The Covid-19 virus has induced widespread alarm and left many asking, “How do I prevent myself from catching it?”. The CDC recommends three simple rules: Avoid going out, wash your hands, and refrain from touching your face. Basic stuff. While easy to follow in theory, the reality is much more difficult, almost everyone will have to go out at some point whether it be for a personal or professional obligation, a grocery trip to restock, or visiting a loved one. We all have lives and their unique responsibilities do not always fit into the CDC recommended guidelines.
The good news is that you have more than three ways of protecting yourself from Covid-19. Avoiding the disease is only half the battle. If and when you come into contact with the virus, your immune system will be your best friend. A healthy immune system not only will lessen the likelihood of you catching Covid-19, but it may also ensure that if you do catch the virus it will only be a mild case rather than a life threatening event. While no replacement for simple avoidance of exposure, a boosted immune system is your second line of defense and building up a healthy one should be your top priority.
Kellee is a devoted advocate of natural remedies, and has experimented with many options after becoming a mother and dealing with all the early childhood illnesses her children endured. She does so through thorough research and guidance from her community of naturopaths and herbalists. While her recommendations have proven helpful for her and her family, please note she is not a medical doctor and you should always discuss serious health concerns with a licensed MD. Fortunately the recommendations below are simple, safe, natural ways to boost your immune system to prevent illness.
Can’t go wrong with the classics. Vitamin C plays a vital role in our health, our body relies on it to develop and repair body tissue, form collagen, maintain the immune system, and heal wounds. In addition to serving its own purpose, vitamin C is also necessary for facilitating the absorption of many other vitamins including iron and vitamin A. It’s also a relatively safe vitamin to take in high doses. The general recommended dose is 100 mg for the average healthy person, when sick a dose of 2500-5000mg or more may be administered every three to four waking hours for 2-3 days. It is difficult to actually overdo Vitamin C, and any that you take that is not absorbs will be excreted. To prevent illness, a heavy dose of a 500-1000 mg supplement will keep your immune system in tip top shape. In addition to providing benefits for maintaining health, it is also a powerful antioxidant. Preventing the formation of free radicals, it can improve long term heart health, reduce signs of aging, and prevent Alzheimer’s. Pandemic or not, fitting a healthy amount of vitamin C into your diet is always a good idea.
The lymphatic system is a network of organs and tissue that play a role in removing waste, toxins, or other unwanted byproducts and transporting lymph, a fluid rich in white blood cells, around the body. Our lymphatic system is not always moving though, it can be sluggish or stopped up during times of rest such as waking up in the morning or after sitting for a few hours. Getting your lymphatic system moving is simple, drink plenty of water and move around. Light exercise or jumping can get the system moving, delivering white blood cells to various parts of the body and flushing out toxins. Another helpful tool is a lymphatic massage, stimulation of the lymphatic system through the skin. Keeping your lymphatic system moving is an easy and helpful way to prevent a build up of toxins and improve immune health.
Elderberry has long been used by Native Americans for treating infections, and for good reason: It is packed with immune system boosting nutrients. In ancient Egypt they even used it for burn healing and improving complexion. Elderberry has also been shown to decrease the severity of cold and flu-like symptoms. The reason for this lies in its composition: It is chocked full of vitamin C, dietary fiber, phenolic acid, and flavonols. Fiber helps to improve digestive health and while phenolic acid and flavonol are both powerful antioxidants, the latter also acting as an anti-inflammatory. A study of 312 air travelers who were given elderberry syrup and contracted a cold or flu displayed less severe symptoms and decreased duration of illness. In addition to this, another study in which 64 patients took elderberry lozenges for two days showed significant improvement in headache and nasal congestion in only 24 hours. As a side-note, elderberries are best eaten cooked or as an ingredient in a supplement. In their raw form they contain chemicals which can cause digestive issues, although these are burned off in their cooking process. For Covid-19 specifically, elderberries may be used as a preventative measure but should not be taken during the illness as elderberry and Covid-19 both affect the lungs. Elderberry combined with Covid-19 can cause an adverse reaction.
