Updated: Mar 12, 2021
Need an immune boost? With cold and flu season hitting hard, it’s important to keep the bugs at bay with these tips to strengthen your immune system.
1.Turmeric contains Curcumin, which has proven to be a potent immunomodulatory agent over the past two decades. At low doses, Curcumin has also been known to enhance antibody responses. For centuries, it has been used in folk medicine to treat many ailments. Current studies suggest that it acts as an antibacterial, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant agent.
2. Lemon, also known as the malum medicum — the "medicinal fruit", produces a large amount of Vitamin C. Taking Vitamin C regularly may help reduce the symptoms and length of the common cold. Vitamin C is recognized to be a potent antioxidant.
“A meta-analysis published in 2005 found that vitamin C reduced the incidence of colds by 50% in six trials with physically stressed participants, but that 200+mg daily had no effect on the incidence of colds in ordinary people. Regular vitamin C supplementation shortened the duration of colds in children by 14% and in adults by 8%,” according to McGill University.
Fun Fact: Do you know why British sailors were initially called “Limeys”? It originated in the 1800s when The British Royal Navy used lemons, and sometimes limes, to combat Scurvy.
3. Raw Ginger is an antioxidant-rich food. It has anti-cancer and antimicrobial potential on top of its already well-documented health-promoting features. The effects of ginger have been utilized globally to treat a wide range of diseases via immunonutrition and anti-inflammatory responses. Try combining some slices with lemon in a tea - be sure to add some local honey once it’s warm for an added benefit.
4. Garlic contains allicin, a powerful antibiotic, which is released when the cloves are crushed. Claims have been made that garlic can fight off infections by helping the body resist or destroy viruses and other microorganisms. Garlic has a long history of being used as an antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal agent.
Bonus Tip: Did you know that people have been gargling and flushing their nasal passages with a saltwater solution for thousands of years? Thanks to saltwater’s antibacterial properties and osmosis, this process aids in reducing swelling in the throat and nasal tissues. For those needing a science refresher, the high saline concentration draws fluids out of the cells through the semi-permeable cell membranes and into the saline solution. In turn, reducing any irritation in the throat and mechanically clearing the nasal passages to facilitate easier breathing. Be sure to use warm, distilled, or filtered and boiled, water and iodine-free salt.
If you have an autoimmune disorder, other underlying health conditions, or take any medication regularly then you should check with your doctor before trying any of these immune-boosting tips. This article is not intended to replace the advice of a licensed healthcare provider.