Nature’s Flu Shot: A Guide to Boosting Your Immune System Without Yearly Shots (Part 2 of 2)

Posted on December 23, 2011 | In Educational
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Written by, Becki Andrus

Yesterday, we talked about the effectiveness of the flu vaccine, and how getting a flu shot might not protect your health as much as the pharmaceutical industry wants you to believe. If you haven’t read that article yet, please take a minute to read it because today’s article fits in contextually with the information that was discussed yesterday.

I have personally chosen to not get a flu shot– because I feel that the small amount of protection that it might provide is outweighed by the potential negative side effects. Instead, I prefer to support my immune system with natural remedies, rather than injecting toxic ingredients into my body.

There are a few specific steps that I have found to be effective for preventing illness, all of these steps focus on strengthening your immune system and supporting the body. There are natural processes of the body that are designed to help fight illness and disease, but sometimes the body is weighed down by environmental factors causing the organs to function at a lower level. These steps will help you to learn how to support your body so that the disease-preventing functions can work optimally to prevent illness or disease before it begins.

Becki’s Blueprint To Preventing Illness:

1. Use Essential Oils Daily

Essential oils can be used on a daily basis, and they are a great way to prevent illness before it starts. Numerous research studies have found that essential oils can be an effective way to prevent and treat both bacterial and viral illnesses. Some of the best preventative oils include:

  • OnGuard (Cinnamon, Clove Bud, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Wild Orange)
  • Melaleuca (tea tree)
  • Lemon
  • Oregano
  • Clove
  • Cinnamon
  • Basil
  • Myrrh
  • Thyme
  • Peppermint
  • Lavender
  • Frankincense
  • Eucalyptus
  • Rosemary

All of these oils can be beneficial for illness prevention, but you do not have to use all of them together… it is fine to pick out a few that you enjoy using. My favorite oil for illness prevention is OnGuard, because it is such a powerful blend that has strong anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. It is my go-to oil blend for illness prevention, and I use it daily.

These oils can be used in several ways…

They can be applied directly to the body; one of my favorite application locations is on the bottoms of the feet because of the fast absorption. Be sure to check the dilution recommendations for each oil because some of them may need to be used with a carrier oil. Another good method for preventing illness is by using essential oils in a diffuser, which will cleanse the air and provide benefit to everyone in the room.

Some essential oils can also be taken internally, however it is important that you are using a high quality essential oil that specifically states that it can be used internally. For example, lemon is a great preventative oil for internal use, a drop can be added to an 8 oz glass of water each day to boost your immune system.

There a few simple daily habits that can be followed for illness prevention:

  • Put the oil on the bottoms of your feet each morning when you get up, and at night before bed.
  • Diffuse essential oils in the morning while your family is eating breakfast.
  • If you are exposed to an illness or if you are starting to get sick, increase the frequency of the oil usage– use them several times throughout the day.

One of the biggest advantages to using essential oils is the fact that they are effective for preventing both bacterial and viral infections. Many illnesses such as the common cold or flu are caused by either bacteria or viruses.

In fact, if you visit a doctor and they determine that you have a minor viral infection, then the treatment plan is typically to go home and get some rest. Instead of simply waiting for the infection to pass, I prefer to use essential oils on a regular basis to speed up healing time– and prevent the illness from starting in the first place.

2. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

When you are eating higher amounts of fresh produce, your body is provided with many disease-fighting nutrients that help to boost your immune system. Whole, natural fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which repair and protect cells from harm, helping your body to fight disease and illness more effectively.

Additionally, fresh fruits and vegetables contain fiber, which helps to remove toxins and waste from the body. Getting enough fiber is essential for optimal digestion and bowel function, and the immune system is tied closely with intestinal health. In fact, it has been suggested that 80% of all illnesses and diseases can be prevented by following a healthy diet!

Try to eat more dark-colored produce, because the darker colored fruits and vegetables contain higher levels of nutrients and antioxidants. Getting these natural forms of nutrients helps your body to prevent illness on a cellular level.

3. Avoid Sugary Foods (Especially Processed Sugars)

When you eat sugar, it weakens your immune system for a period of time, leaving your body vulnerable to bacteria and viruses that you are exposed to. Many people eat foods that contain processed sugar throughout the day, causing their immune system to be hampered on an on-going basis.

When sugar is eaten, it begins a chemical reaction in the body, ultimately resulting in a weakened immune system:

  1. First, the insulin levels are spiked to digest the sugar.
  2. When the blood sugar levels are higher as a result of the sugar digestion, growth hormones are prevented from being released into the body.
  3. As a result, lower levels of growth hormones can cause the immune system to be weakened.
  4. And finally, when the immune system is functioning at a lower level, you will be more susceptible to viral and bacterial infections.

