With the schooling year starting in just weeks I created this guide to help you navigate the extensive & overwhelming world of immune-boosting and illness-busting natural remedies. (All remedies I swear by myself!)
As a conventionally trained pediatrician, I started on my journey of holistic medicine when I noticed a pattern that was becoming a serious problem…
Every tiny cold that came my way always progressed into a full blown bacterial illness requiring antibiotics. The same was true for my young daughter.
I would ask, ‘How can a pediatrician not know how to keep her and her child healthy?’ I found myself frustrated and confused, but also determined!
The next few years were spent extensively studying nutritional, functional, and integrative medicine. I am grateful to say that it was this hard work that allowed for my daughter and me to reverse our symptoms and discover long-term wellness.
The remedies, herbs, supplements, teas, steams, packs, oils, and salves are the products I personally use and love. I share these with the patients of my holistic pediatric practice, Blossom Pediatrics. And now I want to share them with you!
Although this holistic knowledge is always powerful & transformative, its importance has reached new heights as a result of COVID-19. With fall fast approaching and many of our communities reopening, we need to protect & boost our families immune systems now more than ever. Believe it or not: this makes the difference between mild or no illness and severe illness or hospitalization.
Here are the criteria for each remedy to make the list:
It does not just cover symptoms (band-aid solutions), it must help treat the root cause
It supports the body’s natural healing (healing itself)
It does not cause harm (i.e.- free of chemicals or preservatives)
It is made mindfully
It is evidence based (i.e.- subject to double blind placebo controlled high quality studies that back the ingredients)
The most important immune-boosters and illness-busters are as follows:
Eating local, organic, seasonal, colorful (phytonutrients), fresh and real foods. This means avoiding sugars and processed foods. Sugars are especially dangerous because the power of macrophages (the first line of defense against invaders) decreases by 50% for up to 5 hours after eating sugar
Eating plenty of probiotic rich foods
Getting the right amount of consistent high quality sleep
Holding gratitude for our amazing bodies, even for a few minutes a day, physically decreases stress which allows our bodies to fight invaders (instead of fighting ourselves).
Getting fresh air, sunshine, nature, and exercise: All proven to boost the immune system (and happiness)
The Mind, The Heart, and The Immune System:
There are so many ways to affect the immune system, in both positive and negative ways.
There is tremendous knowledge and evidence-based information on which foods, medicinal herbs, and homeopathic formulations can boost the immune system. We hear so much about helping the immune system flourish by staying hydrated, maintaining a diverse and healthy gut flora, and decreasing toxic overload.
But what about mindset? Only recently, conventional and holistic medical communities have started to focus on how mindset can affect immunity.
Affect and emotion are two essential parts of the process of an organism’s interaction with any stimuli. Similar to affect, the immune response is the tool the body uses to interact with its external environment.
Thanks to the emotional and immunological response, we learn to distinguish between what we like and what we do not like, to counteract a broad range of challenges, and to adjust to the environment we are living in. Most living beings use both systems to adjust to their external environments, and both can either protect us or prove to be quite detrimental if in disarray.
A large body of both clinical and experimental evidence has shown that the emotional and immunological systems share more than a similarity of functions. They mirror each other in a dynamic and symbiotic relationship, continuously changing and adjusting.
Unlike genetic mutations or inherited predisposition to diseases that cannot be modified, we can exploit these systems to bring about the desired immunological changes.
Little-known fact: There is copious evidence that training the immune system through stress reduction can be achieved through what is sometimes referred to as “mind-body” medicine, ultimately normalizing the immune system and reducing overactive inflammation.
HeartMath Institute’s ‘Freeze Frame’ exercise was used to measure immediate changes to the immune system. In these studies, immune-system functioning, as measured by the IgA level, saw an immediate 41% increase when subjects were asked to intentionally feel care and compassion for five minutes using this technique. After one hour, IgA levels returned to normal, but slowly increased over the next six hours. This is a significantly potent immune boost.
A Simple and Surprising Tool To Superpower The Immune System:
The Heartmath Freeze-Frame exercise is fast and simple. This one-minute technique allows a major shift in perception and can be simplified for younger children. More than positive thinking, it creates a definitive, heartfelt shift in how we view a situation, an individual, or ourselves.
When under stress:
Shift your awareness out of your head and focus on the area around your heart. Keep your attention there for at least 10 seconds. Continue to breathe normally.
Recall a positive time or feeling you had in your life, and attempt to re-experience the emotion of it. Remember, try to not simply visualize it, but rather to fully feel it.
Ask a question from the heart: “What can I do in this situation to make it different/better?” or “What can I do to minimize my stress?”
Listen to the response and feeling that comes from your heart.
You may hear nothing, but perhaps you feel calmer. You may receive verification of something you already know, or you may experience a complete perspective shift, seeing the crisis in a more balanced way. Although we may not have control over the event, we do have control over our perception of it and our reaction to it.
This is one of many mindful tools for all ages that can powerfully and positively improve immune system functioning. From yoga and meditation to creative expressions of art, song, and dance, to journaling your gratitude and visualizations, there is no limitation of resources. Adopting mindful moments in everyday life is a vital tool for boosting your child’s immune system, and super-powering their health!
Take These Steps Now To Prevent Illness In the Fall & Winter:
….. Read on here for the exact steps to take now to prevent illness in the fall and winter ->