It's that time of the season....when coughs and sniffles come around, germs attack our immune system and we come down with minor or major colds or even the flu!
Sometimes it is a signal that our body is worn-out, tired from being pushed and rushed in too many directions, to accomplish too much. The immune system weakens due to stress, and gives in more easily to the daily attack of germs and viruses.
That is exactly what happened this week, the "tech-week" for my daughter's theater performance...rehearsals every evening for several hours resulted in late bedtime hours, shortened sleep time, fatigue, meals eaten on the go....we all know how it goes...
So when we all started coming down with runny noses, sneezing, fatigue and sore throats, I knew we needed to increase the natural support of our immune system! Here are a few ideas:
Simple and Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System:
Eat a whole food, clean, unprocessed diet rich in green leafy vegetables, healthy fats (avocados, coconut and olive oil, organic butter/ghee, nuts and seeds, organic pastured eggs, wild-caught fish/seafood)
Slow down and make time to sit down to eat, chew and enjoy your food
Make sure to get adequate sleep (at least 8 hours for adults and 10 for kids). If it is not possible to do so, try to fit in some napping during the day
Cut back on dairy (in general or just for the time being) as dairy increases mucus production and contributes to sinus issues and difficulty breathing
Include sufficient Vitamin D primarily from (non-dairy) food sources and sun exposure. If necessary, add a quality D3 supplement
Include sufficient quality Omega 3s (DHA and EPA) from wild-caught seafood (2-3 times a week) and a quality supplement (without the fillers!)
Increase the probiotics in your diet, preferable from food sources (fermented foods such as sauerkraut, fermented vegetables). Have at least 1 Tablespoon of fermented food with each meal. Also, add a quality probiotic for times of a weekend immune system.
Essential Oils for Immune System Support:
There are a number of natural remedies that can support the body's immune system. My favorite and easiest to use are therapeutic grade essential oils.
Diffuse OnGuard, Lemon and Clove essential oils for immune support
Diffuse Breathe essential oil blend at bedtime to help with sinus and chest congestion and breathing. Apply Breathe on chest and sinuses for relief
Apply my favorite immune blend (OnGuard, Frankincense, Melaleuca, Oregano) topically on bottom of the feet, on chest or on back of the neck 2-3 times a day during sick time
And lastly, I prepare my favorite HOMEMADE IMMUNE-BOOSTING ELDERBERRY SYRUP that we take 3 times a day when sick, or simply once a day during the season to naturally support our immune system!
If you are familiar with natural immune and cough syrups such as Sambucol, you already know how potent elderberries are in strengthening the immune system. I simply recreated the syrup using only the most necessary ingredients without additives, and costing only a fraction of the commercial products! How great is that?
Here is my recipe for this amazing natural remedy that you can prepare so easily!
IMMUNE BOOSTING ELDERBERRY SYRUP WITH ESSENTIAL OILS
Makes about 3 cups
1 cup organic dried whole elderberries (sambucus nigra)
1/2 large piece fresh ginger (about 2 inches), cut into slices
1 whole cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
3 1/4 cups filtered water
1 cup raw, unfiltered honey (I didn't have it on hand this time...at least get an organic kind)
10 drops ginger essential oil (therapeutic grade)
10 drops clove essential oil (therapeutic grade)
In a medium stainless steel sauce pan, add all ingredients EXCEPT honey and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid leaving a little crack open, and simmer for about an hour.
After an hour, turn of heat, remove lid and let cool until no longer steaming.
Using a stainless steel sieve, strain the liquid into a large stainless steel or glass mixing bowl. Press the berries with a wooden spatula agains the strainer to get the juices out as much as possible. Discard the pulp.
Once the liquid is cooled below 110F (lukewarm), stir in the raw honey with a wooden spatula until completely dissolved. Let cool completely.
Add essential oils and mix thoroughly.
When the syrup is completely cool, transfer into 2-3 sterilized, clean mason jars and secure the lids tightly. Keep one in the fridge for daily use. Freeze the rest for up to 3 months. When ready to use, transfer mason jar to fridge and let it defrost overnight.
Take 1tsp to 1Tbsp daily for seasonal immune support or 3x per day when sick.