Coach’s Corner: Natural Immunity Boosters
Thanks to year-round health habits like sleep, vitamins, exercise and (for the most part) clean eating, I rarely get sick. But last week something caught me and held on tight. Luckily it didn’t last long, and I attribute that to my go-to arsenal of natural immune boosters. Here’s a few of my favorites in case you or your loved ones start to sniffle…
Studies find that zinc, when taken within the first 24 hours of cold symptoms, can help reduce the severity and duration of a cold. It’s recommended not to take on an empty stomach, as zinc can cause stomach distress for some. I personally use the quick dissolve tablets from Zicam.
Honey, especially dark-colored such as buckwheat, is believed to have antioxidant and antibacterial effects. A teaspoon in hot tea does the trick to coat and soothe a sore throat, and help move irritating mucus along. Find good quality, preferably local honey…not the one in the bear-shaped bottle that all our moms bought back in the day (or was that just my mom?)!
Doterra OnGuard and Breathe
I love essential oils (specifically DoTerra oils) year-round for a number of health and wellness uses. But when a cold has me down, my two go-to oils are OnGuard and Breathe.
OnGuard contains oils such as orange, eucalyptus, clove, and others that support immune and respiratory functions and the body’s natural antioxidant defenses. I rub on the sides of my throat, on my chest, and the bottoms of my feet. I’ll also mix one drop in a glass of water for internal support.
Breathe contains oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, and others to open up the airways and, as the name says, breathe just a little easier. It’s the natural version of that popular “vaporub” that our moms used on us when we were sick (again, just my mom maybe?). A few drops on my neck and under my nose does the trick!
Elderberry is an herb that has been found in preliminary studies to strengthen the immune system and help fight off viruses. It has a long history as a folk remedy, but researchers are now showing that a compound found in elderberries, anthocyanin, indeed helps viruses from essentially “sticking” around in our cells. More research is needed, but I always have a bottle in my fridge and take a lower or higher dose depending on the time of year and what I’ve been exposed to.
Buy high quality elderberry syrup from your local farmer’s marker or natural healthcare provider. I get mine from my chiropractor.
I’ve talked about juice shots in a previous post, but I love a small shot of any product that contains ginger, lemon, and cayenne. It’s intense, but this powerful combination of natural ingredients will give your immune system a serious jolt, together containing antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial properties and a dose of the all-important Vitamin C. I either get one fresh from my local juice bar, or use Rescue Ginger Shots, made by The Ginger People (https://amzn.to/3G1aCI3)
I’d be remiss as a health coach if I didn’t remind you of the importance of sleep when it comes to fighting the latest bug. There is a reason we are zapped of our energy when feeling under the weather. It’s our body telling us it needs more zzz’s to recover and repair. Listen to your body and prioritize sleep above all else. This is your permission to shut it all down and take that nap or sleep in. Your body will reward you for doing so with a shorter, less intense sickness!
One more note about sleep: The mineral magnesium (specifically magnesium glycinate) helps with restfulness. I take this year round, but it’s especially helpful when sick, as magnesium helps activate Vitamin D, and Vitamin D helps boost immunity. In fact, there is new research on the effectiveness of both magnesium and Vitamin D in reducing Covid19 infections.
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I am a health coach, not a doctor; please check with a qualified medical professional before starting any supplement, diet, exercise, or anything similar that I may mention.