So we find ourselves zooming towards the end of winter, but there still seems to be lots of “lurgies” floating around – colds, coughs, flus – how are you and your family faring?
I’ve been passionate about natural health for many years and I have come across some amazing strategies for keeping myself and my family well all year round, but especially over winter. Even though I have been following these for the last 5 years or so, it still takes me by surprise a little when time after time everyone around me is sick, yet I don’t catch it, or occasionally I can feel a cold brewing and I know I’m fighting something then it just doesn’t arrive. I am also completely thrilled that my baby made it to a year without needing to visit the doctor and only having a couple of days of “sniffles” – it feels amazing to be confident in your immune system!
The secret to lies within immunity
In my opinion that key is to be constantly working on your immune system, so when the time comes it can quickly and effectively battle any bugs that cross it’s path. The other piece is to be at the ready with natural remedies to support your immune system to do it’s job.
Preparing the immune system (my regular/daily practices)
1. Eat plenty of fresh (preferably organic) fruit and vegetables all the time to help strengthen your immune system. Our favourite in house juice blend for this is Courage – orange, carrot, ginger, turmeric and lemon – it’s basically immunity 101. I drink more Courage in the cooler months because I know it’s exactly what my body needs to protect itself from nasties. Courage comes as part of our level 3 cleanse, it’s in our rainbow pack or select it in your custom juice pack.
2. Make sure you are getting an appropriate intake of minerals which are very important for immune health. Many of our soils are depleted in minerals so you may need to get them from another source. I use a natural liquid supplement that harnesses the power of sea vegetables. Since taking this for the last 5 or so years myself and my husband have barely been sick.
3. Make sure you are getting enough rest/sleep/down time. In our busy lifestyles we are often running on “over drive” with our sympathetic “fight or flight” nervous system in operation. It is only when we relax and move into our parasympathetic nervous system that our body goes into repair and restore mode. We all need to find a strategy that takes us into a state of relaxation – and do it regularly!
4. Intermittent fasting has been found to benefit the immune system, it appears that during periods of fasting old, damaged immune cells are removed and then replaced with fresh new ones – yet another reason to do regular juice cleanses!
5. Build your gut flora – a healthy digestive system is important for immune functioning. Increase your good bacteria with a probiotic – all our cleanses include a pack of probiotics, you might also like to try your local health food store for therapeutic grade probiotics. You can also introduce fermented foods such as kombucha, kefir or sauerkraut, and add yoghurt into your diet.
What to do when you feel a bug taking over
1. GARLIC – fresh & raw – have it on a piece of toast, slice it up thin and swallow it like pills, or try crushing a few cloves and wearing them under your feet in your socks overnight.
2. Mum’s magic potion – lemon, honey, ginger and cayenne pepper to blast out a cold (if you’re feeling hardcore (or have lost your sense of taste from a stuffy nose anyway) add garlic.
3. Essential oils – Some brands have brought out special immune blends such as “thieves” by young living and “on guard” by DoTerra. These can be ingested or rubbed onto the chest in a carrier oil. I also love mixing some lavender and tea tree into coconut oil and rubbing it generously onto my feet and covering with socks overnight. The soles of the feet is a great channel for absorbing essential oils. You may also like to try a steam inhalation with a respiratory blend, or oils such as lavender.
4. Dose up on immune boosting herbs and supplements such as echinacea or olive leaf extract.
5. Listen to your cravings – when you are sick your body often knows best what it needs. My personal craving when I feel like I’m fighting something is Broccoli, I am naturally drawn to it, and turns out it is a great source of Vitamin C and other immune boosting nutrients. You might find you don’t feel like eating at all – if this is the case it’s probably a pretty good idea to follow this intuition.