Even 1 teaspoon of sugar can weaken your immune system for up to 6 hours… to help you visualize how much sugar that is, consider the fact that there are about 10 teaspoons of sugar in 1 can of soda!

Another reason to avoid refined foods such as sugar and white flour is because they are acidic in nature, which means that eating these types of foods affect the pH balance within your body. Viruses and bacteria thrive in an acidic environment, so eating unhealthy foods creates the perfect environment for the viruses and bacteria to grow.

In comparison, most fruits and vegetables are alkaline foods, so they will help to reduce your body’s acidity and create an environment where it is difficult for viruses and bacteria to thrive. If you want a sweet treat, choose fruit instead because the sugars are naturally occurring, and the fruit contains fiber and nutrients that help to support the digestive system instead of suppressing it.

4. Control Your Levels of Stress

It is common for someone to get sick when they are very stressed, or right after a period of high stress levels. As an example, many college students report that they get sick right after finals week is done… during final exams, their stress levels were high which caused them to be more susceptible to illness.

There are various studies that have found correlations between high stress levels and a weakened immune system, and there is actually a scientific reason why this occurs: When a person is experiencing higher levels of stress, the body increases the cortisol levels which causes the immune system to be weakened.

Plus, higher levels of stress often cause other behavioral responses that may weaken the immune system. For example, some people eat more junk food when they are stressed, and the extra sugar can cause the immune system to weaken. Other people might skip meals because they are too busy, resulting in lower levels of nutrients which can weaken the immune system.

One of the best options for stress reduction is by using calming oils that help to soothe your nerves and maintain a feeling of peace. Here is a list of my favorite calming oils, they can be used throughout the day to reduce stress. They can be used whenever you are starting to feel anxious or upset, or you can use them preventatively before the stress and anxiety start

  • Lavender
  • Serenity (Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Sandalwood, Sweet Marjoram, Vanilla, Ylang Ylang)
  • Balance (Blue Tansy, Frankincense, Rosewood, Spruce)
  • Citrus Bliss (Bergamot, Clementine, Grapefruit, Lemon, Mandarin, Tangerine, Vanilla, Wild Orange)
  • Frankincense
  • Patchouli
  • Wild Orange

5. Get Enough Sleep

Each night when we sleep, the body works to repair and rejuvenate itself. Certain functions happen best when we are sleeping, such as growth hormone regulation, reducing stress hormones, and fighting illness. Getting enough sleep each night helps the body to repair and heal, making the immune system more capable of fighting disease and illness.

Also, sleep is a good way to reduce stress levels related to other things. When a person is tired, they are more likely to feel irritated and stressed as they go throughout their day, so getting enough sleep can help to keep everything else balanced.

6. Drink More Water

Staying hydrated is an important element in protecting your health and preventing illness. It is important that you are drinking water instead of some of the sugar-laden drinks that are out there. Here are some of the health benefits that can be gained by drinking water:

  • Nutrient Absorption: When you are drinking plenty of water, the body is able to absorb the nutrients more effectively. So, the combination of water and healthy food is a great way to support your body on a cellular level. Water assists in transporting the nutrients to the cells, along with oxygen transportation.
  • Release Toxins and Waste: Water is beneficial for cleansing and getting rid of waste and toxins within the body. Your body has natural functions in place to get rid of waste, such as the liver, kidneys and skin. But, these organs cannot optimally function without a sufficient amount of water. When dehydration occurs, the body reacts by slowing the functions of some of these major organs in order to preserve the water.
  • Moistening Mucous Membranes: Water helps to keep moisture in the mucous membranes, which makes them more effective at fighting illness and disease.

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These are a few tips that I follow to prevent illness, keep in mind that using your common sense and listening to the signals from your body is the best way to prevent illness and disease. Simple steps can help, such as washing your hands regularly and avoiding close contact with a person that is ill.

Remember that it is normal to get sick every now and then, but following these steps will help to prevent the frequency and severity of the illness.

This article details the steps that I take to PREVENT illness from occurring, they are some of the best natural “flu shot” options that can be used to strengthen your immune system. In future blog posts I will be sharing more tips that can be used if you have ALREADY become sick– there are certain essential oils that can be used to decrease specific symptoms that are associated with common illnesses such as the flu or a head cold. Stay tuned!

If you have any questions, feel free to comment here on this blog post or contact me and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

With love,

Becki :)

 

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{ 1 comment }

Tammy December 24, 2011 at 6:44 am

Thanks for sharing! I also add Elderberry Concentrate and Vit D3 5000 iu’s in the winter. I take a daily dose of Elderberry for prevention but if I feel sickness coming on or have been in direct contact with someone sick, then I take extra. Elderberry is a known antiviral.

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