Home Remedies to Boost Your Immune System Naturally

 

IMG_9828Sick babies are the saddest!

We are right in the middle of cold and flu season, and having four little ones, we really suffer when sickness runs through our house. It’s awful when we are all sick at once, as there is not much worse than having to take care of sick babies while you are sick yourself. But it’s equally awful when it affects each of us one at a time, drawing the sickness out for weeks on end by the time it works it’s way through each of us. After Christmas is usually the most common time for me to get sick. I think it has something to do with eating more junky food than usual (sugar and carbs), being too busy/doing too much, and being overly stressed. With our trip to MommyCon right around the corner, I feel busier than usual, but I also feel more concerned than usual with coming down with a bug right now. This year I’ve been especially concerned with boosting my immune system and keeping myself healthy, so I thought I’d share the products we use at our house to ward off sickness the natural way.

 

Echinacea I start taking echinacea at the first signs of a cold or other sickness. I also take it if I’m under a lot of stress or have a particularly busy week ahead. If I’m feeling sickness coming on, whether I feel a sore throat, stuffy nose, tickly throat, extra fatigue, etc., I grab my bottle of echinacea. I take two capsules twice per day for about two weeks, and then stop. The theory behind only taking it temporarily is that taking it too often causes it to lose it’s “punch”, meaning it’s not quite as effective to take it all the time as it is to just take it when you feel the onset of sickness. I notice a huge difference in how I feel when I remember to do this. Echinacea has been around for a very long time, and while it’s an old remedy, it is a very effective one. It is an immunostimulant, meaning it kills germs while boosting your immune system at the same time. It’s a pretty amazing natural remedy!

Colloidal Silver I take colloidal silver when I start to feel sickness as well. Colloidal Silver is also an immune system booster. It is made up of silver particles suspended in liquid. It is supposed to be similar to an antibiotic, fighting bacteria, fungus, and viruses. It also treats colds and topical skin issues, such as pink eye or yeast rashes. I fully believe this natural remedy gives me energy and boosts my resistance to oncoming sickness, but I only take this one short term as well. Just like the echinacea, I start taking this at the first sign of sickness and only take it for a week or two. **Edited to add: I do not give my kids colloidal silver. Carl and I feel very comfortable using this product, but don’t feel that it is necessary to give the kids. 

Elderberry Elderberry syrup is another favorite of mine. Elderberry has been found to fight off strains of the flu, including Swine Flu and Avian Flu, and is often said to be more effective than even echinacea. It has the ability to fight off viruses while protecting healthy cells simultaneously. It can ward off sickness, shorten the duration of sickness, relive sore muscles, reduce inflammation, and so much more. I often take echinacea for one week and then alternate and take elderberry the next week. This seems to maximize the immune boosting qualities of each.

 

To keep myself healthy, I also try to minimize refined carbs, limit or completely avoid sugar, and eat as many fruits and veggies as possible. Exercise is also a great way to keep yourself healthy, and of course, getting plenty of sleep (ha!). Since being a mom is a busy job requiring lots of lost sleep, I need to do what I can to help keep myself healthy. You can find each of these products at your local health food store or co-op.

 

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and am not qualified to hand out medical advice. I am only sharing what works for me and my family. If you are interested in taking supplements of any kind, always seek out a health professional first. Naturopathic or homeopathic professionals are great resources! 

No Comments

  1. Lori -  December 31, 2012 - 3:53 am

    Please please please do not recommend use of colloidal silver!! I used to use it in my neti pot until my husband started a research project (we are both academic researchers) using colloidal silver as an organic alternative insecticide. Turns out that colloidal silver is no longer considered a safe organic means of pest control. He looked further into this and colloidal silver is a nano particle. Nano particles are much smaller than DNA and silver is a known carcinogen on the nano particle scale. It gets into DNA and causes damage; damage can cause mutations; DNA mutations become cancer. There is a lot in the primary research literature about the carcinogenic effects of colloidal silver and other nano particles.

