Immunity: what does it mean and how do you get it?

What does it actually mean to boost your immune system, why should you be doing this and how is it going to help keep you healthy?

The cold & flu season is in full swing. It’s also the holiday season and you’d think we’d all be outside enjoying the crisp air, holiday lights and festivities, but that’s not really the case. That’s because many of us are stuck in bed with coughs and sniffles. Are you finding that you or your loved ones are in this situation more often than not?

Take heart. We have just the tips to help you alleviate your symptoms so you can be enjoying those holiday festivities in no time. We’ll also share some tips to boosting your immune system so you’re not so susceptible to those nasty bugs.

 

3 Basic Tips to Alleviate cold and flu symptoms

1. Drink a hot tasty beverage

Researchers at the Common Cold Center at Cardiff University compared hot beverages to lukewarm beverages. They found a marked improvement with hot beverages over their lukewarm counterparts.

While all beverages in general combat dehydration (an important concern during a cough or flu), hot beverages “provided immediate and sustained relief from symptoms of runny nose, cough, sneezing, sore throat, chilliness and tiredness”.

So next time you’re feeling congestion in the midst of sickness, reach for a hot beverage.

2. Stock up on lemon and ginger

Lemon and ginger is like a herbal tag team. If you’re feeling sick, lemon and ginger have no problems giving your symptoms a double suplex. After all, if sickness isn’t going to play nice with you, why should you play nice with it?

Lemon gives you a nice dose of Vitamin C. While mostly known for boosting your immune system, Vitamin C may reduce phlegm -- which is why citrus fruits are often used with lozenges. But just as important, Vitamin C can also relieve upper respiratory tract infections and other illnesses.

Just like lemon, ginger may also help soothe a cough or sore throat. Ginger is also an antimicrobial, which means it helps the body destroy the invading pathogen. It’s also a diaphoretic, so it promotes sweating. This is important because your skin can play a major role in your get-well-soon protocol, helping eliminate waste from the body.

3. Fight colds and flus with black tea

The best way to combat colds and flus is to not get them at all. A superhero against sickness is black tea.

Immunologists at Harvard University report that drinking five cups a day of black tea over a period of two weeks turns the average immune system T-cell into "Hulk cells" that ragefully smash against infection. That’s right, if you want to trigger your immune system into a Bruce Banner transformation, black tea will activate it.

That’s because people who drink five cups of black tea pump out 10 times more cold and flu virus-fighting interferon than people who don’t.

 

Levelling up:

Consider a variety of herbs and spices in addition to ginger to reduce the severity and duration of your cold or flu. Examples to keep stocked through winter: turmeric, thyme, echinacea, elderberry, garlic and cayenne. Each of these have valuable immune supporting effects.

Drink our Remedy tea throughout the winter and increase how much you’re drinking if you’re feeling sick. It’s formulated with Chinese Medicine Principles to warm the body, promote circulation and kill viruses and germs. Chinese Medicine calls for the warming of the body to open the respiratory tract and release the virus- and bacteria-causing pathogens.

 

Boosting your Immune System

You hear it all the time - this product or herb or ingredient is “immune boosting”. Sounds like you need it, but what does it really mean?

Your immune system works hard for you, 24 hours a day it’s battling would-be environmental invaders. The immune system is a vast network of cells, organs and proteins that protect the body from infection. Your immune system identifies harmful foreign influences and neutralizes pathogens (like bacteria and viruses) and removes them from the body. When your body’s cells have changed due to illness (such as cancerous cells), your immune system works for you here too.

When your immune system is compromised, you may be feeling fatigued all the time, getting sick frequently, you might have digestive issues, your injuries may take a long time to heal or you may develop allergies. Let’s focus in on getting sick and how you can keep yourself healthy for the holidays and beyond.

 

Preventative Tips:

We can’t talk about supporting your immune system without saying it all starts with a healthy diet full of diverse vegetables. Other important lifestyle elements that won’t cost you anything:

  • Moderate, daily movement and exercise,
  • deep and restful sleeps for 7-9 hours a night,
  • practicing stress relieving techniques like meditation, yoga, walks outdoors, deep breathing, and the like.

Beyond those tips, consider enlisting the help of herbs, spices and mushrooms.

Deep immune tonics, or immunomodulators,such as functional mushrooms, and adaptogens are in order. Feed and strengthen the immune system with mushrooms like chaga and reishi and herbs like astragalus and schisandra berry. All four are also adaptogens, which have an overall toning effect on the body and should be considered the basis of your preventative approach. They improve your resistance to external stressors, which in turn may help you sleep better, feel less fatigued and support your immune response.

Mushrooms such as chaga and reishi, are packed with beta-glucans, polyphenols, polysaccharides, and antioxidants. They modulate the immune system, having a positive effect on immune system responsiveness. Beta-d-glucans in reishi and chaga stimulate white blood cell production, which in turn helps your body resist infection.

Of course, our recommendation is to try these tonifying herbs and mushrooms in your elixirs or teas. Choose a base like matcha, chai, black tea or turmeric. Add additional mushroom, herb or root powders to your base with your choice of healthy fat, nut milk or water, sweetener and mix together in a blender. With a little experimentation, you’ll find recipes that you love.

Not sure about the blending and experimentation? Start with one of our immunity blends.

Amoda also sells a wide range of black teas that proactively protect against sickness. However, in the event you are bedridden, our remedy cold & flu tea (containing ginger) is an excellent hot beverage to alleviate symptoms.

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