The Center for Disease Control claims that influenza viruses continue to wreak havoc in 41 states! Did you get your flu shot?

If so, that’s great, and make sure you do it again next year. But, bear in mind that some other viruses can cause respiratory illnesses such as adenoviruses, coronaviruses, parainfluenza viruses, rhinoviruses and so on, not to mention some bacteria such as streptococcus.

How to Improve Your Immune System

How to Improve Your Immune System

Despite your world teams with infectious microorganisms, you consider yourself to be reasonably healthy most of the time, right? This is all because of your immune system which will defend you from the microbes that cause the diseases. But now, you need to step a bit beyond the gratitude and optimize the function of that system.

  • Avoid smoking tobacco – your basic immune defenses will be undermined and plus, you will increase your risk of pneumonia and bronchitis in you and everyone around you, as well as the middle ear infections in children.
  • Manage your stress and get enough sleep – overload of stress, combined with sleep deprivation will increase the cortisol levels in the body, and the prolonged elevation will suppress the optimal function of your immune system.
  • Consume less alcohol – the excessive consumption of alcohol will impair your immune system and will increase your vulnerability to any lung infections.
  • Consider using probiotics – some studies have showed that supplements reduce the incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. Also, the fermented milk products have have been shown to reduce the respiratory issues with children as well as with adults.
  • You should eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds – it will provide your body and your immune system with the nutrients it needs. A study conducted with older adults showed that increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables improved the response of the antibody to the Pneumovax vaccine, which protects against the bacteria streptococcus.
  • Go for the garlic!the garlic is an anti microbial agent which is filled with powerful nutrients, and is considered to be a great immune system booster. Add it to your food just before you serve it, because the heat deactivates the key active ingredient in the garlic.
  • Try consuming medicinal mushrooms – maitake (further known as hen of the woods) and shiitake, combined with a recent study showed that the concentrated extract of these mushrooms enhance the immune function in women who are dealing with breast cancer.
  • Try herbs which are supportive for your immune system – if you constantly get infections, consider taking some immune supportive herbs such as eleuthero, Asian ginseng, astragalus or American ginseng.
  • You can make echinacea tincture – this is good to have in hand, especially when you are being under attack from respiratory viruses.
  • Finally, get some sun rays – the sunlight can trigger the skin’s production of Vitamin D. during the summer, a 10 to 15 minutes exposure without any sunscreen is enough. However, above latitude of 42 degrees (Boston) from November to February, the sunlight can be too feeble and few foods contain it. The lower levels of Vitamin D relate with an increased risk of respiratory infections. A study conducted in the year of 2010 with kids showed that 1200 IU per day of supplemental Vitamin D can reduce the risk of influenza A. however, another study conducted in the year of 2012 conducted on adults with colon cancer who supplemented 1000 IU a day showed that it failed to demonstrate protection against any upper respiratory infections.

This is why we will present you with a recipe for a cold.

Take a pint jar, and add a cup of ground Echinacea purpurea root, which is a type known to enhance the function of the immune system and reduce the severity of the cold symptoms, as well as the duration of the cold. Take the jar, add ½ cup of vodka in it and then stir. If there is not about two inches of vodka layered above the ground root, then just add more vodka. Stir it daily.

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Leave it like that for a period of a month and then after 4 weeks, strain this mixture through a cheesecloth in a clean jar. At first, take ½ teaspoon of tincture dissolved in water every two hours during the day. After the first two days, reduce the dosage of ½ teaspoon three times a day during your cold.