Natural Remedies to Boost your Immune System

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We’re currently in the middle of full blown cough, cold and flu season and it’s super important to keep your immune system in tip top shape. When I was in high school and college, I used to pump myself full of over the counter meds every time I was sick. The funny thing is, most people don’t realize that you can heal your body naturally. Yes, it does depend on the severity of the sickness, there are absolutely times where medicine is necessary and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, if I can eat real food and take small steps every day to prevent myself from getting sick and avoid taking unnecessary medicine that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that’s go-go-go 24/7, working crazy hours and not taking time to rest. Lack of sleep is a HUGE issue that people fail to recognize and address. Not sleeping enough impacts SO many parts of your body, one specifically, is your immune system. It’s almost comical to say sleeping is a natural remedy to keep your body healthy but it’s 100000% true. So if you feel like you’re getting sick or you’re already sick – let yourself get some sleep. Trust me, your body will seriously thank you.

Below I’ve compiled a list of my favorite natural remedies you can use to keep your body healthy. Some of them may seem a little whacky to you, but I promise they work. Just give them a try and you will see!

1.       Apple Cider Vinegar –

You guys know I can’t get enough of ACV, to learn more about the health benefits check out my previous blog post entitled "Apple Cidahh Vinegahhh". One of the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar is that it helps create an alkaline environment in your body which can kill bacteria and viruses. One of my favorite drinks to have first thing in the morning is warm water, a splash of ACV and some local honey mixed in. Click here to see the brand we use at home!

2.      Bone Broth

if you watch my Instagram stories (@healthbalancecenter) you’ll see just how often I drink bone broth. Sometimes it’s up to 3 times a day, I just love it. Why do I like it? It has numerous health benefits – it helps create a healthy gut, supports immune system function, and is a fantastic source of collagen as well (which helps protect your joints and positively impacts your skin).

The brand of bone broth I drink most often is Pacific Foods. I warm it up over the stove top and add Frontier Co-op turmeric, Himalayan pink salt, cilantro and Fourth and Heart ghee. If you’ve never tried it before – you absolutely should. It’s fun to play around with different spices and seasonings AND if you can find some locally it’s even better for you!

3.      Echinacea

for those of you who aren’t familiar with Echinacea, it is classified as an herb, although it is technically a flower. The flower itself, as well as its roots and leaves have been used as a plant-based/herbal remedy for hundreds of years. It is said that Echinacea decreases your chances of getting a cold by half, as well as reduces the duration of your cold. You can most likely find echinacea supplements and teas in your local grocery store. If not, you can always find them online.

4.      Essential Oils

As you all know, I’m an essential oil enthusiast for numerous reasons. There is literally an essential oil for every symptom or ailment you may have. Some of the best oils to help alleviate symptoms during cold and flu season are listed below:

Thieves (anti-bacterial, anti-infectious, anti-viral and antiseptic properties)

Peppermint (soothes headaches, chest congestion and can reduce fever)

Lemon (purifies the air in your home due to anti-viral properties, decrease congestion)

German Chamomile (soothes aching muscles or pains, also calms coughs & chest pain)

Oregano (this oil is extremely potent and is known to be as powerful as antibiotics; it has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties)

Lavender (helps ease aching muscles and headaches due to its anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties, also acts as a calming oil and can help you sleep more soundly)

Eucalyptus (promotes clear airways, eases congestion, and helps you breathe deeply; it can also be used as a rub for your chest and shoulders)

There are TONS of blends you can purchase or create your own blends at home using the essential oils you have on hand. My favorite DoTerra blends to use during the winter are OnGuard and Breathe. If you want to learn more about essential oils or are interested in purchasing them, send me an email! Also keep an eye out for future blog posts and potentially videos on essential oils!

5.      Elderberry Syrup –

Elderberry is known as one of the best anti-viral herbs on the planet. Studies have shown that elderberry can reduce the chance of getting a cold or the flu and can shorten the amount of time you are sick for. It’s also proven to be a safe and effective treatment for the flu if taken within the first 48 hours.

6.      Freshly chopped Garlic –

I know, you probably think I’m nuts for telling you to eat raw garlic, but it’s for a legitimate reason. When you chop up or chew on a clove of Garlic, it releases Allicin, which is a powerful anti-bacterial that can kick an oncoming cold goodbye. Allicin is only present right when you cut it or chew it, not when it’s cooked. Garlic is a natural antibiotic, it is also anti-microbial, anti-viral, and provides your body with antioxidants as well. Hesitant to try it? I know, I was too – but once I learned that it can help knock out flu symptoms, I immediately ate some.

7.       Green Smoothies –

Looking for a way to get a ton of veggies in your body? Whip yourself up a green smoothie (or go support a local smoothie bar). There are TONS of smoothie recipes online that you can use to whip them up at home. Some of my favorite ingredients to use in green smoothies during cold and flu are: ginger, oranges, pineapple, kale or spinach.

8.      Pineapple –

For some reason, I tend to crave pineapple during the winter months. I never understood why, but I’m pretty sure it’s part of the reason I’ve stayed healthy the past couple years. I did some research on the health benefits of it and found out that they contain Bromelain, which is an enzyme that fights infections and kills bacteria due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Eating pineapple and drinking pineapple juice can help soothe a sore throat, calm a cough and aid your body in getting rid of mucous.

9.      Ginger –

Like I mentioned earlier, I like to include ginger in my green smoothies. Why? Studies have shown that fresh ginger fights respiratory viruses. You can include fresh ginger in your smoothies or you can also put it in boiling water and drink it as a tea. (P.S. it's also helps with nausea!)

10.   Raw Honey –

I'm not sure about you guys, but I have always LOVED honey. I especially love putting it in my tea or adding it to a stir fry as a natural sweetener. Not only is honey sweet and delicious, but it provides you with a ton of nutritional benefits as well. Research has shown that honey is just as effective in treating coughs as over the counter cough syrup (cough, cough - food is medicine). Consuming raw honey also boosts your immune system thanks to the high amount of polyphenols found in it, which are super powerful antioxidants. Stop by any farms near you to pick up some local honey if possible!

And last, but surely not least - DRINK MORE WATER. Shocking, I know. I’m sure this is not a crazy revelation for any of you. BUT in general, I think everyone could hydrate themselves more throughout the day, especially when you are sick. Drink lots of fluids, all day, every day – even if you’re not sick. And if you’re looking to boost your electrolyte count, you can drink maple water, coconut water or use Nuun tablets.

I hope you all find these remedies helpful! Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns or if you use any of these remedies and have a success story to share!