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Quick Tips to Restore Your Immune System

During this season, only the strong immune systems survive. One common misconception is that we are to "boost" our immune system during this time. In reality, we should work toward "restoring it".

The common cold is meant to run its' course so that the weak immune cells that are attacked, die off and the healthy ones are able to strengthen. Suppressing the immune system with common over the counter cold/flu medications is only putting the immune system at a disadvantage.

Even if you feel the oncoming of the sniffles or a sore throat there are natural alternatives to help restore and heal before it takes off.

Here a few key Tips and Key Nutrients to help restore the immune system:

1 Identify and remove immune-reactive substances or events. A high intake of other inflammation-stimulating foods—foods containing saturated fats, sugars, and trans fats. Decrease your stress levels!

2 Add immune-stabilizing foods. Immune-stabilizing foods and nutrients include:

Mushrooms (including reishi, shiitake, maitake, Chaga, and turkey tails, along with astragalus and adaptogens, including codonopsis, schizandra, ashwagandha, and holy basil) (1,2)

Orange produce and leafy greens: Think: winter squash, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, citrus fruits.

Healthy fats also support good lubrication inside and out, proper immune cell functioning, and decreased inflammation. Think: wild salmon, sardines, flax and hemp oil, nuts, and seeds.

Vitamin C from fresh, raw fruits and vegetables — especially citrus, strawberries, bell peppers, hot peppers, and rose hips — help keep your immune system humming.

Pungent aromatics like garlic, onions, ginger, horseradish, and hot peppers boost circulation, improve the flow of mucus, and enhance digestion, all of which help your body eliminate pathogens. They also have direct antimicrobial activity. Culinary herbs with bite, like oregano and thyme, act similarly and have a particular affinity for your lungs and gut.

Fluids like water, tea, soup, broth, and miso keep you hydrated so your immune system can better do its job, protective mucous membranes stay plump and moist, and germs and battle debris are easier to flush out.

3 Use these supplements.

a Zinc

b Vitamins E, A, D

c Omega-3s

d Spices. Spices contain phytonutrients. Some great immune restoring spices include curcumin from turmeric, allicin from garlic, and capsaicin from hot peppers. (1)

e. Vitamin C supplements of from 1 to 6 grams per day, and such botanical medicines as echinacea. (1)

4. Take a quality probiotic and consider adding it to your daily regimen. The immune system relies heavily on the health of our gut bacteria (about 70-80%) so it's important that we take care of its environment.

How to Put the Armor on Your Immune System


The moment you feel something coming on, Echinacea can be helpful. Echinacea turns on immune system function, activates immune cells for swifter battle action, interferes with a virus’s ability to spread, kills bacteria, and keeps your lymph flowing to help clear the battlefield of debris so you feel better faster. Though today it’s often touted for its ability to combat the flu, echinacea actually has a much longer history of use for bacterial infections and septicemia (not to mention venomous snakebites!) than for viruses. (2)

How to: Take 1⁄2 to 1 teaspoon (2 to 5 squirts from the dropper) as often as you can remember (every waking hour or so), starting at the first tickle of infection or anticipation of exposure. (2)

Natural Cough Syrup

Elderberry Cough Syrup

Elderberries blend perfectly in syrup to help your immune system fend off viral invaders. Viruses spread by hijacking your cells and reprogramming them to make more viruses. Compounds in elderberries help block the receptor sites that viruses use to get into your cells, which makes elderberry syrup a delicious way to keep your immune health in tip-top shape. The elderflowers have the added benefit of acting as a natural antihistamine — helping to relieve cold, flu, and allergy symptoms — while boosting a healthy (germ-killing) fever response.

Ginger and cinnamon act as purposeful synergists in the syrup, and a honey base soothes coughs and sore throats. Elderberry syrup can be taken once daily as a preventive. **At the onset of a virus, it has been researched and recommended that elderberry is not taken as it can cause a cytokine storm, worsening the symptoms.

Surefire Ways to Zap Your Immunity

Do what you can to keep these things in check, especially if you know your immune system is already being challenged.

  • Sleep deprivation

  • Stress

  • Dehydration

  • Poor diet

  • Smoking

  • Excessive alcohol

  • Excessive sugar

  • Exposure to virulent germs (wash your hands!)

Read more about the immune system in this article here!


1. Bland, J. The Disease Delusion. Conquering the Causes of Chronic Illness for a Healthier, Longer and Happier Life.

2. Groves, M. Body Into Balance. An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self Care

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