It’s still flu season in the US, although parts of the country are beginning to warm up. Even if you decided to get a flu shot, you might still catch something – a strain of the influenza virus that’s not covered in this year’s shot; a cold; or, if you’re a parent, whatever germs your kids bring home from school or daycare.
While there’s no way to assure you won’t get the sniffles this winter, there are natural remedies you can use to boost your immune system, thus lessening the likelihood of succumbing to the germs and viruses going around.
Essential oils may help to ward off colds. Mix oregano oil with olive oil and dab it on your shoulders, back, and the bottoms of your feet. You can do the same with cinnamon oil – put it on the bottoms of your feet, or hold it to your nose and breathe in the smell.
Add fresh lemon or a few drops of lemon oil to a glass of water. The acidity of lemon is said to help rebalance your body’s pH to a level in which healthy bacteria can thrive, while unhealthy bacteria will perish. You can also help rebalance your pH by adding apple cider vinegar to drinking water, putting it in salad dressing, or using it to marinate meat.
You can use homeopathy to strengthen your immune system. Interestingly, according to homeopaths, the remedy that’s best for you depends on your disposition. If you’re a Type A go-getter, nux vomica will shore up your immune defenses. Arsenicum album helps perfectionists who obsess about every detail, including their health. People who are passionate but not practical will do better with sulphur. Pulsatilla will fortify shy, quiet people who prefer to follow rather than lead the way.
There are a number of natural supplements you can take to boost your immune system. Traditional medical practitioners are still skeptical about the effectiveness of these substances; there is ongoing scientific research into whether they really heighten your ability to fight off disease. These supplements include aloe vera, Echinacea, garlic, ginseng, and licorice root. Of the five, garlic is turning up the most promising results: it appears to have a link to cancer prevention, although more research needs to be done before this can be confirmed.
If you’re allergic to ragweed, don’t take Echinacea: it’s possible you could go into anaphylactic shock. Astragalus is another immune-system-boosting supplement you’ll want to talk to a doctor before taking, as it can have dangerous side effects. It’s generally not safe for people with immune-system disorders like Crohn’s disease, lupus, multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis. Also, if you’re taking prednisone or other corticosteroids, or immunosuppressant medication, don’t take astralagus.
In addition to these remedies, it almost goes without saying that getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, taking a daily multivitamin, and eating a balanced diet will also help boost your immune system.
Originally published at GrannyMed