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December 27, 2017

Immune System Boosters for Winter

Wow, one glimpse of my Facebook newsfeed and it seems like many of my friends and loved ones are sick or are taking care of sick kids right now. While sickness is not unexpected at this time (less Vitamin D, more time inside with heaters and dry air, and more sugar depressing the immune system with holiday treats) it does seem more prevalent this year for some reason.

I felt myself starting to get something. Slight sore throat, extra fatigue, but instead of powering through, living off of caffeine and sugar, or continuing to burn the candle at both ends, I decided to be proactive. I spent more time relaxing, didn’t worry about the house being messy, made myself a cup of Throat Comfort tea, did an IonCleanse footbath, took extra Vitamin C and Vitamin D, made some bone broth in my Instant Pot, and went to bed early. But this comes on the heels of decades of doing “it all”, pushing past my point of wellness because that is what is expected of me and putting everyone ahead of myself. That is a whole other blog post.

What can you do for yourself and loved ones when they do begin to get sick?

Optimizing Vitamin D levels is critical. Less sun exposure, more time indoors has a profound effect and Vitamin D is very important for immune function. This report from PubMed Health drives home this fact, Vitamin D is critical to the immune system and can help avoid respiratory infections. There are even studies to show that optimal Vitamin D levels are more effective than the flu vaccine – with none of the toxic adjuvants that can cause more problems than they help. Test for Vitamin D levels (optimally) twice per year, once in summer and once in winter. Then work with a practitioner to optimize those levels. We can help if you want to order a test.

Vitamin C is another that has been studied extensively in regards to colds and flus. This abstract found it especially effective against pneumonia – and also clarified that many of the studies look at higher dosing which is not often how the general public takes Vitamin C.

What about over the counter meds? This one actually aggravated me. There is a popular over the counter med with an ad campaign about “fill in the blanks” don’t get sick days…..be ready. They have targeted moms, dads, kids going back to school, even school mascots (what?!?). Let’s be clear, these meds supress symptoms, they do not make you “better” nor do they stop the spread of the infection. So, while people may cope with their symptoms, they are out spreading the germs, making it possible for others to join them in their misery. You may still choose to take meds but I find that rather than supressing my body’s innate healing potential, I try and support it the best I can. Here is what I do:

  • Stick to a nutrient dense diet, lots and lots of veggies and especially leafy greens and cruciforous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts) and no sugar except fruits.
  • I bump my vitamin and mineral consumption, especially Vitamins C, D and other antioxidants.
  • I diffuse essential oils based on symptoms (eucalyptus for sinus related ailments, peppermint for any nausea, lavender for headaches). Work with a knowledgeable practitioner on other ways to use essential oils.
  • Epsom Salt baths can be tremendously supportive and just make you feel better. Take a diffuser in the bathroom and diffuse eucalyptus for added sinus support and clearing.
  • Use a Neti pot to support sinus health.
  • Biocidin is a terrific all-purpose sickie support (I made that term up in case you were wondering). It is the bomb, seriously.
  • SLEEP – your body needs rest to heal effectively. Stop being Wonder Woman or Superman, seriously, your to-do list is not that important.
  • Bump fluids, drink bone broth, mineral infused waters, fruit/veggie infused waters to boost absorption of the water and give your body a boost.
  • Avoid foods that produce mucous, especially all forms of dairy and wheat.
  • Get vitamin injections or infusions if you can. My dear friend, Dr. Christine Brass-Jones is an OB/GYN in Mesa, AZ and her Center for True Harmony Wellness and Medicine posted this the other day. If you are local, get in there for some immune boosters.
  • And most of all, listen to your body and the wisdom within. Do not go past your limits, nurture yourself so you have some left to nurture others with. I know for me lack of sleep and stress are big immune system triggers. And the holidays very effectively pushed BOTH of those buttons. Who can relate? So this is the time to go within, support yourself and put your wellness first. Pushing through, putting on a brave face, insisting you must go into work or do XYZ because…..will only make it so the illness lasts far longer than it needs to.

There are so many other suggestions but these are my favorites. What works like a charm in your house? Need more guidance on supportive practices during the winter and all year long? Contact us for a one-on-one consult and make this winter your healthiest yet! Use the contact form below to get started.

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