    PLEASE DO NOT GIVE KIDS AND BABIES COLLOIDAL SILVER!!

    I am all about natural parenting. I don’t vaccinate (because of the potential damage of metal nano particles in the vaccines), I don’t rush my baby to the doctor at every sniffle, etc. There are so many better options like the others you’ve listed. Even honey. A simple search will turn up dozens of natural immune boosters. It doesn’t hurt to try many of them. But nano particles are potentially very dangerous.

    • Kelli -  December 31, 2012 - 10:41 am

      Hi Lori! Thank you for your response! I should have clarified that I do not give colloidal silver to my kiddos, I only use it for myself or my husband. I will probably edit my post to show that fact. As to the research, I have found that for as much research as there is that shows Colloidal Silver being potentially dangerous, there is an equal amount showing it’s benefits and safety. I only use it for short periods of time and feel comfortable with that decision. As with any health issue, there are always many different points of view (even where research is concerned), so it can be difficult to share these kind of topics with others. Lastly, your opinion is exactly why I recommend people talking with a doctor of some sort before starting any supplements. I am not a doctor and am not giving medical advice, only sharing what works for me. Again, though, thank you so much for your comment! 🙂

  2. Lori -  January 1, 2013 - 6:55 pm

    Thank you for the response, Kelli. I don’t write this to attack, just inform. Have you read the PRIMARY research literature coming out in the past couple of years? Primary as in not links on a google search and as in produced by people doing the research that aren’t funded by agencies with a conflict of interest? Like I said, I was totally a colloidal silver user until my husband started this nanoparticle research and brought some of those articles to me saying, “you use that colloidal silver stuff, right? You should check these out.”
    There has been an increase in research interest in the affects of nanoparticles in humans because now they’re used in everything. Concurrently, we are seeing resistant superbugs everywhere. Anything that has the “microban” label (like sandal foot beds, changing tables, cutting boards…) have all been treated with silver nanoparticles and often other nanoparticles.
    The way silver NPs work is that they get into the nucleus of the cell, bind with the DNA, and hybridize or mutate it. This is obviously very effective at killing germs and speeding up healing from colds and other bacterial bugs. I won’t deny that the stuff works, because it definitely does! What the research is finding is that it works too well. Silver NPs are not selective; they don’t know the difference between a bacterial cell and a human cell. So those NPs are potentially going into your cells, binding with your DNA and hybridizing it, mutating it, or rendering it immobile (it inhibits the unravelling mechanism needed for DNA to replicate). This is bad news bears for yor cells which need to replicate their DNA without mutation. Mutation = mutagen = carcinogen in many cases.
    Obviously we all have to make our own choices, but as someone who does genetic research, and all of the more recent data from reliable sources saying that we still have no idea how much silver NPs affect human DNA, I’m staying away from ALL nanoparticles (colloidal silver and microban products) and using alternative therapies. My logic is that the bacterial bug is going to suck, but it’s not likely to kill me. Mutating DNA on the other hand, IF that’s in fact what’s happening…

    Incidentally, the most recent study I read from 2012 noted that colloidal silver had greater mutagenic effects on human cells if it was synthesized (lab-produced) versus biogenic (produced as a byproduct of an organism…some organisms naturally secrete colloidal silver).

    Again, I support your choice to use it for yourself, but I just really feel consumers should be informed on EVERYTHING they put into their bodies as much as possible. This nanoparticle stuff is on the cusp of research trends right now and I think we are going to find that all of those wonderful microban products are actually fairly detrimental to our health, even thou they were developed with good intention to make us safer.

    I’m sorry for the long ramble…

  3. Kelli -  January 7, 2013 - 9:11 pm

    Don’t apologize! I’m thankful for feedback like this. I’m going to do a little more reading on this subject so I can look into it further. Does PubMed happen to have research on this subject? Anyway, thank you for such a civil discussion. Who knows, I may have to rescind my colloidal silver suggestion. 😉 Thanks Lori!

Leave comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.