With the winter season coming in full effect some might say catching a flu or cold is inevitable. We wake up anticipating a burning throat, watery eyes and blocked sinuses. Especially following a day of your co-worker ever so graciously coughing into your cubicle or your 5 year old innocently sneezing directly into your face. Unless you plan on hibernating or avoiding all contact with society, you are likely to be exposed to a variety of the years’ active and eager viruses.
Luckily there are several defensive measures you can take to boost your immune system as well as measures you can take to speed your recovery and lessen the severity of your symptoms.
Probiotics – 70% of our body’s immunity is in our gut, good gut health = improved immunity
Vitamin A, C, E, D – antioxidants, immune system boosters
Echinacea – immune enhancer and defender, increases white blood cells
Zinc – increases white blood cells and interferes with viruses’ ability to reproduce, shortens during of colds, reduces severity of symptoms
Natural Anti-Bacterials and Anti-Virals
Oil of Oregano – antimicrobial herb to help to kill off the bacteria and viruses, topically and orally as effective as prescription anti-fungal drugs
Goldenseal – ‘the herbal antibiotic’ with anti-bacterial properties, considered a natural antibiotic and is often paired with Echinacea to promote a strong immune system
Ginger – powerful root that is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, eliminates congestion, combats chills
Baptisia – member of the wild indigo family that clears infections of the mouth and throat with a potent concentration of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components. Eliminates dangerous pathogens and bacteria. Also can alleviate symptoms of discomfort.
Yarrow – a member of the sunflower family used for fever; induces sweating to ‘break’ fevers and colds, shortens duration of cold and flu and improves relaxation during illness.
Elderberry (cold/flu) – boosts immune system; rich in tannins, vitamin C and other anti-oxidants; and reduces length and severity of symptoms
Boneset (bone aches) – treats flu, cold, fever and rheumatism; relieves congestion; and aids with bone pain caused by influenza
Magnesium – helps to break down mucus and congestion; as Epsom salt topically as a detoxifier and sleep aid
What you do and do not eat can also impact your susceptibility to illness as well as your ability to recover quickly. When things go viral and you’re feeling ‘under the weather’ you want to
Load up on:
Garlic - (antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties) garlic is most effective when raw and can be helpful in people with low resistance to infections
Onions – helps to cure coughs, fevers and flu; also a natural anti-histamine
Ginger – grated, as a tea, or as a powder this is a antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-congestion superstar
Protein - strength and repair, repair, repair!
Honey – antibacterial and soothing for inflamed membranes; eases cough
Caffeine, sugar and alcohol - paralyzes our immune and causes inflammation!
Dairy – very mucus forming and congesting!
Stay hydrated, and stay well!