These 9 natural remedies are a simple way to boost your immune system all year long, not just during flu season.
Growing up I used to get sick often. The average person was getting sick once per year, while I was getting hit with something around two to three times per year, nearly every year without fail.
To say I was sick of being sick would be a massive understatement. Back then, natural remedies weren’t on my radar, and I didn’t really know that there was a holistic way to nurse myself back to good health.
I was constantly getting antibiotics thrown at me, and little did I know at the time, they were just weakening my immune system even further.
Natural Remedies to Boost Immunity All Year Long
I take probiotics on a daily basis and I highly recommend them. Especially if you’ve been on any number of antibiotics in the past like I have.
Probiotics are full of good bacteria that help rebalance the gut bugs in your stomach, which can be offset by things such as poor eating habits, sugar, stress, or travel.
Eucalyptus (fresh or essential oil)
Eucalyptus is a great natural decongestant and can be used in a variety of ways. You can either buy a fresh bundle of eucalyptus leaves in the flower section at just about any grocery store or use eucalyptus essential oil.
The method: If using the fresh leaves, get a bowl of boiling water and a towel to form a steam tent.
You’ll put the fresh leaves in the boiling water and cover the bowl for about 5 minutes to let the leaves steep.
Once ready, with your eyes closed, hover your face a few inches above the bowl (being careful not to burn yourself) and put the towel over the back of your head.
Between the steam and the eucalyptus, it’ll help break down and open up your airways. Do this for no more than 20 minutes at a time. The steam tent can also be done with 2-3 drops of essential oil instead of the fresh leaves. Both ways are beneficial.
Another option is to use eucalyptus oil diluted with another oil topically. Please don’t put essential oils directly on your skin unless you dilute them with another carrier oil (such as coconut, almond, or jojoba), as they can sometimes burn or cause a reaction due to the intensity of the oil.
And always try out a test patch on your hand or ankle before rubbing it all over a large area to make sure you don’t react to the oil.
Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, clementines are an excellent source of Vitamin C, which helps to boost your immune system. I recommend buying organic when possible, and if it’s not possible, just know that conventional fruits are better than none at all.
Elderberry syrup is a great way to support a healthy immune system. It’s great to take when you’re feeling run down, traveling, or just want to use as a preventative.
I keep this elderberry syrup stocked in my natural medicine cabinet and increase my dosage when I’m feeling run down.
Lemon Ginger Shots
I swear by these. I’ve gotten my family hooked on them, and recommend them any time someone tells me they are starting to feel unwell.
Lemon is a great source of vitamin C, helps to fight infections, and helps to naturally detoxify the body. Ginger is anti-inflammatory, can settle an uneasy stomach, helps with nausea, and is antibacterial.
- Add the juice of 1/2 to 1 whole lemon, 1/2- 1 inch knob of ginger root (it really depends on preference) grated or juiced, and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
- Take it like a shot.
It burns a little from the ginger, but it’s over quickly. Take these shots 1-3 times per day as needed.
Local, Raw Honey
Raw honey is a great source of antioxidants, has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and is a real powerhouse at fighting infections and soothing a sore throat.
It can be eaten straight off the spoon, mixed into tea or other warm drinks.
Local honey is unfiltered and contains local pollens to help prepare the body for the changing of seasons.
You know those bottles of honey in the shape of a bear? That’s not the kind of honey you want to be buying.
Why? Because they often don’t contain very much honey at all plus they’re filtered (getting rid of the pollen). They’re often made with fillers such as chemical sweeteners among other things you don’t want to be ingesting.
So, when buying honey make sure that it says it’s unfiltered and raw, and even better if it’s local.
Related: best natural sweeteners
Manuka honey is also an incredible source, but it’s very pricey.
Like ginger, turmeric root (in the same family as ginger root) has many anti-inflammatory properties and is a great natural remedy.
Curcumin is the compound in turmeric that has all the anti-inflammatory benefits. To reap these benefits, black pepper must be present to activate the curcumin for the body to absorb and use more readily.
If you can’t find any fresh turmeric root, ground turmeric works just as well!
- Over medium-low heat add 1 cup milk of choice (canned coconut milk works well here), 1/2 t ground turmeric powder, 1/2 t ground ginger (of finely chopped ginger), 1/2 t ground cinnamon, 1 t raw honey or maple syrup (optional) stirring gently until well combined and warmed through.
- For a smoother drink, blend before serving.
Traditional Medicinals is my favorite brand of herbal tea. They have a wide variety of high-quality organic teas that are especially helpful for the common cold.
Related: The Best Organic Tea Brands
One of which is their gypsy cold care tea. It’s basically the holistic health version of Theraflu. It works wonders and is incredibly soothing.
Diffusing Essential Oils
Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts.
Diffusing essential oils is a great way to reap their natural benefits. It can help clean out stale air, along with making it easier to breathe, and getting rid of a headache.
They’re also great for making homemade Himalayan salt scrub.
The uses for essential oils really are endless.
You can create your own blends for maximum efficiency, and because the oils are so concentrated, a little goes a long way.
Two to three drops are all you need. Peppermint, eucalyptus (as mentioned above), tea tree, lavender, oregano, and lemon are some of my favorites to use when I’m feeling under the weather.