Everyone in LA seems to be getting sick this month with sore throats, colds, and weird popping ears, so we’re sharing some of our favorite remedies and treatments - old and new - that help boost your immunity and aid a speedy recovery at this time of year.
Foods to Avoid and Foods to Nourish
Not everything we like to eat or drink is good for us. Of course moderation is a good rule of thumb, but there are some things that are better avoided once the weather cools - dairy, caffeine, sugar, and processed foods all fall into this group as they can lower our immunity.
Healthy alternatives that nourish your body, recommended by our founder, Jena, include preparing broths you can drink, using cooked garlic, ginger, and easily digested vegetables, as well as room-temperature filtered water or hot tea. If colds or infections strike, slow down, rest as much as you can and sip these warm and healthy beverages.
And if you are craving a hot chocolate, it’s super easy to make one using a dairy alternative such as unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk, cacao powder, maple syrup, salt and a little vanilla extract. We like to add a scoop of holi (mane) to ours, to help nourish from the inside out.
How Much Sleep is Enough Sleep?
Sleep used to be seen as a passive activity, but we now know that while we’re asleep the brain is engaged in a number of essential activities. Read about this and how it’s important for our health in this Hopkins Medicine article. And according to Harvard's Women Health Watch, one adverse effect of not getting enough sleep is a compromised immune system. If you don’t get enough sleep, fewer antibodies are produced, and in turn that increases your likelihood of infection. When viruses are on the attack, it’s essential to give your immune system daily rest to stay strong.
Experts recommend at least 7-8 hours every night and if you can be in bed before midnight, all the better.
Some remedies work just as well today as they have for centuries. We’d recommend having these magical ingredients in your bathroom cabinet, for when you need them most.
Dr. Singha’s Mustard bath: this traditional formula contains powdered mustard seed, eucalyptus, rosemary, wintergreen and thyme - a wonderful blend that when added to your bath helps increase circulation and oxygenation, and warms you up to help eliminate toxins effectively. Mustard can also help clear the sinuses/congestion. Another benefit is that this also helps with muscle and joint soreness and sleeplessness. We also like to use this if we're feeling a little run down or after a long trip (especially a flight) to help prevent getting sick.
Eucalyptus oil: warm bathwater with a few droplets of eucalyptus fragrance added can be bliss. Soak for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Eucalyptus oil will help to reduce swelling and relieve congestion, while the steam from the water will help to clear up your nasal passageways. Alternatively you can try steam inhalation - it’s so easy to do! Just add a couple of drops of essential eucalyptus oil to a bowl of hot water. Place your face over the bowl, then throw a towel over your head to trap the steam. The steam releases the essential oils of the eucalyptus plant, which can aid in clearing nasal congestion and inflammation related to sinus and bronchial infections.
Lavender oil: lavender is a natural antioxidant and works to stimulate the immune system, boost mood, improve sleep and fight stress. Add five drops to your bath and soak for at least 20 minutes.
Oregano oil: people have traditionally used oil of oregano for respiratory health. When used in aromatherapy, Oregano Essential Oil can boost the immune system and improve the efficiency of the respiratory tract by loosening up and eliminating any buildup of mucus and phlegm. It can also soothe throat irritation to suppress coughing fits. A couple of studies have shown that oregano essential oil kills certain cold and flu viruses in a laboratory setting. A separate study has shown that it may alleviate cold-like symptoms in people. This is another one where you can add a couple of drops to a bowl of hot water - or a steam diffuser if you have one.
Vitamin C: We all know that vitamin C can help fight colds and boost the immune system, but what if there was a version that worked more effectively than traditional capsules and powders? In this feature by Dr Will Cole, he shares his thoughts about Liposomal Vitamin C and its benefits. Liposomal vitamins come in liquid gel form and because of the unique encapsulation technology, a greater percentage of the dose can reach the part of your body where it’s needed - in this case the small intestine - meaning the amount that is actually absorbed by your body is much higher. Read more to find out about some recent studies, how it boosts the immune system and how to choose the right supplement for you.
Thorne coq10: Thorne coq10 is a dietary supplement which has been formulated to support optimal cardiovascular and neurological function and the healthy production of cellular energy. It is also great for supporting immune function.
Zinc: Your immune system needs zinc to function properly. In fact, it seems every immunological event is influenced by zinc, making the immune system especially susceptible to changes in zinc levels. Vit’all Zinc is great for boosting your immune system and to help protect your body during the changing seasons.
Methylated multivitamins: Methylated vitamins are the biologically ‘active form’ as they can be directly and immediately utilized by the body since they are more effectively absorbed into the body. When B-vitamins are consumed in a non-methylated form, they are converted into their methylated form through specific enzymes in the body. Taking a multivitamin speeds up recovery, helping with any vitamin deficiencies.
IV’s are also a great way to speed up recovery. Opt for an Immunity IV, usually comprising an infused blend of high-dose vitamin C, selenium, and zinc. This powerful trio of immuno-boosters, combined with additional B vitamins, strengthens your body's natural defenses. You can also add 500mg or 1000mg of Glutathione - this is your body’s master antioxidant, which helps bring down inflammation and clear the body of unwanted waste products.
We hope you’ll try some of these if you haven’t already and we think they’d be so good to include in a wellness parcel for your friends if they’re a little under the weather. In the meantime, eat well, sleep well and look after yourself.