Oh man, when this time of the year rolls around, all I want to do is hide in my house and hope the germs don’t notice me there, cowering under my covers. But no, there are holiday gatherings with lots of hugging and nearly every activity we do here in Montana is indoors between December and March. So the germs are lurking in every nook and cranny, just waiting to pounce! But the best defense is a good offense, so here are my favorite ways to build my immune system to stay naturally healthy during cold and flu season.
Eat your fruits and vegetables. Noooooooooooooo, you say. Yes. Do it. Whole foods provide a significant amount of vitamins and minerals our bodies need to ward off the dreaded germs. I like to keep a bowl of fruit on the middle of my kitchen island so every time I wander by, looking for a snack, I’m met instead by oranges and bananas and avocados and apples and….you get the point. And as they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
Drink lots of water. I know, that sounds boring too. But you know what helps me drink more? We got a SodaStream years ago and instead of using it to make soda, we use it to make sparkling water, which I love! In fact, if you love LaCroix, give this a try. You’ll save a bunch of money and a few drops of essential oils in your SodaStream water will taste just like it (or maybe even better). I swear!
One small note – not all oils are safe for ingestion, which is why I use Young Living. I know exactly what’s in those little bottles of plant essences. Also – never put your essential oils into plastic containers, they will corrode the plastic and it will leach into your drinking water. Always use metal or glass containers.
Wash your hands. For at least 20 seconds. Wash in between your fingers, with soap. That being said, most soap you’ll find in bathrooms out in the world isn’t good for us either. It’s usually filled with toxic chemicals and skin irritants. I use Young Living’s Thieves Foaming Hand Soap at home and carry little bottles of Thieves Waterless Hand Purifier for when I’m away from home. With an aloe vera gel base and Peppermint and Thieves essential oils, it smells great, moisturizes my skin, and dries quickly while naturally supporting my immune system. Yeah, it’s awesome.
Get some exercise. If this means you go to the gym, then do that. That’s not what this means for me – I hate the gym! But try to put my winter boots on and go for a walk outside as many days as I can each week. For winter walking, I have to put the Yaktrax on my boots so I can walk without worrying about slipping on the ice, but that means I can get out and enjoy some fresh air pretty much all winter, unless we got a huge dumping of snow and the plow hasn’t arrived yet, which definitely happens around here sometimes!
A splash of Apple Cider Vinegar. My husband is better about doing this every day than I am, but ACV boosts your immune system with some serious Vitamin C, fiber and natural acids and will also cleanse your lymph nodes while helping to break up congestion if you do get hit by a bug. He’ll just take a quick shot of it, right out of the bottle (I let him have his own bottle just for this purpose, ha!) but if you’d like to mask the taste a bit, add it to your fizzy water or tea with some lemon and honey and be sure to use an organic and unfiltered brand like Bragg’s so that you get all of the therapeutic benefits.
Make some elderberry syrup. You’ve probably heard of it, but have you made it? It’s literally the easiest thing to do and you can make a big batch for the entire winter. Elderberries are rich in Vitamins A, B and C and are a traditional cold and flu remedy that’s been used for hundreds of years. Elderberries have high antioxidant activity and the bioflavonoids and other proteins in the juice of the berry destroy the ability of a cold or flu virus to infect a cell. So yeah…you need it. Take a tablespoon every few days in the winter when you’re feeling good and every few hours when you’re not, or just mix it into your yogurt or oatmeal for a tasty (and healthy) treat. As a bonus, you can add essential oils after the syrup has cooled to make your recipe super potent. Try Thieves, Nutmeg, Clove, Ginger, Cinnamon Bark, and/or Frankincense.
If you’re not lucky enough to have an elderberry tree in your yard, you can grab organic elderberries here and juice jars to store the syrup in here.
Use essential oils. I mean, yeah…duh. But use them every day while you’re healthy to help boost your immune system. They will definitely give you a helping hand when you realize you’re going down, but they work so much better if you’re consistently using them all the time. I make up an immunity roller that I keep on my nightstand. I swipe it along the arch of my foot before bed at night and right before I get up in the morning. In a 5ml bottle, I put 8 drops Thieves, 5 drops Lemon, 5 drops Oregano, 5 drops Frankincense, 4 drops Purification and then top with a carrier oil. Boom.
Alrighty, that’s my winter wellness roundup! Did I miss anything that you love to do to keep your immunity strong through the winter? If so, let me know in the comments. And if you’re ready to get started with Young Living essential oils, send me a message or just sign up right here.