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Looking for natural ways to boost your immune system? Then look no further as I have some great natural immune-boosting tips to share! Find out how you can use the power of plants, essential oils, and honey to keep colds and ‘flu at bay this winter. As well as the best herbs for the immune system!
Why do we need to boost our immune systems?
As we approach winter, our natural defenses are lower. It’s all down to the fact that during the summer months, sunlight stimulates vitamin D production which is a natural way to boost immunity.
Come winter, the combination of lack of sunlight, central heating, cold, damp weather, and the fact colds and viruses thrive at this time of year, puts our immune system under pressure. With the added risk of Covid-19 to contend with, it’s even more important to support our natural defense this winter.
Boost your Immunity with Traditional Chinese Medicine
Maeve O’Sullivan and Emilia Herting, co-founders of Escapada Health and practitioners of Chinese medicine have shared their top natural immune-boosting tips to help you stay in tip-top shape this winter.
Train your immune system
The first step to boost your immune system naturally is to train your immune system to do its job correctly. For instance, to fend off things such as viruses, pathogenic bacteria, and parasites —while remaining non-reactive to benign things like pollen and foods. Boosting the immune system means allowing our immune system cells to readily do their job.
If our body is perfectly healthy and functioning, this will be much easier. However, if our body is taxed by stresses, illnesses, or malnutrition, it will be harder. Therefore, in Chinese medicine, the focus is not always only strengthening the immune system, but rather on the whole body to allow the immune system to function optimally.
Since the immune system resides in the blood and lymphatic system, proper circulation of these systems is essential to good health and must be promoted. Our immune system is like a blanket that protects us from the cold, excessive heat, and illness. The bottom line is that a healthy body is dependent on a strong immune system. But the good news is that there are many ways to boost our immune systems. Not just by avoiding destructive habits, stressors, and toxins but by embracing natural immune boosters and adopting behaviors that support immunity.
Natural Immune Boosting Tips
Focus on gut health
The most important thing you can do to cultivate strong immunity is to start where the immune system really resides: the gut. If you have chronic allergies, frequent infections, or autoimmune problems, you are likely to have some damage to the health of your microbiome and digestive tract. This is where about 80% of your immune cells hang out, and it’s where our bodies decide what is friend and what is foe. By strengthening our gut health, we are much less likely to get sick, have allergies, and develop autoimmune disease.
Brew up some Bone Broth
Drinking and cooking with organic bone broth have far-reaching effects on the immune system. While natural gelatin, collagen, and amino acids tend to the gut, improve wound healing, and help support the health of the individual immune cells.
Find more natural immune-boosting tips and my immune-boosting soup recipe here.
Try some natural antimicrobials
Best herbs for immune system
One of the best ways natural ways to boost the immune system daily is through a few key superfoods. These foods can be incorporated on a daily basis so that you are constantly improving and boosting your immunity while eating yummy food. Let’s look at what foods and herbs help boost the immune system.
Garlic: Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibiotic properties. It is also a natural decongestant. The sky really is the limit with this flavourful ingredient, and you can work it into pretty much any meal. At the first sign of infection start taking one raw garlic clove daily or a concentrated allicin extract.
Oregano Oil: This oil has a long history of being used and an antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal. It can also be used topically to treat antibiotic-resistant staph infections of the skin (MRSA) as well as taken internally to combat yeast infections.
Herbs that boost immune system
Manuka Honey: Quite a bit of research exists on the benefits of honey as a natural immune booster, natural anti-inflammatory agent, and antimicrobial agent. In particular, Manuka honey native to New Zealand and Australia – is even registered as a wound-care product in those countries. As well as that this honey has substances that can kill bacteria topically. And when ingested it can even work synergistically with antibiotics to improve their efficacy.
Ginger: This pungent root is a powerful antihistamine and decongestant that delivers a one-two punch again cold symptoms. Boil it with water to make a cup of ginger tea with some lemon and honey for a hot healing drink.
Turmeric: Turmeric is known to bolster the immune system, purify the blood, strengthen digestion, and eliminate natural toxins from the digestive tract. An incredibly easy way to ingest the beneficial properties of this well-known golden yellow spice is turmeric tablets.
most powerful immune boosting herbs
Don’t forget to exercise
Physical exercise helps to release accumulated tension, move stagnant mental and emotional energy, and improve circulation. It also reduces the impact of the stress hormones that make the body more vulnerable to colds and flu. In addition, exercise improves our digestion, bolsters the body’s detoxification mechanisms, encourages proper elimination, promotes relaxation in the body, and supports sound sleep.
All of which serve to protect and support the immune system. But before we all rush to the gym, it only takes a few minutes of low-intensity exercise such as walking to trigger the release of feel-good endorphins. Anything that gently increases your circulation is going to help. Exercise does not need to be strenuous to be effective. Simple, mild exercise like yoga, Qi Gong, or swimming relaxes your body and mind, which eases daily stress.
