STRENGTHEN IMMUNITY & PREVENT INFECTION
With 16 TCM Inspired Tips
Seems like there’s a new strain of flu, virus, or infection popping up all the time these days, right? But don’t panic! Before you try one of those crazy social media trends to prevent illness, take a peek at our list of 16 tips. We want you to be prepared with holistic strategies to strengthen immunity and keep yourself healthy the natural way.
Here are diet and lifestyle adjustments from TCM you can make to support a strong immune system.
1. Get Garlic-y
Fun fact: while it might give you some killer breath, you can also get the benefit of immune support. Considered an antibacterial and antiviral solution, garlic is a yang food that helps support digestion and flush out toxins from the body.
2. Burn Sage
Sage isn’t just for your hippie friends. Studies have shown that burning medicinal herbs like sage kills up to 94% of airborne bacteria and the effects last up to 24 hours. Ignite your bundle of sage and walk around your home, letting the smoke waft into each corner of the rooms to cover all your bases.
3. Try Elderberry Syrup
A classic in TCM, elderberry has finally made its grand entrance to popularity in modern medicine too. This medicinal berry is used to help bolster the immune system and help ease respiratory infections. Studies have shown that elderberries are effective in cutting down colds by up to four days. You can find elderberries in teas, syrups, and supplements.
4. Add Echinacea to Your Routine
It might be time to switch up your morning cup of tea! Ditch the black tea and opt for an echinacea tea during prime cold and flu season. There’s no clear evidence that it can shorten your cold, but it is considered a preventative measure.
5. Minimize Stress
Here’s your perfect excuse to say ‘no’ to helping Karen from Accounting figure out how to use Zoom for the fifth time. Stressful situations like that can literally drain your energy and weaken your immune system. Do what you can to cut out excessive stress in your days and save that energy for your immune system.
6. Increase Vitamin C and Zinc
Instead of fighting over toilet paper at the grocery store, you might want to stock up on orange juice instead. Studies have shown that vitamin C and zinc are two of the most powerful supplements to support a healthy immune system. Vitamin C is so powerful there’s even a new clinical study in China for treatment of coronavirus through high amounts of the stuff.
7. Catch Some Extra Z’s
Now is not the time to pull that all-nighter. Sleep is the prime time for our bodies to repair any damage, fight off pathogens, and recharge to face the bacteria and viruses of the world the following day. When we don’t get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, these functions might be cut short, leading to greater risk.
8. Exercise Consistently
Maintaining a regular and balanced exercise routine supports your immune system. While you don’t want to overdo it and put too much stress on your body, it’s important to get your blood moving, your heart rate up, and maintain your physical fitness and strength.
While not as fun as a martini, an immune boosting health shot is a winner. These two-ounce drinks might be small, but they’re packed with quite the punch. Ginger and turmeric have both been studied for their immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory benefits. Take a shot each morning for some daily immunity TLC. You can find health shots in many grocery and health stores or make them at home.
10. Eat More Mushrooms
In TCM, reishi and shiitake mushrooms are considered a powerful adaptogen, or superfood, designed to heal and nourish the body. Primed for immune support, mushrooms have the science to back them up too. These mushrooms all are said to be good options; reishi, shiitake, maitake, cordyceps, tremella, and turkey tail.
11. Be Mindful of Alcohol Intake
While it might be 5 o’clock somewhere, you should consider reaching for the mocktail instead of the cocktail. Too much alcohol can actually weaken our immune systems, leaving us open to viral threats.
Now, that you’re prepped on the inside, what about the outside? We all know that we need to wash our hands, keep them away from our face, and sanitize the things we touch often, there are a few things that are often overlooked….
When was the last time you were without your phone? You can’t remember right. We bet you can’t remember the last time you cleaned it either. If you’re as attached to your phone as we are, you should be sanitizing it once a day or at least a few times a week if you’re worried about catching a bug.
While you’re at it with the phone, give your laptop a clean too. Think about all the crumbs in your keyboard….
14. Steering Wheel
Think about all the things you touch at the grocery store or the gas station. Then you get right back in your car and touch the steering wheel. Prevent those hitchhiking germs from coming home with you by sanitizing your steering wheel (and maybe your seatbelt, and controls too).
15. Regularly Wash Bedding
Is it just us, or are the days flying by lately. I don’t know what the date is and I barely know what the day is. So, it’s likely that too many days have gone by since you last washed your bedding. Set a reminder in your phone and we bet you’ll be surprised that it’s already that time again.
16. Bags and Purses
When you sit down for coffee at Starbucks, where do you put your bag? Probably on the ground or table, both of which are prime locations for roaming bacteria and viruses. When you bring your bag home with you, you might also be bringing those yucky guys too. Be sure to spray a disinfectant or wipe down your most-loved bags.