Have you ever attended an event and ended up sitting next a person who can't stop coughing, sneezing, or sniffling? You can feel a cloud of doom hover over you because you know you are most likely getting front row seats to being exposed to some kind of nasty virus or illness.
If we look at food as medicine, the first step when exposed to illness, should be to make sure we are hydrated and eating healthy from that point on. Eating a variety of foods that boost immune function should be at the top of the list, with a glass of water.
Toxins cannot leave the body if the body is dehydrated. Everything becomes sluggish within. Hydrate with some water, electrolyte water, fresh squeezed organic fruit juice, fruit juice popsicles, or coconut water. You can also get creative and sneak these hydrating options in foods and smoothies, such as coconut water or unflavored electrolyte water.
Eat a variety of foods and herbs that boost immunity. Be sure to add in foods that are high in Vitamin C. Some healthy immune boosting options include garlic, onions, black pepper, turmeric, ginger, citrus fruits, vegetables, herbal infused bone broth, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, bell peppers, kiwi, and whatever may be in season and available near you.
A few extra ways to boost immunity include getting enough sleep, using aromatherapy products, using natural therapies for stress reduction, drinking herbal teas that boost the immune system, stretching, exercising, walking and moving.
When we stretch and move, the lymphatic system can drain and flow to assist in removing unwanted toxins and germs within. This is what we want, a clean, healthy system so that if germs to get in, our bodies can filter them out.
Exercising our bodies exercises our lungs and heart. When we breathe during exercise, our lungs are cleaning out any extra germs that may be trying to house way deep down there. Exercising the lungs strengthens them. Exercising also increases circulation, which means more oxygen is getting to our muscles.
Using aromatherapy for illness can include diffusing essential oils, adding essential oils diluted in a carrier oil in the bath (bath safe e.o.'s only), applying essential oil blends to the affected areas such as chest and back or stomach, spraying hydrosols or adding to bath, etc.
When choosing essential oils to use for illness, it is best to use a combination of essential oils that have antiviral and antibacterial properties. Note the age, health profile, proper dilution ratio, and precautions prior to use aromatically or topically.
Some common antiviral essential oils are eucalyptus, tea tree, and lavender. Some common antibacterial essential oils are lemon, lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, and lime. Note that lavender and tea tree are listed in both categories. There are many more but here are some that you may hear more often.
There are many precautions, especially for children, pregnant women, nursing mom's, and those with certain health profiles with essential oils in general, but especially eucalyptus. It is important to note the species you are using, by looking for precautions, using the botanical name.
Always check precautions prior to using essential oils... always. Or feel free to reach out! Be cautious with eucalyptus and use it as directed in correct dilution. It is not to be used with babies and young children. Although it is such a beneficial essential oil, it has been noted to cause breathing problems in babies and children and can possibly induce asthma attacks for those who suffer with asthma.
As always, be sure you are using a "true" essential oil that is from a trusted company. If you have fragrance oils, these will not give you a therapeutic effect to boost immunity.
It takes extra time and thought to prevent illness. It takes a grocery list, weekly snack list, and a meal plan. It takes writing time slots daily on your calendar for self care, but I promise, it is all worth it in the end. Preventing illness saves valuable time, money, and energy.
We do not have time to get sick. Stay healthy, well, and vibrant! And if you are ready to learn more, remember this -Education that promotes healthy habits, lasts a lifetime! Just reach out! Jamie
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Jamie Michaels, Natural Wellness Educator & Founder of Children's Wellness Tree
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