Your Regenerative Immune System is the Essential Key to All Diseases
With all the upsetting news of Covid19 spreading around the world, we are all experiencing some concern regarding our immune systems and many of us are trying to find ways to boost the natural defence mechanisms of our bodies to face these challenging times.
Traditional medicine recommends to avoid things that may disrupt your immune system or prevent it from working optimally, for example, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, eating foods we might be sensitive or allergic to, and so forth. Moderation is key.
Although knowing what to avoid is already a great starting point, is it also possible to boost your immune system? Alternative medicine provides many interesting solutions, ingredients and techniques to implement in your weekly routine. Different cultures around the globe have used some of these remedies for centuries.
Here is a list of the top alternative medicine remedies you can try out to boost your immune system:
Consider going plant-based
“Let the food be thy medicine”. Eating the right foods can be a great way to energize or heal your body, making sure your immune system is working optimally.
There is a huge list of benefits associated with a plant-based diet. The abundance of minerals, vitamins and fibres aids weight loss and may reduce the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. A plant-based diet is also a great way to boost immunity as it decreases inflammation, because of the high quantity of antioxidants contained in fruits and vegetables. It is also known that the immune system is strictly connected to gut-health, therefore, decreasing inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract might be an excellent way to boost your immune system, making sure it is able to protect yours from nasty viruses. Chronic inflammation can lead to the development of several diseases, including cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis and many more. This is why decreasing inflammation by avoiding processed foods and following a predominantly plant-based diet can not only improve the functioning of your immune system but also provide protection from a wide spectrum of serious diseases.
Used for centuries by different populations around the world, from the ancient Greek to the Native Americans, Sambucus, also known as Elderberry or simply Elder, is a great help when it comes to preventing colds. You can implement this juice in your daily routine, drinking a little bit of elderberry juice every day. You can also add sugar to your juice, or dilute some elderberry syrup in a glass of water or in a cup of tea. Elderberry syrup is naturally much sweeter and more pleasant for daily consumption. Elderberry juice is a great source of antioxidants and vitamins, it is not only able to prevent flu and colds, but it also reduces stress and decreases inflammation.
In ancient times, people believed this plant had magical properties and was able to protect men from evil. It was believed that Sambucus could provide protection from malignant spirits, and it was common to practise never to cut its wood or burn it, as by doing so the malignant forces absorbed by the plant would be unleashed.
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian holistic medical discipline. Its Sanskrit name means “the science of the knowledge of life”. The goal of Ayurveda is to promote the psychological, physical and spiritual well-being of human beings.
One of the fundamental principles of the Ayurvedic discipline is that each individual is characterized by a unique constitution, and each constitution falls into three categories also known as doshas. The doshas are made of five elements: ether, air, fire, water and earth. If these elements are in balance, so is your health. Any imbalances need to be treated with techniques, practises and formulations specifically crafted to balance the doshas.
Several ayurvedic formulations are known to have beneficial effects on the immune system: these preparations contain ingredients such as ghee, honey, different types of herbs, amla and sesame oil. With regards to herbs, many ingredients are known to prevent flu and infections are used in these formulations, for example, Aswagandha, Haridra (Turmeric), Brahmi, Kirathathiktha and Tulasi.
Try out Ayurvedic Self-Massage
We have explained the origin of Ayurveda and its basic principles. Now, it might also be interesting to discover some Ayurvedic practises to boost immunity and increase your well-being. It might be surprising to know that self-massage might actually help your immune system. Multiple studies have confirmed that massages are able to provide protection against sickness thanks to an increase in white-cells production.
Dry brushing, for example, is a gentle exfoliation of the skin using a natural bristle brush. This practice stimulates the lymphatic system and helps the body get rid of toxins. Aim to dry brush your entire body two to three times per week before taking a shower.
Another well-known Ayurvedic self-massage practise is self-Abhyanga, a full body massage using warm oils. You can do this once a week to decrease anxiety and stress. Self-Abhyanga is a very nurturing and grounding treatment, an act of love for your body and a very helpful practise to get rid of toxins. Although many dosha oils (mixing different oils and herbs) are available on dedicated websites for purchase, you can really choose any oil you like, including almond and coconut. To perform this massage, warm up your oil and massage your entire body for 15-20 minutes. Afterwards, wrap yourself up in a towel and let your body soak up the oil for 40 minutes, enjoying this relaxation time. After that, you can take a shower to allow your skin to release the toxins expelled during the massage. Perform this massage regularly to enjoy its benefits. This pampering treatment will relax your body and most likely lift up your mood too!
Immunity-boosting essential oils
Essential oils are known to have many beneficial properties, and some of them can help your immune system too. For extra protection against colds and flu, you can add some immunity-boosting oils to your massage oil or cream. Some of the best oils to boost immunity and fight bacteria and viruses are rosemary, lemon, bergamot, tea-tree and eucalyptus, but also wild orange, cinnamon and clove.
Essential oils can also be rubbed or sprayed on surfaces (along with alcohol and distilled water) to clean your living space, helping you get rid of nasty bacteria and viruses. Oils can also be diffused using an aromatherapy diffuser, providing many benefits such as improving respiratory health and treating conditions such as colds and coughs. Palo santo, lavender and eucalyptus oils are great for this purpose.
Aromatherapy diffusers are great as they help create a healthy environment and promote sleep and concentration. Essential oils can also be inhaled using steam. The pleasant smells stimulate your limbic system and improve respiratory health, working as decongestants and disinfectants.
Get an adequate amount of sleep
Our lives have become increasingly busy and chaotic: our minds recklessly move from one task to the other, and often times we ignore our body’s signals and fail to give ourselves the amount of rest we truly need. Not getting an adequate amount of sleep can dramatically affect our body’s ability to fight infections. This is why it is absolutely crucial to make sure you get an adequate amount of sleep every night.
Sleep quality is also important: Waking up frequently during the night might disrupt the quality of your sleep. Try to avoid caffeine and eat a light meal at least 3 hours before going to bed. You can also create a soothing and calming nighttime routine you can follow every night: prepare a calming tea, switch off your devices, read a few pages of your favourite book or use progressive muscle relaxation to release tension. If your body is able to rest and recharge, your immune system will work optimally and will be ready to shield yours from infections.
Stress is perhaps one of the most insidious enemies of your immune system: you might pay attention to your diet, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep, but if your stress levels are out of control, this might give nasty viruses a chance to get in your system. Stress is known to be a trigger for many diseases and conditions. It is quite easy to know what makes us feel stressed, but it is not as easy to understand what to do about it.
Luckily, there is a wide range of peaceful activities which can help us fight stress and defeat it, for example, meditation, mindfulness, visualizations and breathing exercises.
If performed regularly, these activities can help you feel more peaceful and calm, decreasing stress levels. If you have a hard time focusing or clearing your mind, you can go for a mindful walk. Walk for 15-20 minutes and pay attention to your surroundings, each little sound you can hear, the vividness of colors, experience reality with all your senses. When an intrusive thought bothers you, observe it and let it go, without judging it. This will train your mind to focus on the present moment and it will significantly improve your attention-span too! “Men’s sana in corpore sano”, a healthy mind lives in a healthy body. Once you have control over your mind, your body will follow and it will become much easier to restore balance.
We hope you enjoyed this list of alternative medicine tips to boost your immune system. If you liked this article, share it with a friend or loved one who might benefit from it.