Integrative Medicine Blog
4 Ways to Stimulate Your Immune System
Recommendations to help stimulate your immune systems for prevention and or healing.
As we know this is the season for a range of viral and bacterial infections to flourish, and you may be asking yourself how to keep yourself and loved ones from “catching” any extra friends this season. Or you may be like many people currently that are finding themselves in a perpetual rotation of sickness after sickness. The following are all options to stimulate your immune system to either prevent or heal these infections naturally.
Good Hand Hygiene
First and foremost, it would be negligent to not at least mention good hand hygiene. This includes using sanitizer when out and about touching shopping carts, door knobs and other contaminated surfaces when unable to use soap and water. Good Hand hygiene (washing 20 seconds at least using good friction) is your first line of defense; also it is important to keep your hands away from mucous membranes such as mouth and eyes.
The second support that many people disregard is essential oils in the assistance to fight bugs and viruses. Essential oils have been studied to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties particularly when diffused (Reichling, Schnitzler, Suschnke, Saller, 2009). Using good quality essential oils topically or diffused is a really simple way to assist health. If actively fighting infection applying essential oils with a carrier oil to chest, nose, temples, and soles of feet can help with symptom management such as help the fever break, alleviate aches, pains, and headaches, or improve sinus/chest congestion.
The third treatment option is Elderberry syrup. For centuries this has been used as potent anti-viral treatment for colds and influenza. In a recent study 90% of the individuals that were diagnosed with influenza and started taking elderberry had significant symptom improvement in two days, compared to six days of individuals who did not take elderberry (Sibley, 2007). This is due to a particular protein in elderberry that stops viral replication. This can be taken a few times per week for prevention or daily when fighting an active infection.
The fourth recommendation are utilization of mushrooms such as Cordyceps, Astragalus, Reishi, or Turkey tail. There is no lacking of studies and literature on the immense benefit of mushrooms across the board for health. These mushrooms that can be taken separately or many can be found in combined supplements. These are a really powerful and potent way to stimulate your immune function, suppress viral load of illness, and help quickly clear an active illness you may be experiencing such as the flu (The Author, Oxford University, 2005).
Another factor to remember is these above mentioned options should, not negate the need and benefit of adequate sleep, quality nutrition, and maintaining gut health.
Blessings and Health,
Sierra Garrett FNP-BC
Lindequist, U., Niedermeyer. T., and Wolf-Dieter, J. (2005). The pharmacological potential of mushrooms. doi:10.1093/ecam/neh107
Reichling, Jürgen, et al. “Essential Oils of Aromatic Plants with Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antiviral, and Cytotoxic Properties – an Overview.” Dermatopathology, Karger Publishers, 3 Apr. 2009, www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/207196.
Sibley, Cate. “Elderberries: A Potent Cold and Flu Remedy .” Pharmacy Times, www.pharmacytimes.com/contributor/cate-sibley-pharmd/2017/10/elderberries-a-potent-cold-and-flu-remedy.