- Dr. Jennifer Vidmar B.Sc., Naturopathic Doctor
Catching A Healthy Immune System
Throughout the fall and winter seasons we are all exposed to numerous microorganisms that can cause colds and flu’s. Increasing your immune system through diet and supplements is the key preventative way you can ward off a cold or flu.
Most Naturopathic Treatments for cold and flu focus on assisting the body in creating efficient immune responses, in order to rid the body of the infection. The following suggestions ought be done when you are experiencing a cold or the flu.
Allow yourself to rest & relax. The immune system functions the most efficiently when the body is not experiencing stress.
Consume more liquids: water, soup broths, and homemade soups. Moist mucous membranes that line your respiratory tract help to repel infections. Keeping these tissue hydrated is very important to riding infections. You can use a vapor or have a hot bath with Eucalyptus oil.
Avoid consumption of excess sugar. Sugar impairs the immune function and decreases the body’s levels of Vitamin C.
Avoid Dairy, greasy or fatty foods products. They tend to increase mucus production and will only worsen current cold symptoms.
Take Vitamin C with bioflavonoids. Vitamin C is effective in reducing the severity and duration of the common cold symptoms.
Zinc Lozenges. Have antiviral activity and decrease the duration of a cold. Do not use the ones that are sweetened with sorbitol, mannitol, or citric acid.
Teas: Ginger tea – will help to increase sweating and has antimicrobial activity. Chamomile tea will help to relax you and allow you to get some rest. Sage tea- will help bring down a fever and break up congestion.
As the fall & winter is approaching, now is the time to start and build your immune system for the upcoming flu season.
Dr. Jen's Favourite Immune Boosting Soup:
8 cups (237 ml) water 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil 1 onion, diced 1 bulb garlic (at least 10 cloves), minced One 1 1⁄2 inch (3 1⁄2 cm) piece of fresh ginger root grated 1 1⁄2 cups salted bone broth soup stock (or vegetable stock) 5 pieces sliced dried Astragalus Root 2 cups fresh, sliced shiitake mushrooms 1 large reishi mushroom cayenne powder, if desired Now, you can make variations. Some of these ingredients are best found at your local grocery stores or local Asian Markets.
Bring water to boil in large pot. Heat olive oil, sauté garlic, onions, and ginger until soft and aromatic. Add contents of skillet to water. Add broth, shiitake, astragalus, and reishi. Simmer covered for two hours. Remove from heat, allow to sit for two more hours. Remove astragalus and reishi mushrooms. Reheat. Add salt and pepper to taste, and cayenne powder if desired.
Effects: Onion and garlic help to boost the immune system and provide natural anti-viral & anti-bacterial effects. Bone broth has healing properties for the digestive system. Astragalus & medicinal mushrooms provide great immune boosting effects in the body. Cayenne powder will help your body sweat out toxins.
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