Also known as “kavala”, oil pulling is the process of soaking the gums in coconut oil to pull out toxins and improve gum, tooth, and immune health. Reported benefits are whiter teeth, healthier gums, and decreased bad breath. In addition to this, oil pulling has also been touted as an effective hangover cure. Coconut oil acts as an effective natural mouthwash thanks to its abundance in vitamin E which is an antioxidant that acts as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
Essential Oils containing Oregano and Lemon are helpful in relieving cold and flu symptoms. Oregano in particular serves as an effective tool in fighting a cold, it acts as both an antibacterial and an antiviral to aid in your immune system’s fight. In addition to this, it is an anti-inflammatory and can help reduce any symptoms you might already have. Lemon contains vitamin C as well, and essential oils containing it can help clear up a stuffy nose and improve a sore throat. Running a humidifier with these essential oils in it can help improve the fight against symptoms and aid in the healing process. In addition to oregano and lemon, On Guard is a helpful blended essential oil specifically made for increasing immune function. Note if you're using healthy wellness immune oils you need to switch up the oils you use daily. Once you use a certain oil daily for a week you become immune to its affects.
Zinc and Magnesium are important minerals for recovering from illness. Zinc lozenges should be taken within 48 hours of infection and continued every one to two hours until the symptoms go away. Effective use should greatly decrease duration, the reason for this is that zinc prevents viral infections from multiplying. By reducing the viral load, the remaining infection can easily be cleared up by a healthy immune system. Magnesium is involved in over 600 enzymatic reactions and is a relatively easy mineral to come by; spinach, avocado, leafy greens, and dark chocolate all contain a healthy dose of magnesium. Magnesium is critical in the functioning of the immune system, and a diet high in it will help keep the immune system robust enough to fight off outside infection.
Garlic includes manganese, fiber, selenium, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C. In addition to being highly nutritious, garlic also helps fight off illness, in one study patients who took a daily garlic supplement were 63% less likely to get a cold than placebo. A great way to administer the garlic is in a tonic combined with lemon and ginger. In addition to the benefits of lemon and garlic, stated above, ginger is a strong antioxidant that has been shown to naturally boost the immune system. It contains tons of vitamins, some of which are magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium.
Many naturopaths recommend Colloidal silver for a variety of purposes. This solution has tiny silver particles suspended in a liquid. It can be taken orally or sprayed on a wound. It is believed to have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects. It is best to avoid long term use orally, so aim to add it to your supplement routine for immune boosting support short term, or topically to help heal wounds.
Daily probiotics should ideally be used all year long, and are especially beneficial to immune system support. It is believed 70-80% of our immune system resides in our gut. That means a healthy balance of gut flora can contribute to warding off inflammatory responses in the gut. In addition to probiotic rich foods like yogurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut, a daily quality supplement of at least 10-15 billion CFU will keep your gut healthy and balanced.
ACV has many health benefits, including beneficial gut bacteria and prebiotics from its fermentation, and antibacterial properties. A great way to utilize ACV to boost your immune system is to take a daily dose of “Fire cider” which typically includes immunity helpers like ACV, garlic, ginger, onion, turmeric, horseradish, pepper, lemon, orange, and rosemary (Kellee’s favorite is by Dancing Willow Herbs, but you can certainly make your own at home!)
ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops is an all natural mineral concentrate that contains naturally occurring ionic trace minerals from the Great Salt Lake with 99% sodium removed. Trace minerals are the catalysts for all the vitamins and other nutrients your body uses for developing and maintaining good health. In addition to helping your body process all of the other vitamins and minerals your body consumes, like Magnesium, trace minerals will help balance your body’s pH, and replenish electrolytes.
These tips can keep your immune system strong and can be practiced year round, anytime! Once you establish a long term health immune system your health will benefit, whether it's fl season or the pandemic we are currently experiencing.
Again, always seek a medical advice from professional, but if you find yourself with a virus or cold with no options for medical intervention, adjusting the supplements to suggestions below may reduce the duration and intensity of the illness.
Hopefully you don’t find yourself very ill if you prepare your immune system with all of the simple natural suggestions above!
The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.
A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!
Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.