With all the media attention with viruses all the practical things we would generally do in Winter for strengthening the immune system and helping with improving recovery is applicable at the moment. Even in Summer there are plenty of viruses around and with us moving from extreme heat outside to cold air conditioning inside, this can put stress on our immunity. So take care of your family by strengthening the immunity, especially with all the kids going back to school.
Make sure you and the family are getting adequate sleep. Even one nights poor sleep can lower immune function making you more susceptible to catching whatever is going around at work or school.
Adequate Vitamin C is essential for adrenal health as well as a good functioning immune system. Being water soluble it is best in divided doses through out the day. Most people can tolerate 5000mg per day and this is ideal if you have caught a nasty bug, but as a preventative 1000mg is sufficient. It is great in combination with Zinc as both have been shown to increase recovery rates and as prevention. Foods rich in vitamin C include kale, broccoli, peppers, kiwifruit, and citrus.
Medicinal mushroom are used to improve both immunity, improve energy and recovery from illness. Shitake mushrooms added to soups during illness or mushroom tinctures and powders can be added to foods or drinks.
Oils can be used in a diffuser, sprayed throughout the home or used topically. Many of our essential oils are anti-bacteria and anti viral and are so easy to use. Tea tree, oregano, thyme, lemon and eucalyptus are not overly expensive and can be used daily.
Vitamin D is essential for a healthy immune system. Many people are low in Vitamin D due to long hours working indoors, over use of sunscreens, lack of sunlight or poor conversion into its active form. A blood test is the best way to see if there is a deficiency. In addition, foods rich in vitamin D include wild-caught fatty fish and pasture-raised (organic) eggs.
A diet that is full of whole foods, bright coloured fruit and vegetables and reducing all processed foods and sugar. High sugar and processed foods are devoid of nutritional value and increase inflammation which leads to poor immune function. Add garlic, onions, tumeric and ginger to foods. Add fermented foods or a probiotic for a healthy gut as well.
Echinacea, Elderberry and Andrographis are herbs traditionally used in acute infections. Decreasing fever, reducing cough and having anti viral properties to them to help decrease the viral load and spread which will overall help in recovery and prevention. Also don't forget raw honey and lemon tea.
As with all infections hygiene is imperative. Washing hands with soap and water, not sharing drink bottles, and staying away from people if you are ill. Stay home and rest. If you do feel like your unwell then seek medical advice immediately.
In Health and Happiness