How to boost your immune response and avoid viral infections



I realized the other day that I had been taking for granted my training and tools. The feeling of confidence and calm it gives me knowing I have the knowledge and effective tools I need to ensure my loved ones are boosting their immune systems was something not everyone was feeling.

Below are some of my immune strengthening tips for you to use and share amongst your family and friends.

If you need specific advice (particularly those of you who are pregnant, have weakened immune response, have post-viral syndromes, weak respiratory symptoms or who are elderly) please don’t hesitate to get in contact. I have added special Immune booster mini consults to support you with a personalized prescription, created specifically for you and your health history.

I’m taking many of my appointments over the phone or online as part of my efforts to flatten the curve. I’ve been confidently using phone or video for consultations for years so everything is set up to run smoothly.

Self care is step 1 in surviving and thriving in times of high physical or emotional stress.

Prioritize sleep, you should be sleeping at least 8 hours per night, take naps if they don’t interfere with night time sleep.

Schedule rest periods during busy days to recharge.

Reduce your stress – limit social media, be proactive and informed not fear based and worried. Remember the arts – music, dance, painting, sculpture, poetry, comedy, good books – food for the soul

Stay in touch with friends and family – calls, video chats

Stay intimate with partners – nourish the deepest parts of yourself with love, touch and contact. Intimacy boosts your immune response.

Keep your brain inspired and active – podcasts, reading, puzzles, learn a language, learn an instrument…

Spend time in nature – it has a powerful effect on your immunesystem. Now might be a good time to create a beautiful veggie and herb garden! Spend time with animals both for the stress relief and the immune boosting effect.

Gratitude. When fear or anxiety creeps in I practice gratitude. In that moment think of 3 things that your grateful for or that you love.

Remember the value of slow breathing. Slowing down your breathing rate quietens the stress response. Try 3 deep breaths with a focus on a long slow out-breath now and notice the drop in tension in your muscles. This is effective for your mental health and physical health because stress can lower your white blood cell production which is important for your immune response.

Your Immune support tools

What you eat has a dramatic effect on your immune response and general wellbeing. Remember to cook and eat nourishing foods.

Foods to encourage due to immune stimulating properties include garlic, onion, fresh herbs, (many of them are rich in antimicrobial properties), citrus (lemon), optimal protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, bone broths, electrolytes (pink salt), homemade chicken soup, broths, stews, slow cooked meals, fresh juices, protein rich superfood smoothies.

Foods to reduce or avoid are alcohol, refined sugars, processed foods and chemicals/preservatives/additives

Maintain warm/hot drinks as it appears to damage or destroy the virus from taking hold.

Eat all the colours of the rainbow every day to boost your phytonutrient levels- excellent for immune health!

Many herbal medicines have a proven immune strengthening and antiviral impact. Specific herbal medicines to support your immune system include:

Andrographis, Astragalus, Echinacea., Olive leaf, Japanese Knotweed, Isatis, Rhodiola, Elder leaf, Houttuynia, Licorice, Lonicera japoinica, Polygonum cuspidatum, Lomatium. Any of the mushrooms – Maitake, Reishi, Shitake, Cordyceps, LionsMane….


Nutrients to support a healthy and robust immune system and function

Zinc – for a general immune supportive dose. The research is showing that zinc lozenges are the most effective to eradicate the virus in the throat before it takes hold .

Vitamin C – One of your best choices to stimulate your immune response and recuce the impact of viruses in your body.. Liposomal delivery is the most effective. The chewable vitamin C preparations are a short term option only as as they will destroy your tooth enamel.

Vitamin A – for healthy mucus membranes, your first line of defence.

Vitamin D – research has shown it is more effective than other immune strategies with some showing it more effective than the flu vaccine.

Glutathione – powerful for improving white blood cell activity to fight infection.

Topical support for direct anti-viral effect

Throat gargles of pink salt and warm water morning and night. If you’re sick or think you’re about to get sick add a few drips of Thyme essential oil (dont swallow). Brush your teeth and gums with pink salt before brushing with other toothpaste. You’d be surprised by how many bugs get into your body through your gums and oral microbiome. A herbal throat spray is a super effective way to target infections in the throat.

What you can do in your community

Check on your friends, loved ones and family often.

Support the older population so they don’t have to leave the house as much Be kind. Be compassionate. Be of service. Show gratitude.

Choose to surround yourself with people who keep you calm and help you feel grounded.

Many small businesses are coming up with online options to keep afloat while people aren’t venturing out.

Keep an eye out for events on socials. Support small biz, head to your local grocer, butcher, small supermarkets, cafes, and service industries to help them through tough times.

Groups with particular needs

Pregnant women

There is little information on the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy. The number of pregnant women who have contracted COVID-19 and have subsequently delivered babies is small and the reassuring results must be interpreted with caution. That said, pregnancy is a time of lowered immune responsiveness, its best to maintain low exposure. Check doses of the above mentioned remedies especially as some are contraindicated in pregnancy. Particular care must be taken with herbal medicines. Do not self prescribe.

Breastfeeding women

Similarly to the pregnant women – check for doses and prescriptions. Do not self prescribe. Limit exposure as much as possible Practice safe hygiene even more carefully than usual. The human body does increase immune support when breastfeeding so you have a buffer. Your nutritional needs are greater then usual, this is a time to ensure your diet is excellent.

Newborns

Keep them home and away from others

Practice optimal hygiene

Breastfeed and baby wear for added protection

Keep Mummas healthy

Those trying to conceive

The Fertility Society of Australia therefore recommends that individuals who are seeking to become pregnant naturally or by way of Assisted Reproductive Technology should avoid all non-essential travel to known areas of infection and avoid contact with individuals who may have become infected or have travelled to or from an area that is known to be of high risk. This advice applies to people of all genders.

There are no changes as yet with IVF/ART however units will be testing patients in cycle, donors and staff. If you can delay your cycle it is worth considering. Stress levels are higher than usual, this is a time when you need to be in your best health.

Immuno-compromised individuals and over 60s

As this group are likely to be affected the most, it is important to consider-

Stricter adherence to limiting social contact Get professional advice to support your immune response. Spend as little time as possible in medical centres, call ahead and find the times of lowest attendance if you can’t delay appointments.


Responding to the Covid 19 Pandemic

Right now, here in Australia, and around the world its time to keep our focus on what we CAN control, what actions we CAN take to keep healthy and keep calm. There are many factors we can't control and thinking too long on whats coming next is stressful and a waste of your energy.

I hope the tips and strategies above give you a little more confidence and some positive action steps.

As always, I am available to support you and your loved ones. Immune support and antiviral remedies are some of the powerful tools and strategies I have as a Naturopath, I'm ready to share them with you! Go to my contact page for more details or book via this link if you are ready to take action. http://floralia.gettimely.com/


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CAREFULLY CURATED AND RESEARCHED ARTICLES TO SUPPORT YOU IN YOUR HEALTH AND FERTILITY JOURNEY.

© 2015 Natalie Pickering Naturopath

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