As spring is finally here, the fluctuation in temperatures, change in season and precipitation and changes in natural lighting may be wrecking havoc on your internal systems, including your immune system.
A compromised or tired immune system is more vulnerable and you may find yourself feeling more tired than usual, or even contracting a cold.
If you find yourself in the latter category, here’s 6 natural ways to beat it:
- Increase your vitamin C – This is the one you are probably most familiar with, but it is true that Vitamin C is an important vitamin for healthy immune system functioning. It is required for several cellular reactions that occur as part of immune system functioning, and more than that, is actually an antioxidant. This means, that consuming adequate amounts of vitamin C, not only ensures the immune system can function properly, but also means you are able to reduce the occurrence of free radicals within the body, making less potential invaders that your immune system has to fight.
- Get into adaptogens – Ginseng, licorice root, holy basil and ashwaganda are all natural adaptogens. This means, they seek to help the body naturally adapt to its surroundings and circumstances. In the case of compromised immunity and the occurrence of a cold, adaptogens try to help the body adapt to the influx of viral invaders, as well as help the other systems of the body adapt to having to function at a lower than optimal functioning capacity due to illness.
- Get some sleep – When the immune system is working lots to fight off the cold and the viral invaders, the biggest thing you can do for it is give it rest. When you are sleeping, the immune system doesn’t have to work as hard at other components, like filtering the air you breath, or eliminating hidden pathogens in the food you eat. Instead, it can divert all of its efforts and energy to fight the cold, meaning it can eliminate it faster and you can be healthier sooner!
- Use essential oils – Peppermint, eucalyptus and clove oils are all very beneficial in helping to clear the airways and mucus pathways. Add a few drops of this to a bowl of hot water and then breathe in the steam. Alternatively, get a diffuser and use these oils to help improve your breathing. There are several other oil combinations that can be beneficial depending on your symptoms, but just be sure not to apply any of them directly to your skin.
- Boost your gut health – At the root of many illnesses is poor gut functioning. This essentially translates to either an overgrowth of bad bacteria, or not enough healthy bacteria. When the gut is out of balance, it can’ t do things like produce adequate B vitamins, help in detoxifying for the digestive system and produce enzymes required for immune function, brain function and digestive function. Not only that, but an unhealthy gut is another component of the body that the immune system has to try to help out, and this means it can’t focus all of its energy on fighting and eliminating your cold.
- Build up your immune system – Drink lots of water, eat immune healthy foods like leafy greens, carrots, citrus fruits and kiwis. Stay away from dairy, as this clogs the mucus pathways of your body, which are the main areas of elimination for the immune system. In addition, focus on your lymphatic system, exercising regularly, spending time in a sauna or taking an Epsom salt bath to facilitate the movement of lymphatic wastes, including those from fighting a cold!