How to boost your immune system naturally to keep colds and flus away!

It’s that time of year again, the holiday season! Which also means cold and flu season. Sigh. But have no fear! There are plenty of ways to keep you in tip top shape so it doesn’t happen to you! And if you do happen to come down with a little something something, there are wonderful natural remedies to shorten your couch time.

First and foremost, prevention is key! Limiting illnesses from ever occurring is ideal! The best way to ensure you don’t get sick or are able to kick it fast, is to keep your immune system healthy all season (and of course all year too). This means always eating lots of fresh organic fruits and vegetables, getting plenty of rest, light exercising, and keeping stress in check. Focusing on whole foods and staying away from traditionally processed ones will not only keep your immune system running properly, but your entire body. If you haven’t been eating the best all year, that’s OK. Start now! The season has just begun and there’s no better time than the present!

If you do feel something coming on, be sure to nip it in the bud right away! Below are my favorite ways to heal a cold or flu naturally!

Vitamin C

This common remedy for colds should never be overlooked. The water soluble vitamin C helps boost the immune system and white blood cells. It can be found in red and green peppers (the best), rose hips, kiwi, oranges, strawberries, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower, and dark leafy greens. I also like to use vitamin C packets which can be dissolved in a glass of water. These can be found at most grocery stores, pharmacies, and health food stores.

Oregano Oil

I absolutely love oregano oil. This powerful herb has natural antibiotic properties without all the traditional antibiotic side effects. It contains antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.

When I’m fighting off a cold I take 1 oregano oil capsule twice a day (breakfast and dinner) for up to 2 weeks.

Elderberry

High in vitamin C and immune boosting antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, this superfruit is a must have in all cabinets. You can find it in tea, whole berry form, or my favorite way in Norms Farms Wellness Syrup. Blended with elderberry, honey, cloves, and cinnamon, this syrup is potent and delicious!

Ginger

Anti-inflammatory, digestion aid, antioxidants. Is there anything ginger CAN’T do?! Make warm ginger tea by simply adding chopped fresh ginger, lemon, honey and hot water to keep the immune system boosting! You can also try making a double batch of my vitality elixir to keep in the fridge and consume every day until you feel better. Take it periodically during cold season to ensure you have that extra boost.

Warm tea made from ginger, lemon, turmeric, or elderberry are always a good idea!
Warm tea made from ginger, lemon, turmeric, or elderberry are always a good idea!

Probiotics

Keeping our GI tract balanced is of the upmost importance as 70+% of our immune system lies in our gut (as well as 70% of the our serotonin)! If this vital system is not in check we are much more susceptible to illnesses of all kinds. Make sure you’re taking a high quality human grade probiotic. Better yet, eat lots of natural probiotic rich foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and miso. This will ensure your gut has the right balance to fight off infection and disease!

Zinc

Another tried and true remedy is zinc! Zinc deficiency is very common in today’s society due to soil loss and food processing. Taking a zinc supplement of 10-15 mg every day is a good idea. If you’re trying to fight off a cold, double the intake.

Other benefits of zinc include balancing hormones, powerful antioxidant, heart health, and helps muscle growth and repair. Zinc is found plentifully in beans and legumes, nuts and seeds like cashews and pumpkin seeds, oats, nutritional yeast, mushrooms, and cacao powder.

Essential Oils

Incorporating essential oils into your daily routine will not only improve your mood but can help with inflammation, pain relief, and boosting the immune system. My favorite cold season remedy is a blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary. Often times it’s called Thieves (or something to that effect; it depends on the brand). The story of the blend goes goes back to the 15th century when the bubonic plague was raging. Four thieves from Europe were robbing the infected dead bodies of their possessions. They miraculously never contracted the super infectious plague. When the thieves were eventually caught and tried, the magistrate agreed to lesson their sentence if they would reveal their secret.

I like to rub a few drops on the bottom of my feet and hands in the morning and before bed. The blend can also be diffused, killing 99.9% of all airborne pathogens. I like to put a few drops (make sure it’s food grade) into a glass water or tea too.

Essential oils to treat colds and flus.
Essential oils to treat colds and flus.

Things to Avoid!

Processed foods, refined sugar and sugary foods, dairy. All of these things hinder the body of its full potential and can leave us susceptible to viruses and bacteria.

So here’s to your health this cold/flu season! May your holiday be merry, bright and healthy!

If you have questions about healing colds naturally, feel free to email me at rebecca@therefinedhippie.com.

 

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