atlantic back to school and the last thing I want is a stuffed nose, ears and hacking cough on a 7 hour flight on a tightly constricted air plan. Nope.
So what am I doing to prevent that cold and boost my immune system?
Tea: LOTS of it. I love tea, always have, always will. Currently I'm downing yogi tea because of all their herbal concoctions made with a PURPOSE. My fave right now is their Tulsi Spiced Berry Immune Support. I love Tulsi (also known as Holy Basil) for it's crazy health benefits like tons of antioxidants, metabolic support, anti-bacterial properties, and immune support, of course. The tea also has elderberry, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, and tons of other herbs that support your immune system through and through. I'm even sipping on a mug of it right now.
More tea: I know. But this is one you can make on your own, combining alllllll the healing herbs, spices & foods to stop any cold right in it's tracks. My favorite concoction is this one which you can easily make by adding the juice of 1 lemon, a grated chunk of ginger, teaspoon of raw honey, shake of cinnamon, and a sprinkle of turmeric (always with a pinch of black pepper!) to a mug of hot water. ENJOY as your sore throat softens up and your nose clears up.
Aromatherapy: Lately I've been OBSESSED with my essential oils diffuser. Like, it's on and flowing all day. My favorite oils lately have been peppermint and frankincense for some invigorating and motivating scents. Aromatherapy is the best thing you can do to clear your nose & mind while calming your mind! Plus, certain oils are specifically designed to support your immune system. My Young Living diffuser came with this lovely oil called "R.C." which has eucalyptus, myrtle oil, pine oil, lavender oil, black spruce oil, and peppermint oil. ALL SO GOOD. And it's super energizing and invigorating which is sometimes just what you need to get out of a fuzzy mind and stuffy nose. This list also outlines some awesome blends for immune support.
Soup: Soup, soup, soup, SOUP! This is a no-brainer (ha!) as we all probably we're given some chicken noodle soup on a childhood sick-day at some point or another. BUT, it's time to take that simple soup up a notch. Trade your chicken broth for nutrient-dense BONE broth, add healing spices & flavors (turmeric, ginger, rosemary, sea salt, pepper, garlic lemon juice), add TONS of veg (literally any you have in your fridge, throw it in), and a good protein to keep your body stable and satiated. It's important to make these switches so you're getting healing herbs and foods that you need into your meals, in addition to the hot broth.
Mushrooms & Garlic: Add some organic mushrooms to your meals (your bone broth soup would be PERFECT) as these little fun guys (haha) are chock full of RNA and DNA building blocks that then create more white blood cells and other immune boosting cells. Garlic is also an immune system god-send because of its abundant anti-viral properties. I mean, when you lick a garlic clove somethings gonna be dying, and it might as well be that bad bacteria or virus.
Acupressure: Did you know there are certain spots and meridians on the human body that relate to different body systems when applied pressure to? This article goes into depth about where exactly the points are on your body for the immune system, and how to put pressure on them to boost your body's defense system. It takes literally 2 minutes and is perfect to do when you're feeling tired, sluggish, or feel that cold coming on. I plan on doing this every day (or as often as I remember...) through cold season, but we'll see how well I stick to it. Nonetheless, acupressure has amazing benefits for all your bodies systems and I can't wait to research more about it and share with y'all.
Light Movement: For sure take it easy on your body and put off the high intensity workouts for a bit until your body normalizes. It's working really hard to fight off the pathogens that the stress you'll put on your body during your workout will take away from the immune system working its magic. BUT, movement always makes us feel better. Trade your gym HIIT session for a hot yoga class, your 6 mile run for a 2 mile walk, a sauna session (if you have access to one...) instead of spin. Just know that you'll be doing your body a lot more harm then good if you put it through intense workouts when its trying to get rid of that cold!!
AND how could I forget. WATER. Water, water, water. Seriously, the more liquids you put in your body the easier and faster the toxins will leave your body. This is so so so essential in kicking a cold because if your body is dehydrated, those unwanted toxins, waste and bad bacteria/viruses will just sit in your body proliferating the problem. This is an easy one! 2-3L a day.
Those are my "go-to's" for making myself feel better when I start to feel run down or a cold come on. It's all about warm beverages and soups, delicious smells and healing herbs, and all the rest you can get, while still moving your body to detox all the gunk that's causing the cold in the first place!
Do you have any must-do's for cold prevention/treatment? I'd love to hear as I'm always finding new ways to beat the sniffles.