15 DIY Immune Boosting Remedies to Help You Resist this Winter’s Viral Storm
Use these 15 DIY immune boosting remedies to prepare your body for this winter’s viral storm surge. Your health is in your hands.
In the northern hemisphere, we are heading into the dark days of winter. For many of us, this is the time our bodies are most likely to fall prey to viruses, bacterial infections, and the common cold. Before the news media starts talking about another pandemic and telling the populous to go get a flu shot there are many things you can do to improve your chances of avoiding the common cold or flu. Use a few of these DIY interventions to boost your immune system and make your body strong before the season beats you down.
Many of these things are simple. Wash your hands. Disinfect doorknobs, light switch plates, handrails, and appliance handles weekly.
There are also natural herbal remedies that you can make at home. Many of these will help your body fight both viruses and bacteria. In spite of the germ theory of disease, it’s known that people with strong immune systems do not succumb to viruses easily, while those who are weakened do. By focusing on immune system boosters, you can build resistance to the coming viral storm.
It is also known that fear and stress, weaken your immune system. Lack of sleep weakens your immune system, too. Plan a little destressing and relaxation into your daily schedule. Perhaps walking away from the nightly news, Facebook, and television could be one of the best strategies to stay healthy this season.
This list of 15 immune system boosters offers you peace of mind. Let’s be proactive.
15 immune boosting remedies
Supplements that help boost your immune system
Optimize your vitamin D levels
The Canadian government recommends all citizens begin vitamin D supplementation on Autumnal equinox and continue till mid-June when the Canadian sun is again strong enough to allow us to make adequate vitamin D in our skin, north of the 49th parallel. During the majority of the year, Canadians take 8 to 10 250 mcg vitamin D pills or the equivalent in liquid supplements each day.
Take vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and zinc
Zinc is also a potent immune booster. Lozenges are sold that combine zinc and vitamin C.
Vitamin E is another immune supporting vitamin. It is fat-soluble. Those on a low-fat diet may not be getting enough in their diet. Whole pastured eggs, organic sunflower seeds, whole milk from grass-fed animals are all good natural sources. No need to supplement unless you don’t have good natural sources of vitamin E in your diet.
Selenium needs vitamin E to work properly in your body. Flax seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin, and squash seeds are all good natural sources of both selenium and vitamin E. Grass-fed beef, lamb, chicken, and pork are also good sources. If you have lots of good sources of selenium in your diet you won’t need a supplement.
Immune boosting remedies that prevent the virus from setting up house
Elderberry syrup prevents viruses from replicating in your body. It’s easy to make elderberry syrup at home from fresh elderberries or from dried elderberries. August and September are the best times to look for wild elderberries in most regions. Once you learn what to look for you’ll see them everywhere.
Echinacea strengthens the immune system. I’ve found that often adding echinacea to other herbs can jump-start the immune system to fight an invader. Echinacea roots, leaves, and flowers are all useful for immune support. Cut the flower heads and leaves any time during the growing season to make herbal remedies. Harvest the roots in the fall, in the plants 3rd or 4th year for herbal medicine. Dried echinacea root or leaves and flowers can be found from online herb suppliers. Try adding this immune boosting elixir that included echinacea to your herbal apothecary.
Fire Tonic is a spiced vinegar and honey concoction made by infusing fresh herbs like horseradish, garlic, onions, and hot peppers in vinegar for a month. The infused vinegar is strained out of the herbs, and honey is added to create an oxymel. The oxymel is taken at the first sign of a viral infection. The warming herbs increase circulation, stimulate digestion and often kick the virus out before it has a chance to replicate.
Increase your intake of garlic and onions
Garlic and onions are potent immune boosters. St. Hildegarde in the Middle Ages recommended eating garlic and onions raw and the spicier the better. However, modern studies have shown that even cooked onions and garlic served at least 3 times a week can have a strong positive effect on health. Garlic and onions increase circulation, keep the blood from being sticky, are antimicrobial, and improve immune response. If you are in the middle of a cold or flu, chewing down a raw clove of garlic with a teaspoon of honey can work wonders, though.
Take true colloidal silver
Colloidal silver is antimicrobial and antiviral. It can strengthen the body’s natural immune response in difficult cases, where other things don’t seem to be helping. Be sure to get true colloidal silver when looking at silver products.
Increase the beneficial microbes in your gut
By eating fermented foods daily and increasing the beneficial microbes in your gut, you can strengthen your immune system to fight invaders.
Lifestyle commitments to strengthen your immune system
Reduce sugar and starches and keep your blood sugar from spiking
When your blood sugar goes up your immune function goes down. By keeping your blood glucose levels even your immune system will be working optimally.
Exercise moves your blood and your lymph. Increased circulation increases your immune strength.
Increased stress decreases immune response. Reduce time spent on social media, watching the news, and vegging in front of the television to optimize the time your body will rest and restore.
Get adequate sleep
Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Sleep heals. When you do get sick, set aside time to sleep and rest. The more you rest the faster your body will heal.
Physical barriers to help with Immune Boosting
Atomize antimicrobial essential oils into the air
Essential oils are concentrated anti-microbial that can remove viruses, bacteria, and microbes from the air.
Burn beeswax candles
Beeswax candles can be beneficial to remove microbes from the air by releasing negative ions. There is some controversy about beeswax candles and negative ions. For those who are sensitive to negative ions, burning beeswax candles is worth a try.
Wash your hands when you get home from the grocery store and keep antimicrobial hand sanitizer in the car. It really is beneficial to prevent illness.
Handwashing is one of the least expensive and more beneficial actions you can do to stay healthy when those around you are sick. When you can’t use soap and water, hand sanitizer is beneficial. You can make your own using essential oils. Try this recipe.
Mop up the microbes with thieves vinegar cleaner
Thieves vinegar is a vinegar infusion of herbs and spices known to be highly anti-microbial. (do you see a theme here?) I like to use up older spices this way. The vinegar is easy to use and the addition of cinnamon, cloves, lemon peels, and other spices makes it smell fabulous, too.
By doing these 15 things, from hand washing to boosting your immune system with elderberries and echinacea, you’ll have a good chance of remaining strong during flu season. If you do get sick though, remember to rest and give your body time to gather strength to fight it. It’s no magic trick. Our bodies are made to survive, and given enough of the right herbs, food, and rest, they will.
Pick 3 of these interventions & set them up for your own family this winter. Let us know which ones you picked in the comments below.