December 07, 2018 5 min read
Tis the season of giving... and germs are no exceptions! With 3 little girls, the winter months are filled with germ combating maneuvers (and immune system boosting!).
Here are 8 of the BEST tips to help boost the immune system (which is what is responsible for fighting off the germs) and killing bad germs.
This does NOT mean hand sanitizer-- Wash hands using soap and water. (You also want to make sure you're not using an antibacterial soap-- here's a quick video why from Dr. Ana Temple). You also want to make sure that you are using a bar that is free from harsh chemical detergents (and alcohol) that will strip your skin of it's natural bacteria and oils. A soap that is rich in oils and buttersgently removes dirt and germs but also replenishes and nourishes your skins natural protective layer! Honestly, hand washing is probably the best thing you can do! Hereis an article all about how soap works.
Confession:I was pretty hesitant to make my own at first (it sounded like a lot of work...) but once I did it once I realized it is SO EASY!!! Literally throw everything is a pot to simmer, let cool and poor thru a strainer, add honey-- DONE!!!! And man, can you pack in the goods ingredient wise (also, it is SO MUCH CHEAPER to make your own than buy pre-made!) I have a recipe I use that has been tweaked over the last year and you can find that here! (Side note: Elderberries contain flavonoids which are chuck full of antioxidant properties! That's why they are amazing to load up on when fighting off disgusting germs!)
We all know that hot liquids can relieve congestion and help prevent dehydration and any hot tea with honey is sure to and soothe an irritated throat, so ginger (amazing at fighting inflammation and also bad bacteria!!!) + honey is a sure fire win! I like to steep about an inch of fresh ginger sliced pretty thin with cinnamon (sticks or powder!) and cloves for about 10 mins in boiling water. Then I pour into a mug and add a TBLS of honey, lemon juice and drink! (easy peasy !!! and my kids love their "special tea")
*You can also add 1 cut up raw garlic clove to the raw ginger when you steep it for extra immune boost. The honey and ginger and lemon help cover the garlic taste!*
This one is tough! Especially during the holidays when there are a million things to do. But ya'll, it is so important! Sleep is the only time your brain can do "maintenance". Several studieshave shown that sleep deprivation lowers our immune function! Basically, it makes the body less efficient in dispatching white blood cells (and other natural killing cells) to fight off foreign bacteria (think germs). Adults need a minimum of 8 consecutive hours of sleep per night! 10pm to 4am are the "prime sleeping" times for your brain to maximize it's cleaning.
SO SO SO important. It basically is the key to help flush those toxins out and help your kidneys keep filtering with bad stuff out! Plus water intake helps with regulating body temperature! Try and drink at least 64oz a day!
Epsom Salt is your friend! It helps pull toxins and restore electrolyte balance. Also, this is a great time to use soaps with activated charcoalor clay-- one more opportunity to use a heavy hitter in the "toxin eviction" department! A couple drops of lemon, lavender, and eucalyptus in the hot bath water adds a soothing vapor to help open up sinuses (see the 8th tip on more essential oil uses). A bath bombis an amazing addition-- good oils and butters, already mixed together. I also add magnesium flakes to the bath to help replenish all the magnesium that is used when fighting off germs and that your brain is using to try and continue to build neurotransmitters. Fun Fact: Magnesium is essential in breaking down Vitamin C-- and vitamin C is great at activating blood cells which carry white blood cells (which fight and kill the foreign bacteria!). Make sure that you are drinking water while enjoying your detox bath in order to stay hydrated!
I think this one is the most soothing for me! I have even been known to fill a sock with rice , tie a knot at the end of the sock and microwave while on vacation and feeling achy! I love using a heat pack on my sinuses and back of my neck when fighting sinus headaches/pressure headaches. (**Protip- only heat for 45 seconds at a time. You don't want a burnt rice pack...trust me ;) **)
Diffusing oils is a great way to help purify the air and combat air born germs! We love doing a blend of eucalyptus, lemon, birch, lavender, and cinnamon oil. Because diffusers vary greatly, I wouldn't recommend a blanket recipe, BUT remember a couple drops of oil go a long way :) We also use roller balls of high grade essential oils (so skin safe!) diluted in a carrier oil (so I will fill a roller ball 2/3 full of avocado oil, jojoba oil, or olive oil and the the last 1/3 will be Essential oils). I love a rollerball of peppermint, lavender, and lemon. If you want to read more information with regards to the specific properties of Essential Oils, let me know in the comments! And check out this article by Natural Living for more benefits of diffusing essential oils.
It is important to note that these 8 tips are so effective at HELPING your body FIGHT! You want to remember that it's not an instant, one time fix! Most of these tips are simple, but they should be put into effect with a sense of commitment-- Set a timer for every 3 hours and take a TBS of elderberry syrup. Pour 64 oz of water into water bottles at the beginning of the day to make sure you're aware at how much you're drinking. Start winding down for bed an hour earlier than "lights out" time with a detox bath. Drink lemon ginger tea with every meal. Isn't it funny how natural solutions are usually simple (and have very little side effects!) but they do require consistency!
(*remember, Essential Oils are potent --which is why we use them! -- so they should be diluted when put on skin and used conservatively. Also, these are tips to help alleviate cold symptoms, strengthen the immune system and create a hostile environment for germs to grow in. This is NOT medical advice, nor are these tips approved by the FDA*)
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