How To Make Your Immune System Stronger

Dr. Helena Gough
By Dr. Helena Gough April 16, 2020 08:47

How To Make Your Immune System Stronger

In times of great uncertainty, it is more important than ever to keep a close eye on your immune system. Challenging situations inevitably bring with them stress and anxiety that can deplete the body’s natural reserves of energy and have a negative effect on our immune system. This is especially so when potentially threatening illnesses are part of the wider picture.

The immune system plays a vital role in fending off harmful pathogens such as viruses and bacteria, so keeping it in good working order should be one of our top priorities.

The first line of defense in protecting our immune system is to choose a healthy lifestyle, and to remind yourself of this choice on a daily basis! We’ll look at a range of simple, adaptable, health-boosting ideas that will help you to do this no matter what the situation.

Look To Antiviral Herbs

Nature provides an abundance of herbs that are tailor-made to support our immune system.

  • Echinacea. Renowned for boosting the immune system, echinacea contains polysaccharides that enhance the production of white blood cells.
  • Garlic. Garlic acts as an antimicrobial and a decongestant and is a tonic for the immune system.
  • Oregano. Oregano distilled into oil is a powerhouse of scientifically proven antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Ginger. Ginger is a potent decongestant and a traditional remedy for fevers.

Related: Homemade Fermented Honey Garlic

Introduce Wild Edibles Rich In Vitamin C

On average, wild plants contain more minerals and nutrients than thee domesticated relatives of theirs that we are so accustomed to eating.

Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins for maintaining a strong immune system, and as it is not produced by the body it needs to be provided by what we eat. Here is a selection of commonly found wild plants that are high in vitamin C.

  • Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale). A good addition to soups or cooked greens
  • Lamb’s Quarters (Chenopodium album). Another good ingredient for soups or cooked greens.
  • Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) and Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea). Make a tea by steeping a heaped tablespoon of needles per cup of hot water.
  • Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiollata). Use this pungent herb as a garnish or in salads.

Related: 79 Edible Flowers in North America (with Pictures)

Eat A Healthy & Balanced Diet

Making good food choices is one of the most obvious ways that we can support or deplete our immune system.

  • Avoid sugary, refined and processed foods. These encourage inflammation and place stress on our immune systems.
  • Choose ingredients rich in zinc. Zinc is a classic immune-boosting mineral. It is found in abundance in grass-fed lamb and beef, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, and pumpkin seeds.
  • Support your gut with fermented foods. Sauerkraut and kefir are loaded with beneficial probiotic bacteria.
  • Eat organic and local. Avoid taxing your immune system with the remnants of toxic herbicides and pesticides found in industrially produced food. As far as possible, source your food from organic growers and local farmers who take a natural approach.

Related: How To Make Sauerkraut – The Most Effective Probiotic

Take Gentle Exercise

Making exercise a part of your daily routine is essential for improving cardiovascular health and maintaining optimal weight.

Exercise also promotes good blood circulation and brings fresh supplies of oxygen to the cells of your immune system. In the long run, anything you can do to maintain good overall health will give the immune system a stronger position from which to operate.

At a minimum, take daily walks or bike rides and stretch your body regularly. Seek out simple aerobic routines or yoga classes online if you want a more structured approach to exercise. Remember that over-exercising or pushing yourself too hard will be interpreted by the body as stress.

For this reason, it is best to keep your routines within a framework that you are accustomed to and make any adjustments to your exercise patterns gradually.

Get Plentiful Sleep

Sleep is key to the optimal functioning of our minds and bodies. Many of us constantly run on empty, with caffeine habits masking our true levels of exhaustion. Look at your night-time routine and consider if you can make improvements with the following measures.

  • Avoid stimulants close to bedtime. Caffeine or nicotine will disrupt your ability to sleep properly through the night.
  • Stay away from rich and spicy foods in the evening. These can cause indigestion that makes it more difficult to fall asleep.
  • Maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Going to bed at the same time helps the body to establish a regular sleep-wake cycle.
  • Limit screen time before bed. Screens emit a stimulating blue light that tricks our brains into thinking it is still daytime.
  • Choose relaxing activities for at least an hour before bed. Meditation, reading or a taking warm bath are good options for sending our system the message that it is time to wind down.
  • Ensure that your bedroom is dark, quiet and not too hot. The recommended temperature range for comfortable sleep is 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Dr. Helena Gough
By Dr. Helena Gough April 16, 2020 08:47
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  1. Spike April 16, 17:02

    Some herbs like Echinacea and Elderberry can actually contribute to a Cytokine Storm which is likely the cause of death from Covid. I’ve read to immediately stop taking these herbs at first signs of a serious virus like this. Herbs that modulate the immunity response like Olive Leaf Extract and Ginger are important once you have the virus.

