Boost Your Immune System

Stop Worrying About Germs and Stay Healthy

It’s that time of year!

Does your immune system need a boost? The discovery of infectious microbes was a major breakthrough for human health. A little over a century ago, infectious diseases like smallpox, typhoid, cholera, dysentery, diphtheria, scarlet fever, yellow fever, and tuberculosis (consumption) were rampant in cities across Europe and North Americas. In 1900 the leading causes of death were influenza, pneumonia, tuberculosis and gastrointestinal tract infections, not heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Improved sanitation, food handling and advances in medicine caused rapid declines in death from infectious diseases to the point that today, few people in Western civilization die from infections. The odd thing is that as the rate of infectious disease has declined, the rates of diseases related to immune dysregulation have increased.

immune system
In fact, the higher the rates of infectious disease, the lower the rates of allergies and autoimmune disease. (1) So diseases like food and respiratory allergies, asthma, eczema and autoimmune disease have displaced infectious disease as health concerns for millions of Americans. Currently, “allergic diseases are now affecting 20-40% of the population of highly industrialized, economically advanced regions of the world.” (2). Learn how you can protect yourself and build a healthier immune system in this issue of Sunshine Sharing. Some of my favorite NSP Products for supporting a healthy gut are Ultrabiome DTX, Purify and Eleven Elevated (probiotic) as well as Elderberry D3Fense for immune system support.

Some Natural Cold and Flu Remedies

Elderberry is usually found as a syrup, capsule or lozenge. It has a wonderful flavor (don’t eat the raw berries) and helps to prevent viral infections often found with colds and flus. It is best to take it when you first feel the cold or flu coming on and has been found to potentially reduce its severity and duration.

Vitamin D is well known for its effects on our immune system. It acts somewhat like an immune system modulator by increasing the activity of the white blood cells as well as providing anti-inflammatory effects. It also plays a crucial role in protecting our respiratory tract and can inhibit viruses commonly found in the flu.

Echinacea is one of the most known herbal supplements for preventing and treating colds and flus. It has demonstrated antibacterial, antiviral, and immune modulating properties that seem to enhance the body’s innate and very adaptive immune functions. Probiotics can enhance overall immune function by boosting the disease fighting cells in the body. 70% of our immune system begins in our gut and many people who use probiotics regularly, especially school aged children, find that they get colds less frequently than others who don’t regularly take them.

Other natural things you can try include:

  • Say no to foods high in sugar, ever wonder why so many people tend to get sick around the holidays. Eat lots of whole foods like greens, vegetables, and fruits.
  • I am a big believer in warm salt water gargles, nasal sprays and neti pots! The warm salt water can really help open up those sinuses and dissipate a sore throat.
  • Breathe Deep Essential Oil Blend from NSP works great in a steam inhalation, diffuser or to mix with some carrier oil or unscented lotions. To do a steam, I generally use 1-2 drops in a bowl or pot of almost boiling water and take a towel over my head while I take in a few deep breaths. Be cautious doing this with children, especially those under 10 years of age because they can be sensitive so try diffusing some instead. You can also make your own rub by combining 10-12 drops of this blend in 1 ounce of  a carrier oil like olive oil or to unscented lotion. Then apply to the bottoms of your feet at night before you go to bed.
  • Yogi Tea and Traditional Medicinals offer some teas to help you during the cold and flu season. I really like Gypsy Cold Care and Breathe Easy teas by Traditional Medicinals especially when mixed with a teaspoon of honey.
  • Sleep, Rest, Take a Nap!