‘Tis the season to be stuffy! Keeping yourself and your family healthy during germ season is not easy. It can add stress to a season that should be peaceful and joyful! How can you boost your immune system?
I will preface this by saying that I am not a doctor, nor do I play one online. I am just a mom, a mother with three kids. These three kids go to school, play with friends, do extracurricular activities, and are exposed to many germs. My older two kids were sick so much in elementary school. Seriously, in kindergarten, they had something every month, and they were the healthy kids in the class! It was all your typical colds, sometimes strep, sometimes a stomach bug, but thankfully no major illnesses. I am not a medicine-taker, due to my allergies, and only take a drug if I would die without it. Also I am not a big medicine-giver. My kids have never had cough medicine, and I only give them medicine if there’s nothing else we can do to get them better. I began researching ways to strengthen their immune systems because I was tired of the snot!
Since we’ve been using/taking/eating/doing the following immunity boosters, we have all felt so much better. No one has even been sick except for the first grader. I call her our weakest link 😉 but even she has only had sniffles a few times. We have been able to load her up with good stuff at the first sign of illness and prevent things from getting worse. Here is the list of what we use to boost our immune systems and stay healthy. Everyone needs extra help this time of year, especially when you’re consuming all that sugar! Do your own research and see what works for you and your family.
This stuff has been a game-changer. You’ve heard about the benefits of coconut oil, right? Well, monolaurin is derived from lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid (and saturated fatty acid) found in coconut oil (and also in human breast milk). It is the purified glycerol ester of lauric acid. Monolaurin has antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal, and antiparasitic properties, making it effective at killing the majority of what is going around. My husband, who has chronic Lyme disease, killed off two bands of Lyme (according to his blood work) over a 6-month period and all he was taking was monolaurin, vitamins, and probiotics. We are believers!
Years ago a doctor told me salt water can kill streptococcus pyogenes, the bacteria that causes strep throat. Evidence suggests that is not quite true: salt probably can, but salt water can help. But either way, gargling with salt water feels good when you’re coming down with something and it definitely helps prevent germs from spreading. Personally, I use a neti pot almost daily during germ and allergy season. The salt water rinses out any germs I may have inhaled, and it keeps everything hydrated, reducing my normal perpetual stuffiness. I love my neti pot, and occasionally my family will use one too.
This is not the processed honey you get at the grocery store. Buy local honey from a farm or market near you for best results! Honey has antibiotic and antifungal properties and we have always used it to fight sore throats and in place of cough medicine with great success.
Oh garlic, how I love you! I eat a lot of garlic this time of year, so don’t get too close! I just feel better when I eat it. My kids aren’t huge fans, but I put some in most of the dinners they eat. Garlic is an antibiotic and it is good for your heart. Studies have linked it to decreased risk of various types of cancer. Garlic’s cousin, onion, is also a good immune booster. Homemade chicken soup with garlic, onions, carrots, peppers, and oregano will have you better in no time!
A few years ago I found out I was deficient in Vitamin D from a blood test. I wound up doing a lot of research on Vitamin D because, due to my allergies, I can’t take any supplements for it. You should get your vitamin D level tested because D is important and many adults are deficient. It is impossible to get enough vitamin D from food, and in most of the US, the sun’s rays don’t let us produce vitamin D from November to February (longer in northern latitudes). Therefore, virtually everyone can benefit from vitamin D supplementation during winter. It is good for your immune system, can alleviate SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and, of course, is important for your bones in helping your body absorb calcium.
There is so much information out there on the benefits of taking probiotics, I won’t even get started here. We were late to the party and began taking them after they were recommended due to Lyme disease and allergy issues. Because we were already feeling better when we started I can’t say if they have helped us a great deal. But then again, maybe they are what’s behind our continued good health.
Apple cider vinegar
My kids run when I get this stuff out. They hate it, so I only give it to them occasionally. It kills harmful bacteria and has so many other benefits that I think it’s a must for good health. I even put a little in the chickens’ water once a week or so because it’s good for them. The only way my kids will take it is if I make a “shot” for them with ACV, honey, cinnamon, and lemon. They hold their noses and pretend they’re 21. Needless to say, I’d be happy if anyone has a better way for me to get them to consume this!
Pull hair back
This may seem silly, but I have found it to be very effective with my girls. I noticed my long-haired daughter was frequently pushing her hair out of her face. Often she would touch her face while doing this or pull hair off her mouth. The germaphobe in me (I’m really not that bad. I just hate being sick and seeing my kids sick.) wondered where her hair had been, how many kids had coughed on it, and if her hands were clean as she pulled her hair away. I began to tout the benefits of ponytails, pigtails, braids, and buns to her. Soon we started putting her hair up every day for school during germ season. We have had no problem since!
Of course, without any special treatments or supplements, the simple answer to how to boost your immune system is by
- getting plenty of sleep,
- drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated,
- eating healthy foods,
- limiting your sugar, processed food, and alcohol intake, and
- spending time outside getting fresh air!
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