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Top Ten Tips for a Strong Immune System

I’m a Mum who is passionate about creating a healthy and happy environment for my family, especially during such challenging times!  Wellness starts at home and there are so many simple strategies to support our resilience to any threats to our wellbeing. Here are some top tips that I hope you find helpful!.

 1. Hand Washing

Hand washing is vital to minimise the spread of infectious disease. Wash your hands when you get home, before eating and regularly throughout the day to limit the germs you are exposed to. Hand the most important measure in preventing or reducing infections.
If you are out and about then you can use hand sanitiser.  Here are some simple, effective DIY recipes you can make at home:

 

2. Humidify the Air

A diffuser is a great way to increase humidity in the air. In dry air our mucous membranes are more susceptible to pathogens, so having a more humid environment will help to reduce your susceptibility to illness and ensure your body is producing enough mucous. Essential oils, such as citrus oils, can also be added to diffusers to cleanse and purify the air. 

3. Reduce Exposure to toxic Chemicals

Many household cleaners and personal care products contain chemicals which can result in short and long term health problems. The vast majority of these chemicals have never been tested for long-term effects. Evidence suggests that exposure to environmental toxins can affect our immune system and make us more susceptible to infections diseases. I am passionate about green cleaning and using essential oils around the home as really powerful and effective alternatives to chemical cleaners. You can find some simple recipes to make at home on my Spring Cleaning with Essential Oils blog

4. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Focus on eating a healthy diet full of the vitamins and minerals you need for your daily nutrition. Eat local, healthy, seasonal food as much as possible and minimise processed food in your diet. Ensure you are getting a good amount of the following: 

-  Vitamin C:  Citrus fruit, juices, cruciferous vegetables, chestnuts, peppers, sweet potatoes. 
-  Vitamin D:  Nuts and seeds (and their oils),  oily fish, leafy greens, broccoli, mushrooms.
-  Selenium and Zinc: Nuts, seafood and eggs.
-  Friendly gut bacteria: Fermented Foods such as kimchi, kombucha, kefir, apple cider vinegar
-  Fibre: Lots of colourful fresh fruit and vegetables!
-  Bone broth (great for digestive health)
-  A good quality supplement. I love doTERRAS Life Long Vitality supplements

Make sure you stay hydrated (this doesn't mean more sugary or caffeinated drinks)!  This is so important to keep our organs functioning well and our immune system strong.  Drink plenty or water (around 1l per 20kg body weight per day is recommended).

6. Use Essential Oils for Immune Support

OnGuard
This is my favourite essential oil blend for protection. OnGuard is a blend of Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalytus and Rosemary Essential oils and offers powerful cleansing and immune support. It can be incorporated into your everyday life from cleaning work surfaces, to brushing your teeth, cleaning your hands or simply as something you add into your diet (it is available in handy softgels to take daily).  It's fantastic to diffuse and can also be used to make a potent hot toddy (1 drop of the OnGuard blend, one drop of lemon essential oil and 1 tsp honey mixed with some hot water).
 
The On Guard product range also includes a Foaming Hand Wash, Hand Sanitiser and Laundry Detergent. Other oils that are also great for supporting our immune systems:
Lemon, Melaleuca, Copaiba, Frankincense, Oregano
Are all powerful essential oils that support the immune system, you could pop a drop of each into a veggie capsule to get your dose each day. You can also take a drop of Copaiba and Frankincense under your tongue each morning, just remember to only do this with doTerra essential oils (due to their purity) and please don’t try this with Oregano oil. These oils can also be added to food, Oregano is great to add to tomato based sauces, pesto and balsamic olive oil salad dressings (you don’t need much, ½ a drop is usually enough to flavour your spag bog!

Adding a few drops of oil to a 5 or 10ml roller bottle, topped up with a carrier oil such as Fractionated Coconut Oil then rolling on your feet and spine can also be very supportive for immunity. One of my favourite seasonal essential oil blends is Thyme, Oregano, Peppermint and Frankincense, diluted in Fractionated Coconut oil and applied to the soles of my feet daily.
 
doTERRAs Copaiba is also a great support for general health and wellbeing. It can help to reduce or relieve bronchial mucous congestion.  doTERRAS LifeLong Vitalty supplements also contain essential oils, along with other vitamins and minerals that support overall health and wellbeing.

6. Exercise

Regular physical activity can strengthen your immune system and help your body fight off infections and viruses. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity for three days a week. This can include walking, biking, yoga, swimming, or other low impact workouts.  If you are stuck at home there are plenty of YouTube videos that can help you with work out ideas.
 

7. Sleep 

Lack of sleep can affect our immune systems. Studies show that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.  Some tips for a good nights sleep include consistency with bed times; controlling exposure to light e.g. with black out blinds and limiting screentime before bed. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, sugary food and big meals late at night; use wind down tools such as meditation cds; try some calming essential oils such as lavender or cedarwood.
 

8. Stay Calm and Positive

One of the most important things we can do to support our physical health is stay calm and positive. Chronic stress and anxiety can lower our immunity and increase our vulnerability to illness.  Try adding yoga, meditation and mindfulness techniques to your day. Science has shown all practices boost your feel good hormones, lower stress and boost your immune function .

Laugh!  Studies have shown that repetitious laughter can cause the body to respond in a way similar to moderate physical exercise, enhancing your mood, decreasing stress hormones, enhancing immune activity. Laughing lowers bad cholesterol and systolic blood pressure, and raises good cholesterol (HDL).

Use aroma to help you feel calm.  Ancient cultures around the world have used essential oils for millennia to help soothe anxious feelings. Studies have shown that scents such as lavender, jasmine and citrus oils can lower anxiety and stress to help us feel calmer and more focused. 

9. Get some SUN 

When natural sunlight hits the skin it triggers the body's production of vitamin D. Vitamin D is also known as “the sunshine vitamin.” It is a crucial ingredient for overall health. It protects against inflammation, lowers blood pressure, improves brain function and strengthens our immune system.  Be sun safe with protective clothing, use a zinc based sunscreen and go for a walk in the early morning sun or late afternoon sun.
 

10. Stay connected!

There has never been a more important time to look out for and support our local communities. Support small business where you can. Check on your neighbours, especially older people and those with conditions that put them particularly at risk. Pop a note through their door to offer help and maybe even set up a WhatsApp group for your road. Contact your council and offer to volunteer.  Organisations are starting to prepare and are encouraging people to sign up and offer help in the community, so there is a team ready for when it is needed. If you are stuck at home, then stay in touch using social media or phone a friend! 
 
Please reach out to your community or a friend if you are feeling anxious, isolated or unwell.  Lets support each other, stay positive, keep calm and carry on!. Do let me know if I can support you in any way. To have protective essential oils in your families life, please get in touch so we can organise your plant first aid kit.
 

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