There are ways to naturally support your immune system to give your body the best chance of staying well this winter. If your house is anything like mine, you’ve started to have a few snuffly noses, coughs and general ‘virus” creep their way in the door. I’m for as much prevention as possible through good gut health and using doTERRA essential oils for that base-line support.
Here is what I’m doing for myself and my family to naturally support our immune systems:
1. Look after my gut health
I do a slightly better job at this for myself than for my family, but I’m the only one with auto-immune issues, so I’m more particular for myself. I follow a gluten-free mostly grain-free and paleo style diet to set my gut up well. I do feel best without gluten, grains, dairy and sugar.
2. Increase vegetable intake – especially leafy greens.
It’s actually hard to eat the recommended 5 cups of vegetables a day. You really do have to consciously increase your veggie intake – think about using vegetables at ALL meals – throw a handful of spinach/kale in your omelette or smoothie for breakfast. Have a salad for lunch or a nice vegetable laden soup. Make vegetables the focus of dinner too, especially if feeling run down.
3. Good old chicken soup
‘There is nothing new under the sun’ is a quote from the bible and it still holds true. The resurgence of ‘bone broth’ really is bringing back ‘chicken soup’. There is something soothing about drinking soup when it’s cold and you don’t feel well. To get the best nutritional value, buy the best quality chicken/meat as you can afford, add apple cider vinegar to the water and let it soak for a few hours before cooking (helps the bones break down so you get the most nutrition from the bones). Here is my recipe for both chicken soup/stock/broth and a concentrated version.
4. Vitamin C
We all know vitamin C is good for our immune system – so now’s the time to eat oranges, kiwifruit and broccoli. I also use Vitamin C powder when feeling sick and the boys love the chewable Vit C tablets too. Here is a list of 10 high Vit C foods https://draxe.com/top-10-vitamin-c-foods/.
5. Reduce Stress / Have a rest
Stress causes inflammation and inflammation puts strain on our immune system. Be sensible with taking on unnecessary stress, learn to say NO. If you’re not feeling well, give yourself a break. I’m not one for the daytime napping – I’ve never learnt the ‘art’ but lucky you if you have that skill! Now the weather is cooler again I’m going to bring back my unwinding bath at night to bring rest and relaxation back.
6. Try Essential Oils
Essential oils are the plants own defence mechanism to protect themselves from viruses, bacteria, mold, fungus etc so they naturally are immune supportive. They are best used long term on a preventative basis, but I’ve found when run down or when the kids’ pick up a ‘bug’ that using essential oils seem to give a decent ‘boost’! Recently one of my boys came home just feeling generally unwell and was happy to use my ‘immune boosting’ blend in a rollerball bottle on the soles of his feet and down his spine.
Here is the ‘recipe’ for an immune support essential oil blend I made recently (all but thyme come in the most popular 2 starter kits too):
Here is a little more about each of these oils for natural immune support:
Tea Tree (Melaleuca) – topically cleansing and purifying
Frankincense – known as the ‘King of Oils’ amongst the hundreds of uses of frankincense is for natural immune support. It’s also relaxing and calming.
On Guard – this is doTERRA’s ‘protective blend’ and if you had to pick one it’s this one for immune support! It contains Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark/Leaf, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower essential oils and can be used in a diffuser, diluted and used topically (eg on soles of feet or down spine) and internally (not for children under 6).
Lemon – cleansing, detoxing. Why not add to some manuka honey for a honey/lemon drink to soothe a sore throat?
Oregano – has a high antioxidant level and antibacterial properties. It can be really useful as an immune boost. If using topically make sure it’s diluted first as it’s a warming oil.
Thyme – try thyme tea (hot water and thyme leaves), or use thyme essential oil (a drop or 2 in an empty capsule and swallow) or add it to an immune support blend. Thyme has antiviral & antibacterial properties. Thyme, like oregano is a warming oil and should only be used topically if diluted first.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Of course these are my personal tips and if you are sick you should consult your health care provider 🙂
If you’d like to try essential oils as part of your wellness routine, please only use top quality oils like those from doTERRA. To purchase through me go here for more info.