    Reply to this comment
    • Elaine April 16, 19:54

      Stephen Herrod Buhner has a book out on antivirals that is superb. It explains the cytockine storm and tells all kinds of things you can do at different times of a viral illness to help. He says that with the ginger you HAVE to use freshly made ginger tea from ginger root; that powdered ginger (in capsules) is worthless. But he is a huge proponent of making ginger tea. He also talks about the elderberry and echinacae, and many different herbs to take. he also says that if you catch it IMMEDIATELY, when you FIRST feel the tiniest bit of scratchy throat or cough, that if you take the homeopathic oscillowhatever it is (I can NEVER remember that name, but you can find it, I think it is made by Boiron), and take it every 6 hours I think it is 3 times a day for 2 or 3 days (I would go with 3) that it will take the illness away and you wont have to worry with anything else. I have actually had something two different times in the last 5 weeks, and I took them like he said and it immediately went away. I have a whole jar of them in my house so anybody knows where to grab if they start feeling ill. Also in my purse and in the cars (just in case).

      Reply to this comment
  2. Ched April 16, 19:09

    Thank you for sharing that article about ginger ginger is a real incentive thing on it helps a lot with our abune system very appreciated of yosher in this article

    Reply to this comment
  3. ronnie April 16, 20:08

    very interested in this information

    Reply to this comment
  4. Clergylady April 16, 23:27

    I use the most of the things listed. I often sip hot ginger tea or add thin slices ginger to my cup with a tea bag then pour in the boiling water. To get the best flavor from the ginger let it sit 15 minutes.
    A few slices of ginger and a couple of sprigs of fresh mint are a pleasant combination along with a bit of Henry.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Sabel April 17, 02:02

    Clergylady – Not wanting to get too personal here, but what – or who – is Henry? Is that a Bourbon I’m not familiar with? Or is it (he?) you significant other? 🤔

    By the way, I have discovered that Jim Beam Bourbon comes in a Honey infused flavir. Works GREAT as a cough suppressant. I caught something last year and couldn’t get rid of the cough for a few weeks, i would wake up in the middle of the night, coughing with that tickle in the throat. Just a sip or two, not even a shot, of that Honey Bourbon got rid of the cough and relaxed things enough to get back to sleep right away.

    Grandpa always said it would cure whatever ailed you.

    For many years, I have relied upon a mug of hot tea with honey, lemon juice and about a teaspoon of Bourbon to help me kick colds and flus. Now, I don’t even have to bother brewing the mug of tea. 🤒

    Reply to this comment
    • Clergylady May 9, 16:49

      Lol. Henry seems to be auto spell for honey.

      I think country kids with their comfortable exposure to playing in dirt, being around animals, and maybe if thirsty sharing a drink from a stock tank or a pet bowl goes a long way in building immunity.

      Reply to this comment
    • Clergylady May 9, 16:58

      Grandma hated alcohol. ( grandpa was a cruel mean drunk.) But she kept a half pint of whiskey with a stick of rock candy in it and another with hard pepermints in it. That was medicine. Rock candy to break a fever and pepermints for cough syrup.

      Reply to this comment
  6. LA April 19, 00:19

    One thing people need to know is that it is very possible to get TOO much zinc. I heard one doctor say on a major news channel that a new symptom of COVID that her patients have reported is “tingling or buzzing in the lower extremities” and that symptom is what I had due to excessive zinc intake.
    Zinc is in some iodine formulas, many elderberry lozenges and syrups, cold formulas, many calcium formulas as well as multivitamins.
    Do your research, find out the max daily dose of zinc for your age and gender and do NOT exceed that limit. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.
    I have been off the excess zinc for a week and I still have the tingling although it is greatly reduced now, thank goodness.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Ched April 19, 15:06

    We also could make ginger tea. I shall I sing up the ginger and boiling in water

    Reply to this comment
  8. RonC May 9, 16:31

    I think this article is very good and gives many excellent suggestions on how to keep yourself healthy and alleviate symptoms, but I think it is missing the point. Your immune system is built up by interacting with its environment. Simply put, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

    Reply to this comment
  9. City Chick June 19, 21:29

    Keep reading reporting in overseas EU news about the importance of having a healthy level of Vitamin D3 if you live in northern hemisphere or are not able to get out and about to soak up some routine sunshine. Apparently they find that older folks in particular do not get enough Vitamin D3 and that it appears to help support immunity against seasonal flu, pneumonia’s and CoVid19. Check with your doctor to see if you need to boost your level of D3.

    Reply to this comment
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