5 Ways to Boost Your Immune System
Try these easy, natural remedies for keeping fall and winter colds at bay.
One week we’re wearing shorts and the very next week it seems like everyone has the sniffles and a cough. How did fall and winter cold season arrive so quickly? To keep your defenses high at this time of year, try these five ways to boost your immune system:
1. Eat shiitake mushrooms daily. A 2015 study fed subjects L. edodes (shiitake mushrooms) for four weeks. The results? Lower inflammation overall and improved gut immunity. “Regular L. edodes consumption resulted in improved immunity, as seen by improved cell proliferation and activation and increased sIgA production,” the study concluded. (Read our story on medicinal mushrooms here.)
2. Hum. According to Jonathan Goldman on the Sound Healers Association blog, a simple hum increases oxygen in cells, boosts lymphatic circulation, and soothes sore throats. He recommends about five minutes of humming, which will be about 25 hums.
3. Cook with cumin. Cumin seeds or the oil of cumin seeds has been used to treat a wide variety of issues, including preventing infections, for thousands of years. Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used it, and cumin is mentioned in the Bible. Isaiah 28:27 warns a “heavy sledge is never used to thresh black cumin; rather, it is beaten with a light stick. A threshing wheel is never rolled on cumin; instead, it is beaten lightly with a flail.” So … don’t beat the cumin with a flail. Instead, try lightly toasting the seeds in oil and then using the oil to flavor veggies or rice. (For more on this plant healer, check out “5 Reasons to Cook with Cumin.”)
4. Avoid hand sanitizer. In a pinch, it’s fine, but research has found that sanitizer may be killing off the good microflora on our hands. It’s better to use soap and water, cleaning hands for at least 20 seconds.
5. Oil your feet. Put a couple of drops of oregano oil, lemon oil, frankincense, or clove into a carrier oil such as coconut or sesame. Apply to your feet, then slip on some cozy socks. (Some people are sensitive to essential oils, so use with caution.)
If it is too late and you already caught a cold, try these yoga poses for seasonal colds. And feel better soon!