Get some sleep
Without a doubt, sleep is critically important to the immune system. Studies have shown that when animals are completely deprived of sleep, they suffer a total loss of immune function—resulting in death. Also in humans, sleep deprivation severely compromises immunity. Chronic sleep deprivation and disruption of the sleep-wake cycle cause an activation of the inflammatory immune response. It is thought that a lack of sleep decreases the activity of T-cells (a crucial type of immune cell). Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep on a regular basis and avoid all-nighters.
Related – My Top 10 Tips for a Good Nights Sleep
Use essential oils to strengthen your immune system
Essentials oils are an easy way to lift your mood, ward off bugs and bacteria, and to kick start energy levels. All of which can help to keep colds and ‘flu at bay and also a natural way to boost your immunity.
One of my favourite ranges Bio Scents has recently introduced a new collection of essential oil blends specially designed to be immune-protective and immune-boosting. All their products are zero waste and 100% natural, including their new Bio Scents Immunity Collection.
Ethically sourced, the range has been formulated using medicinal botanicals from around the world. Using herbs that help to boost the immune system, such as Clary Sage, Peppermint, and Frankincense, they also help to defend and protect the body from seasonal illness. They have also used South African Geranium, renowned for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and for balancing seasonal emotional and hormonal changes.
Easy to use and convenient to pack if you’re lucky enough to be able to travel (each bottle is 8 MLS.) These winter warmers are the ideal health and wellness remedies to boost your immunity this autumn/winter. Add a few drops to your bath or shower and inhale the aroma as you bathe, or add the oils to your vaporiser or oil diffuser to naturally scent and purify your home.
If you are new to essential oils you can read my beginner’s guide here.
Natural ways to boost your Immune System
STAR SCENTS AND KEY BENEFITS
Frankincense: Frankincense, extracted from the Oleoresin by steam distillation, has been used for thousands of years as a natural respiratory treatment for coughs, colds, and asthma. With its sweet, spicy aroma, Frankincense is the perfect oil to warm you up in the winter.
Clary Sage: An effective stress-buster, clary sage can produce feelings of relaxation by helping to naturally lower blood pressure. One of the most potent anti-stress essential oils, it has been used in aromatherapy for centuries.
Patchouli: Used to help relieve symptoms of colds, headaches, and stomach upsets. As well as that, this rich, smoky essential oil is a traditional Ayurvedic remedy for anxiety, stress, and depression.
Herbs to boost immune system
Cedarwood: Grounding and relaxing, this sweet, woody oil is packed with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Especially good for calming skin, reducing stress, and maintaining emotional imbalance.
Sylvester Pine: An effective remedy for soothing coughs and easing congestion. Not to mention, Sylvester pine has potent antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties
Peppermint: Energising and uplifting, peppermint can help to relieve cough and cold symptoms. Add a few drops to a bath and inhale the steam to help relax achy muscles and soothe coughs.
Certainly, the claim that honey is good for our health and wellbeing isn’t new. From the ancient Greeks and Chinese to the Egyptians, Romans, Mayans, and Babylonians, honey has been consumed for its medicinal and nutritional properties for over 5500 years. Research has shown that honey not only supports normal immune function, but it also aids gut health and digestion, reduces inflammation, and protects against free radical damage.
So, if you’re a fan of honey, Honey Heaven’s Organic Immune Booster Trio of Turmeric, Black Seed, and Bee Pollen and Propolis Honey is the perfect way to ward off coughs and colds this winter. I’m not usually a lover of honey, but I can honestly say that this range of honey is absolutely delicious! Definitely the best range I’ve ever tasted!
Protect against infection
Well-known for its healing properties, turmeric contains a host of medicinal compounds including curcuminoids which have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties. Likewise, Honey Heaven’s Honey with Javanese Turmeric is power-packed with all the benefits of honey and turmeric to help reduce inflammation and protect against coughs and colds. Combining honey with turmeric also enhances its antimicrobial activity. As a result, they act against a variety of bacterial and fungal strains known to cause infections.
Honey Heaven’s Organic Honey with Egyptian Black Seed combines two of the most powerful superfoods. The honey, from Hungary, has been combined with Egyptian Black or Nigella Seeds (Nigella sativa) which have been used in traditional medicine for 2000 years. Also, nigella seeds contain thymoquinone, which is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound.
Build up your immune system
In addition to the double healing benefits of bee pollen and propolis, Honey Heaven’s Organic Honey with Bee Pollen and Propolis has a multitude of health benefits. Not only does bee pollen help reduce inflammation and strengthen immunity, but it also helps to ease menopausal symptoms too. And propolis supports liver function, helps to reduce allergies, and eases skin irritation.
Finally, thank you for reading my natural ways to boost your immune system! Not only did these natural immune-boosting tips help me, but they also made me feel more positive too!
|Natalie Shirlaw is passionate about healthy living and writes posts about wellbeing. If you enjoyed this article, be sure to pin it or share it!|