‘Tis the Season to Boost Your Immune System

I hope everyone had a nice, relaxing Thanksgiving spent with people you love. I know we did.

road trip

Gary and I drove 12 hours to Virginia to spend Thanksgiving with his daughter and her family. And on Friday, we drove 3 more hours southeast to meet and stay with her boyfriend’s parents and family. It was such a wonderful experience to spend Thanksgiving with total strangers yet feel so welcomed. We talked and got to know each other, laughed until our belly’s ached and ate and ate and ate. Do you remember the feeling when you were a kid of walking into your Grandmother’s house and immediately feeling right at home, all warm and cozy? That’s exactly how we both felt this weekend and I can’t emphasize enough how much the entire weekend meant to us to be able to spend it with family and our new-found friends.

With all the hustle and bustle tho, I started to feel a bit wonky and rundown on the last day of our trip. My throat was hurting, my gland’s swelled and I was getting one of those dull headaches that really slow you down. On our 15 hour drive home, it completely crashed into a full-blown head cold with an awful cough. Constant runny nose, a cough that burns in your chest and that damn headache that just won’t quit and poor Gary, trapped in a car with germ-infested me (true love indeed). Monday, we both took the day off; I slept most of it and he did his own thing.

Today, I woke saying I need to take matters into my own hands if I want this cold to go away. So, I’ve been sipping herbal tea and chicken broth and trying to sleep as much as my body will allow. This is the time to be as selfish as humanly possible. I can’t tell you enough – REST  –  REST  –  REST!

I’ve also gone to the Health Food Store and stocked up on the following:

Turmeric Plus  –  I take 1-2 capsules or 500-1000mg per day. (the plus is black pepper extract)

Ashwagandha  –  I take 1-2 capsules or 500-1000mg per day.

Vitamin D3  –  take 4-5000IU per day.

Chyawanprash  –  take 1 spoonful or more every few hours.

The science behind this 

Turmeric is an herb that has been used for thousands of years, and the research continues to be impressive. With over 300 active constituents, turmeric has been found to support the natural production of new brain cells during sleep, help lower cortisol levels, increase antioxidant stress-fighting activity and boost lymphatic circulation. Turmeric is also emerging as an adaptogenic herb for stress-related mood concerns. It’s also been found to boost the immune system’s natural response to stress triggers, supporting healthy lymphatic flow during acute stress. Black Pepper Extract helps to relieve a cough and cold and has an antibacterial quality.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has many studies showing its stress-mitigating properties. An adaptogen is an herb with many benefits, energizing the body when it needs it during the day, and calming overactive nerves for easy and restful sleep at night.

Vitamin D3 plays a critical role in supporting immunity. Low serotonin levels, which have been linked to seasonal mood imbalances, may be caused by vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D levels often plummet naturally in the winter months due to a lack of sunshine. Vitamin D activates genes that protect antimicrobial peptides, which govern our immune systems and support the body’s natural immune response to the change in seasons. It is converted into its potent form in the respiratory cells, a process that supports healthy lungs and immunity.

Chyawanprash is an immune-supportive, vitamin C-rich, antioxidant herbal paste for both adults and kids. For kids, give them a spoonful with breakfast along with a squirt of liquid vitamin D3. With a supporting cast of over 40 organic herbs, chyawanprash is a classic Ayurvedic formula for anyone who needs support during the change of seasons and stressful life in general. Chyawanprash helps support the body’s natural ability to remove toxins from the body and helps support optimal vitality when you need it most.

I also highly recommend steering clear of all dairy products, especially when you’re feeling run down, as they tend to be more inflammatory on the body.

If you find yourself starting to feel wonky or know that because of the upcoming holidays and festivities you’re going to run yourself a bit thinner than normal – I highly recommend taking extra special care of yourself. These strategies, along with rest, warm baths, yoga, and extra down time with help keep you healthy and happy.

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