We’re about two weeks into self-quarantine thanks to current events, and immune support is high on the radar for all of us. Let’s take a look at 21 all-natural ways to support your immune system.
21 All-Natural Ways to Support Your Immune System
First, let’s look at a few simple steps we can take today, right now, to keep our immune systems strong and healthy. Next, we’ll consider a few more natural ways to support your immune system by providing extra support.
1. Turn off the news
It seems kind of obvious that continued exposure to stressful news coverage can lead to stress, anxiety, and even depression. Since mental health directly affects gut health, immune function, and overall health, it makes sense to limit our exposure to stressful–and unproductive–news coverage.
2. Get outside
Instead of watching the news, go outside! During the 1918 outbreak of the H1N1 Spanish flu pandemic, an open-air hospital in Boston showed a significant reduction in deaths, partly due to the practice of exposing patients to fresh air. Other records–from treating tuberculosis to wounded soldiers–also show that fresh air speeds healing and prevents the spread of disease.
3. Soak up the rays
4. Dig in the dirt
It turns out that regular exposure to good old dirt actually helps to build a strong immune system. And research shows that certain microbes in the soil act as antidepressants. You and your kids will both benefit from digging in the dirt!
5. Get good sleep
A lack of sleep can compromise the immune system and make us susceptible to colds, the flu, and other viruses. So once again, turn off the news and head to bed!
6. Move around
Consistent, moderate exercise contributes to a healthy immune system. It also boosts mental health, which, in turn, contributes to immune function. You don’t have to be a marathon runner to benefit from exercise; even a daily walk for 20-30 minutes will do the trick.
7. Serve someone else
Science shows that practicing kindness increases our own happiness, and helping others leads to better mental and physical health. People who serve or volunteer regularly actually live longer than those who don’t! So look for a way to serve someone else today!
8. Drink plenty of water
Proper hydration plays a key role for almost every function in the body, therefore it makes sense that drinking plenty of water is a good way to support overall health.
9. Drink bone broth
Adding bone broth to your diet is one of the very best ways to support overall health, including immune function. Regular bone broth consumption impacts gut health, and a healthy gut is directly linked to a healthy immune system. Get my recipe here.
10. Eat real food
Eating real food is more of an overall lifestyle as opposed to one simple step towards healthy immune function. But proper nutrition is probably the best foundation we can possibly provide for a strong immune system. Need some recipes? How about a one-week real food meal plan?
11. Consider vitamin D
Sufficient levels of vitamin D are clearly linked to a healthy immune system. Most Americans do not receive enough vitamin D from food or from sunlight, in which case a vitamin D3 supplement can be helpful.
12. Take elderberry syrup
Elderberries are well known for their ability to enhance immune function. You can use dried elderberries to make a simple syrup for all-natural immune support. Take it daily or as needed. Here’s my favorite recipe.
13. Drink ACV
Apple cider vinegar contains beneficial bacteria that supports gut health and boosts the immune system. It doesn’t taste great, so many people like to dilute ACV in water, or combine it with honey or lemon juice. Get my magic ACV tonic recipe here.
14. Roll on immune support
Provide daily immune support with a simple blend of essential oils, including Oregano and Thyme. Yes, it smells like a pizza shop but both herbs (and their oils) are known for supporting the immune system. Here’s the recipe.
15. Use a protective gargle
Use this simple gargle recipe to soothe an irritated throat, or to provide another layer of daily immune support. Get the recipe.
16. Make your own hand sanitizer
I love this simple and immune-supportive alternative to mainstream hand sanitizers. All you need are two ingredients! Here’s my recipe.
17. Stop using antibacterial soap
Even the FDA admits that antibacterial soaps are no more effective than regular soap and water, and could even be dangerous. That’s why I prefer to use a simple foaming hand wash, or make my own.
18. Support your respiratory system
19. Use immune supportive oils
In addition to the essential oils mentioned above, there are others that help to support a strong immune system. Find more suggestions here, along with a printable list of 20 ways to support your immune system with essential oils.
20. Teach your kids
Kids can learn to use essential oils, too! Use this list to support their immune systems with essential oils and other natural remedies.
21. Diffuse immune support oils
Which of these are you already doing? What else would you add to this list?
Kathleen Henderson is the yankee behind the homestead. Follow along as we grow real food and three boys while renovating a 20-acre farm in northern Virginia. Do you love homegrown food, Paleo-ish recipes, and natural living? You’re in good company! Let’s grow together…