It’s the time of year for sniffles and sneezes! While there’s no magic pill to make them go away, there are many natural strategies to help ensure your immune system is functioning at its best. Between your kitchen cabinets, your bed, and some powerful herbs and nutrients, here are some simple ways to help get you back on your feet in no time.
- H20: You must have heard it a million times: drink plenty of fluids. Hydration equals health, and drinking enough water (preferably warm) will ensure your body is functioning at its best. Adequate hydration helps to thin mucus and ease its removal from the body, an important function of the immune system. (1) Avoiding alcohol, coffee, caffeinated and sugary beverages, as well as excess salt can also be supportive. Try to focus on warm water, broths, and herbal teas.
- Broth: Bone broth is all the rage right now – and for good reason. It’s packed with protein, minerals, and other immune-boosting compounds that come from the bone’s marrow. A long simmer time gives the most benefit. It can be consumed as-is by the cup, or used as a soup base, as a replacement to water when cooking grains, or to sautée veggies. (2)
- Lemon & honey: A soothing tea made with fresh lemon juice and raw honey hydrates while providing much-needed nutrients to help you heal. Honey and ginger also provide soothing support. (3)
- Echinacea: This purple-flowering plant is renowned for its immune supporting power. Using a standardized extract such as ECHINAMIDE® is one of the best ways to help ensure a strong immune system. (4,5)Pull out all the cold-busting stops with ECHINAMIDE Quick-Blast soft chews for soothing support.
- Zinc: Zinc is a great antioxidant to keep on hand for immune support. (6) Lozenges are a great option for adding up on this immune-promoting mineral as they are gentle on the stomach and easily absorbed. Natural Factors offers two delicious flavors that provide a convenient and bioavailable way to obtain this essential mineral, delivered in a base of Echinacea to boot!
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for optimal health. (7) While there are many food sources, it can sometimes be challenging to get high enough doses of this crucial vitamin through fruits and vegetables alone. Thankfully supplemental support is available in a variety of forms such as chewables, capsules, and tablets. These can easily help boost your daily vitamin C intake. Remember to start slow with vitamin C supplementation and gradually build up over time to allow for proper absorption.
- Rest: Sleep is the single most effective natural strategy for immune health. Take advantage of this forced down time to cozy up with your pillow. The world will wait while you give your body the support it needs to recover.
These strategies are a surefire way to support your immune system. They can also act as helpful preventative measures, so remember to look after yourself this season and keep a few of these natural promoters on hand.
- Randell SH, Boucher RC. Effective mucus clearance is essential for respiratory health. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2006; 35(1):20-28. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2658694/#__sec4title
- Daniel K. Why broth is beautiful: Essential roles for proline, glycine and gelatin. 2003. Available from: https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/why-broth-is-beautiful-essential-roles-for-proline-glycine-and-gelatin/
- Paul IM, Beiler J, McMonagle A, et al. Effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep quality for coughing children and their parents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007; 161(12):1140-1146.
- Goel V, Lovlin R, Barton R, et al. Efficacy of a standardized echinacea preparation (Echinilin) for the treatment of the common cold: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2004; 29(1):75-83.
- Goel V, et al. A proprietary extract from the echinacea plant (Echinacea purpurea) enhances systemic immune response during a common cold. Phytother Res. 2005 Aug; 19(8):689-694.
- Das RR, Singh M. Oral zinc for the common cold. JAMA. 2014 Apr 9; 311(14):1440-1441.
- Heimer KA, Hart AM, Martin LG. Examining the evidence for the use of vitamin C in the prophylaxis and treatment of the common cold. J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2009 May; 21(5):295-300.