Diving Deep with Immune Health Hacks

Diving Deep with Immune Health Hacks

Claire Porter

Featuring Sore Throat Soother Honey

As the days get shorter and temperatures drop, cold and flu incidences climb. Why not take a few preventative steps this year to lower your chances of crossing paths with a pathogen and not responding so well? Keep your immune system strong and vigilant with these simple hacks and you’ll be ready to celebrate once the winter holidays arrive!

Here are 7 Health Hacks You Can Try at Home 

1. Add Mushrooms to your coffee (and join the new trend!) or find other ways to incorporate maitake, shiitake, turkey tail or reishi mushrooms into your diet. As it gets cooler, mushrooms taste great in soups, stews, or cooked with grains in an Ayurvedic dish called congee. All of these fungi have anti-viral properties that can ward off colds and flus, as well as bioactive compounds that stimulate the immune system. Ideally, start taking them in early fall before flu season begins and continue through winter. 

2. Try Astragalus, a mild tasting Traditional Chinese Medicinal herb that also boosts immunity, building white blood cells and increasing their activity, thus bolstering your resistance to viruses and bacteria – especially if you combine this herb with reishi. Take a daily dose of the two in a tea or in a supplement throughout the cooler seasons. Or, include Astragalus in the same soups and stews as mentioned above and eat it on a weekly basis to help the whole family get through the holidays without an outbreak.

3. Consider Supplementing with a multivitamin that contains B6, folic acid, copper, zinc, and Vitamin C. While making sure to stock your fridge or pantry with lots of fresh fruits and leafy green vegetables, supplementing your diet can ensure you’re getting enough of these powerhouse vitamins that are specific to immune function as they’ve been shown to reduce the severity and duration of colds and flus in several European studies while also increasing immune cell responsivity. Just be careful not to overdo your daily zinc intake! No more than 8 to 10 mg a day and no longer than three months in a row.

4. Chicken Noodle Soup isn’t just a folk remedy that your grandmother stood by. Not only will the hot liquid soothe a sore throat or calm a raspy cough, but the broth is full of electrolytes which replace vital vitamins and minerals plus fluids you may have lost if you are feverish or otherwise ill. Chicken is also rich in an amino acid called cysteine which reduces and thins mucus secretions and helps prevent the colonization of harmful bacteria or viruses, especially in the lungs.

5. Regulate your Circadian Rhythms as research shows that sleep-deprived people produce fewer virus-fighting cells. This affects not only how easily they get sick but how long it takes for them to recover once they are sick. Establishing a regular bedtime routine (basically going to bed and waking up at the same time every night and morning, even on weekends), creates a robust circadian rhythm, which your body prefers. Herbs such as valerian root, hops, wild lettuce, or skullcap can help you relax and unwind at the end of the day or in the middle of the night if getting a full night’s sleep is a challenge. 

6. Sweat it out in a Sauna because medical research on German saunas reveals that even a brief half-hour sauna session can increase the number of lymphocytes, neutrophils, and basophil cells (all cells related to immunity) that were reported in the white blood cell profiles of sauna users. Finnish studies concur, reporting that regular sauna use leads to a 30% less chance of getting ill. And what a perfect place to hang out during frigid temperatures! So, reach for a towel and some water and get ready to warm up while your body builds its immunity naturally.

7. Sore Throat Soother Infused Honey is another great tool to have on hand in your medicine cabinet. This locally collected honey is infused with herbs that coat the throat in soothing, sweet flavors including Wild Cherry Bark which calms coughs, Licorice Root and Marshmallow Root that coat sore or scratchy throats, Coltsfoot which is an expectorant as well as an antispasmodic, helping to calm coughs as well as expel mucus. Sore Throat Soother also contains Echinacea which helps build up white blood cells and increases immune cell activity as well as Yerba Santa and Sage to help dry out a wet cough and finally, Red Clover Blossoms to drain swollen lymph and cleanse the blood. This infused honey is not your typical sweetener! Loaded with medicinal herbs, it will stop a cold in its tracks and get you feeling back to normal in no time!

The best colds and flus are the kind you never get, so I hope these preventative tips help you and your family's immune systems stay strong as we enter the cold and flu season! 

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