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Yesterday's pandemic announcement by the World Health Organization has skyrocketed everyone's stress levels and increased panic, fear, and anxiety.
We thought we'd share with you some ways to help strengthen the immune system naturally, and how to help manage the symptoms in case a flu does arise.
The Immune System is the key to fighting every kind of inflammation, bacteria, and virus that attacks the body.
It fights off these disease-causing microorganisms and creates a healing process by neutralizing and destroying them.
Indeed true health can only be attained by maintaining a healthy, strong, and properly functioning immune system.
When the Immune system is weak, the body will display symptoms such as fatigue, repeated infections, listlessness, allergic reactions, inflammation, slow wound healing, chronic diarrhoea, and infections coming from overgrowth of normally present organisms (oral thrush, vaginal yeast infections).
Before diving into specific supplements and herbs that could help strengthen and balance it, there are few basics that need to be taken care of at all times.
Avoid stress and negative emotions. Research has, in fact, linked vulnerability to colds and flu to psychological stress.
Stress impacts the immune system negatively, as it results in a sequence of biochemical events that ultimately suppress the regular activity of the white blood cells, aka the body's first line of defence. It also places extra strain on the endocrine system and depletes the body of nutrients.
A positive mindset is crucial to building up the immune system.
Ways to manage stress include self-care, relaxation, visualization, prayer, meditation, exercise, practicing a beloved hobby, and physical connection to loved ones.
Sleep and rest as much as possible.
The gut is arguably the center of your health, our second brain and where all diseases begin. It is imperative that we eat healthily, avoiding caffeine, sugar, fried and fast food, and consume a diet rich in nutrients, including plenty of fruits and vegetables instead.
Reduce toxins & detoxify
Limit toxin exposure in your environment, from poorly made beauty products to chemically rich cleaning products, clothing, perfumes and unfiltered water. All these can be loaded with chemicals that drain our bodies and compromise our immune systems'.
Lastly, remember that the lymphatic system is also a component of our immune system. It is what provides a continuous cleansing at a cellular level. Skin Brushing can be an optimal way to stimulate it and make it more efficient. Far infra-red therapy, acupuncture, hijama (also known as wet cupping) and other alternative health approaches are all great ways to naturally and gently detoxify the body.
Which supplements will work for you will depend on your body type. It is extremely important to work closely with a qualified health professional who will guide you based on various factors. Below are a handful of supplements recommended time and time again by some of the best alternative health physicians.
- Probiotics - A healthy gut leads to a healthy immune system.
- Glutathione - It is one of the most potent antioxidants, aids in red blood cell integrity, protects immune cells.
- NAC (n-acetylcysteine) Thins Mucus and aids in preventing respiratory disease.
- Vitamin A (plus carotenoid complex with beta-carotene) It is needed for proper immune function. It is known as the anti-infection vitamin. They are potent antioxidants, and they may also protect against cancer and heart disease.
- Vitamin D - 2000 IU daily, better when taken alongside vitamin K3
- Vitamin C with bioflavonoids - 5000 - 20,000 mg daily in divided doses. An important antioxidant, it decreases susceptibility to infection.
- Zinc - take as directed on the label. Do not exceed 50-80 mg daily. Very important for the immune system, as it boosts it and promotes the healing of wounds. It also helps to protect the liver.
- Garlic - Take as directed on the label. It stimulates the immune system, a powerful antibiotic, and antiviral.
- Medicinal mushrooms (maitake, reishi, shiitake) - better to take a complex of all of them together. Take as directed on the label. They build up immunity, fight viral infections, and even cancer.
- Chlorella and Spirulina - they supply many nutrients needed for cleansing and healing.
- Herbal Remedies
- Astragalus - powerful antioxidants, protects the liver from toxins and boosts the immune system. Caution: do not use when having a fever.
- Echinacea - boosts the immune system and enhances the lymphatic function. Caution: do not take it for longer than three months. Should not be used by those allergic to ragweed.
- Elderberry - has antiviral properties and reduces flu symptoms. Elder tea promotes sweating and cleanses the body of toxins.
These are some ways of naturally supporting the immune system. And when used in addition to a healthy lifestyle with low exposure to toxins, they can do wonders.
In conclusion, remember that the body is a self-healing organism. Given the right diet and surrounded by the environment, it has the ability to heal itself by itself.
A note on fevers:
Fever is the body's defence mechanism against infections. Viruses do not survive well in a warmer environment. Therefore, please do not rush to suppress it, instead work with it naturally. Rest and drink plenty of fluids. If possible, avoid solid foods, and consume only liquids, such as fresh-squeezed juices, herbal teas, soups, and filtered water to prevent dehydration and to flush the body. Unless it is over 103°F / 39.4°C, closely monitor it and work with a health practitioner.
By Olesea Pozdneacov, IIN Health Coach
Olesea Pozdneacov is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and a loving mother. She became a health coach to fulfil her desire to work with women to improve their health and personal life as well as their families'. Thus she offers individual health and nutrition coaching. Olesea received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she received in-depth training in nutrition, health and wellness, coaching skills, and business development.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not, nor am I holding myself out to be a doctor/physician nor a dietitian. I do not provide health care, medical or nutritional therapy services, nor am I attempting to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any physical, mental or emotional issue, disease, or condition.