It is a crazy time right now with viruses (cough cough, Coronavirus) and the panic surrounding it is VERY real. These tips on how to fight off sickness are in no way connected to preventing that specific virus – they’re more of about strengthening the immune system and doing what you can to avoid germs all together. We know there’s extra fear in the air right now with a brand new virus circulating (and the lack of information about it).
As two people with autoimmune problems, we know this adds more worry to the situation but we’re trying to just stay calm, somewhat isolated (nothing crazy… just avoiding larger groups), and make sure we’re taking care of our bodies. These tips were written with the intention of publishing pre flu season, but it seems like now is probably more appropriate given the state of the world. Stay healthy and keep those hands washed!
A few years ago we went to a lecture our acupuncturist was giving on the autonomic system and one of points that stuck with me was her advocation of elderberry when your immune system is under duress. She always keeps a bottle in her house and soon as she starts experiencing the signs of a sickness, she takes elderberry everyday until the bottle is empty and that’s her secret weapon to fight off sickness. Unfortunately, we currently have somewhat of a compromised immune system so we love having something that gives our bodies a boost if we’re fighting an illness. We’re currently loving Norm’s Farm Elderberry Extract. Their extract is made from actual berries picked from farms in North America (not elderberry concentrate) and has no added alcohol, sugars, or artificial sweeteners.
While this may seem simple and super obvious, it still worth repeating. If you feel you are on the verge of getting sick, be super disciplined about getting enough shut eye. Block out as much time as possible for your body to sleep because it’s going to be one of your main defenses against getting sick.
Em: I very rarely nap, so when I feel like I need to, I know my body is fighting something.
Kate: While others might make you feel lazy, when your body needs downtime it gives it a chance to heal.
First things first, all those suffering from an autoimmune condition should request that their doctor test their vitamin D levels if the haven’t already. It’s a crucial vitamin in regulating autoimmune issues and most of us have extremely low levels. Don’t let being out in the sun fool you, it’s actually harder to raise your levels than you might think. We will take 50,000 unit does if we feel like we’re starting to become under the weather. Also, even if your levels are normal but on the low side, you can ask for a prescription from your doctor to get your levels boosted to being on the high side of the normal range.
We LOVE Doctors Best for all of our vitamin needs!
Bone broth is incredibly healing and comforting, basically the chicken soup you grew up with but with the health benefits amplified. Bone broth is slow cooked bones and joints mixed with spices and the end result is a gut healing, super nutrient dense broth full of natural collagen that when cooled, should be some what of a gel (the more gel the better). Once when I got super into making my own, I would even go to the butcher shop for chicken feet (to Kate’s horror) because the feet are super high in collagen. Now, I mainly buy my broth (just out of connivence) and you can find some excellent store bought ones made with extreme care.
Em: I really like the organic chicken bone broth from Bonafide Provisions. It’s one I use – currently a fav!
We’ve talked about DoTerra a few times already (mostly in reference to peppermint oil, which is a huge help against nausea) but never about OnGuard. This powerhouse oil blend is composed of Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary and is super effective at killing viruses and germs naturally. We take it internally when we feel we need extra help to fight off sickness, but we will also use it for cleaning and diffusing (especially when it’s that time of year and everyone seems to be sick!). We found this oil through our nutritionist who always has the best recommendations.
Helpful hint, this is a hot oil, meaning it will burn you if either taken straight internally or applied without a carrier oil externally – so be careful!
We did a few blog posts about Just Thrive probiotic – we take this probiotic daily (and absolutely love it) but will double up if we feel we’re on the brink of getting ill. It helps our gut health tremendously which basically helps everything else in your body as well.
Hot lemon water with honey
We’re such big believers in the healing power of hot drinks. We push them on everyone, even those who decidedly do not like hot beverages (which to us, seems absolutely crazy).
Em: Hot drinks always seem to help me ward off potential sickness and even shorten the duration of the sickness that I do have. My go to simple drink for feeling well is a whole lemon squeezed into a mug of hot water mixed with a dollop of honey (or stevia if you’re going sugar free). To me, it’s just the epitome of a healing drink – you get a big dose of vitamin C from the lemon and honey has tons of antibacterial properties. It’s also delicious!