This past week, I had the pleasure of having an unusual symptoms which were not a cold, or other known virus my doctor had seen. But I wanted to throw most everything I know about boosting the immune system at it.
I am rarely sick – usually a cold is an annoyance for a day or two but rarely do I get a full blown cold. So this virus lasting for over a week was more than annoying and it seemed to wake me up every morning at 4:30 AM with an enlarged, inflamed lymph node on my neck, a fever with body aches and an insane need to pee (maybe from all the tea I was drinking?). I would take 2 Advil and go back to bed and sleep about 90-120 minutes.
I did not have the normal cold symptoms – no stuffy head, no cough, no chest congestion. But I did feel the fever with body aches come and go all day (for which I did take Advil regularly as needed).
Here are a list of things I did that I know boost the immune system.
- Essential Oils – This will be another video and another blog post with more details. But….
I used OnGuard on my neck several times daily and also added it to my diffuser during day. I used the OnGuard softgels internally to get an additional boost sometimes adding Oregano to a veggie cap.
Eucalyptus was perfect to clear up any congestion and it seemed I had plenty in the neck area rather than in my head and sinuses.
I also added Ginger and Lemon into my green smoothie when I finally got an appetite back a bit.
- Raw Garlic –
Usually 1-2 cloves per day keeps the viruses at bay. But when in a full blown virus, it may take 2 cloves every 4-6 hours to get a leg up on your immune system. Raw garlic is both anti-bacterial and anti-viral so it can help with all sorts of immune challenges. It is loaded with sulfur compounds which also are anti-inflammatory (and found in cruciferous vegetables like brussel sprouts, broccoli and cabbage – few of which you will want to eat when you feel sick). In the raw form, it can also boost T-Cell numbers in your bloodstream – more fighters against your virus – yeah!
Here are a few more examples of the anti-bacterial properties of garlic.
NOTE: To lessen the bad breath, eat some raw parsley leaves which are also anti-inflammatory 🙂
- Sleep !
Not that is less important than the other 2, but it is important. Listen to what your body needs. It repairs when it sleeps. It fights best when sleeping rather than working. Stay home for a day or two. Sleep when you need to. Turn the alarm off and if you have to like I did – take an Advil PM so you can sleep thru the night. This is one of the reasons NyQuil works so well – the anti-histamine knocks you out so you can sleep and recover faster.
Too many of us want to keep going at our lightening speed paces…..but it is best to allow yourself to rest so the body can recover faster.
- Sweat a bit!
I tried to just do yoga a couple of days. It did help, especially doing a kundalini type of class. I love my yogatoday.com website where I can choose immune boosting and detox classes and they do include kundalini!
But I did find riding my bike on the trainer in the basement to sweat a bit was most helpful. No fan either. I did this every morning, with less intensity than usual and just enough intensity that I would sweat but not be breathing too hard or be out of breath. I could only do short intervals, too of 1-4 minutes most of the days with needing to alternate in and out of the saddle more and decrease the usual resistance or my muscles would ache – which would indicate I was pushing too hard! (which would tax the immune system not allow it to work a bit better!).
So find the movement you need to do that is a bit exhilarating but in no way draining for maybe 30-45 minutes just to get you to sweat but not to be dying!
We athletes tend to think we need to train…all..the…time! Not when your immune system is fighting a virus! Anything more than a recovery workout is probably too much.
- Drink plenty of fluids!
Your body needs to b hydrated, too to boost the immune system. Get dehydrated and you may develop a few other symptoms that make you feel worse – nausea, fatigue, headache. I spent most of the days drinking tea with a touch of honey and often added some fresh ginger and turmeric for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Water helps to flush out the toxins but in winter, water is not appealing which is why I like herbal tea. If you had manuka honey, that is supposed to be an immune boosting honey. But I am not sure I would put it into my tea at that price. I just use regular honey which is naturally anti-inflammatory too.
When you are fighting a virus, it is best to do what you can to boost the immune system naturally, and listen to what the body needs. Try not to push yourself at your regular pace as the body will only make your feel worse so you slow down more. There are probably other things to do, but start with these basic tips to boost the immune system and you can recover faster with less severe symptoms than your friends and family.
If you are having challenges with keeping your immune system running at its best, schedule your 15 minute call so we can discuss your situation. Together we can determine what customized program is best for you so you can be healthy more often! Or I can provide insight as to where to start on your journey back to health….more often!