The immune system is a complex and fantastic body system that protects us from bacteria, viruses, toxins, and other dangerous pathogens (germs). As with many other physical processes, people often take their immune system for granted – until something goes wrong with it!
In the past, medical science primarily worked on ways of curing already-existing illness and disease, but today there is a growing emphasis on preventing illness by boosting the immune system’s strength.
Natural Remedies as Immune System Boosters
Natural and herbal remedies can provide much-needed assistance in strengthening the immune system and getting the body’s natural defense mechanisms in top shape. Holistic medicine recognizes that illness is not caused by viruses and bacteria, but by weakened immune systems.
Remember that micro-organisms like the flu virus, TB, etc. are around us all the time, but mostly we manage to resist becoming ill. Boosting the immune system naturally can allow your body to fight off infectious agents without the drawbacks of conventional medication.
There is a wide selection of medicinal herbs well known for their immune strengthening properties that are even safe for children too. Allowing the body to resolve infections without antibiotics will also help to strengthen the immune system against future attacks.
Ways to Boost Immune System
Drink your lemons. Lemon is the ideal food for restoring acid-alkali balance. Drinking freshly squeezed lemon juice in water, or adding it to tea, salad dressings (in place of vinegar), baking or cooking, helps maintain the body's internal "climate" at a pH which supports healthy bacteria instead of the viruses and harmful bacteria which thrive in more acidic environments. Apple cider vinegar is another great way to improve your body's alkalinity, but the taste of lemons is much more pleasant!
Give your body an herbal boost. Hundreds of herbal supplements and tinctures exist to give the immune system additional support during the winter. I recommend essential oils (especially my favourite winter blend, Thieves) as an excellent source of immune-stimulating compounds, and the rawest and most natural form of any medicinal plant, but there are other supplements which can be effective. Fresh herbs and whole food remedies are always preferable over packaged herbs or supplements, since they have a much higher potency and frequency and your body absorbs more of their value. See also Essential Oils Fight Cold and Flu.
Get a full night's sleep. Everybody's different: your body may need anywhere from 6 to 10 hours of sleep each night. Whatever your personal sleep requirement is, get it! Sleep has been linked to balanced hormone levels (including human growth hormone and the stress hormone, cortisol), keeping weight down, clear thinking and reasoning, improved mood, and vibrant, healthy skin.
Eat plenty of protein. Protein is a building block for a healthy body, mind, and immune system. Diets low in protein tend to be high in carbs which convert readily to glucose, spiking blood sugar and stressing the pancreas and the immune system.
Worse yet is the impact of refined white sugar. If you do only one thing to boost your immune system, eliminating sugar will do the trick. You will see noticeable results in your energy levels, weight distribution, immunity and your ability to think clearly when you break the cravings and stop eating refined sugar. Many holistic nutritionists consider sugar a drug for its impact on the human body; some practitioners are known to prioritize eliminating sugar from the diet over recommending that people quit smoking. Healthier sugars such as agave and stevia do exist, but avoid artificial sweeteners; they are even worse than cane sugar.
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