The best way to prevent ourselves from getting sick is by building our immune systems. This natural defense that we are all born with can get depleted over time (especially the holidays) due to lack of Sun (Vitamin D), stress and poor diet. We live in a society where we must stay busy so when feeling sickness coming on, we medicate ourselves, giving our bodies a false sense of getting better without our magical army of immunity doing anything.
Here are a few natural things to do to prepare your immune system for an invasion that will allow your body to naturally bounce back faster and create vital immunity building cells:
Herbs like Astragulus, Licorice Root and Echinacea can be made into a tea to help give your immune system a boost.
For over 2,000 years, Chinese herbalists have used Astragalus to help the body build up energy and resist diseases including cancer, liver and kidney problems, and infections. Medical research has shown that Astragalus boosts the immune response.
- Licorice Root
Licorice root is an herbal remedy for sore throat, cough, allergic disorders, viral infections, bronchitis and whooping cough because of its expectorant (congestion loosening) abilities. It contains Glycyrrhizin, one of the best known antiviral substances derived from the plant kingdom. It works well for high fever and is a natural pain reliever.
Echinacea activates chemicals in the body that decrease inflammation and reduce cold and flu symptoms. Echinacea is widely used to fight infections, especially the common cold. Studies have shown that it boosts the activity and increases white blood cells.
Dairy adds to our mucous production. Removing it from our diets will lessen the phlegm and the burden of getting rid of it through coughing also decreasing congestion.
Purifying and Immune Supporting Essential Oils
- “Thieves” Blend
There is an account in the Royal English Archives of 4 thieves who were able to escape the wrath of the Black Plague by applying certain oils and spices to their body. The Black Plague shut down all trade routes in Europe and looting became the way to survive. This including looting graves. It is said that the King demanded their capture and forced them to tell their secret. It is now known as the “Thieves” blend.
The traditional blend of Thieves is clove, cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus and Rosemary
Try adding 40 drops Clove, 35 drops Lemon, 20 drops Cinnamon, 15 drops Eucalyptus, 10 drops Rosemary per 1 ounce of carrier oil. Diffusing Thieves Oil in your home helps to purify the air, eliminate odor, support your immune system and support the healthy function of your lungs and sinuses.
- Oregano Oil
This oil is an expectorant, which will loosen up or eliminate the buildup of mucus and phlegm, and is also soothing for inflamed lungs and throat, which often stimulate coughing fits. Oregano prevents and treat symptoms of respiratory ailments.
Peppermint oil can increase a person’s immunity to various diseases and is commonly employed by those people with weak immune systems or who seem to frequently suffer from illness. It is also known to have powerful antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal effects. It is composed of camphor, menthol, and carvacrol, which are resistant to certain dangerous bacterial strains like E. coli, salmonella, and staph infections.
Foods to Add to Your Diet
Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties. Recent research is now revealing that not only can garlic help prevent colds but taking garlic daily can help reduce the duration and severity of colds when they are contracted.
Onions contain flavonoids. These compounds act as antioxidants, have a direct antitumor effect, and have immune-enhancing properties. Onions have strong antibiotic, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties which are the primary co-factors in keeping the bugs away. If a cold or virus does set in, the onion can be used to help your body battle it. Just cut an onion on both ends, place beside your bed. When you awake in the morning your symptoms should be better and the onion should be discolored or black. This is a good indication that the onion has absorbed some of the bacteria or virus that has been dwelling in your body. Give it a try next time you come down with a cold or flu.
Turmeric contains curcumin, which is hailed for its antioxidant properties, antibacterial properties, stimulates our adrenal glands. It regulates the proper growth of white blood cells, which rebuilds the immune system.
Cayenne contain high amounts of capsaicin. Consuming cayenne peppers loosens nasal and sinus congestion. Mucous thins and becomes more liquid, making breathing easier. It is considered anti-irritant, anti-cold and flu and anti-fungal.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar works for two reasons: 1) it helps neutralize the body which turns alkaline when sick and 2) it helps thin mucus.
Instead of popping a pill, see what these natural methods can do to increase your immune system and help you conquer an illness faster! For more ways to stay healthy, please visit us at The Herb Room Organic Apothecary