Winter is sneaking up faster and faster and today, I’d like to show you how to use essential oils to boost your immune system. With all the germs flying around during the late fall and winter months, along with using essential oils, there’s several simple ways you can avoid colds and the flu.
White blood cells, also known as leukocytes, make up approximately 1% of your blood but they are warriors! Leukocytes are your first line of defense against illness and disease and when your immune system is perking along nicely; you’re able to fight off much of the bacteria and viruses that you’re exposed to.
The University of Rochester Medical Center has a great explanation of how your white blood cells protect you:
Think of white blood cells as your immunity cells. In a sense, they are continually at war. They flow through your bloodstream to battle viruses, bacteria, and other foreign invaders that threaten your health. When your body is in distress and a particular area is under attack, white blood cells rush in to help destroy the harmful substance and prevent illness.
Each time you are exposed to a virus or bacteria or even when you cut yourself, your white blood cells rush to fend off the invaders and help you stay healthy. The cool part? They have a memory and the next time you are exposed to something they’ve already fought off, they’re even better at it because they “remember” what to do from the last time.
Staying Healthy During The Holidays
Everyone knows that with the holidays comes stress, junk food and an ever expanding to-do list. Here’s how to boost your immune system simply and effectively during the holidays:
- Eat good clean food – stay away from the junk food as much as possible
- Sleep – I know it’s a busy time, but sleep helps maintain your health
- Hydrate – I want that extra glass of wine too, but get lots of pure water.
- Exercise – if nothing else, move your body for 10 minutes by stretching
- Say no thank you – you can’t be everywhere and sometimes saying no is the healthiest option
Even if your schedule is full of parties, there are a surprising number of ways to eat immunity boosting foods and still indulge. Healthline.com has a list of 15 foods that are excellent to boost your immune system and here are just a few:
- Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and clementines
- Red bell peppers – they have twice as much Vitamin C as citrus fruits
- Broccoli – raw is best, but steamed is good, too
- Garlic – helps fight off infections
- Chicken (or turkey), especially chicken noodle soup
- Almonds – full of Vitamin E which is important for a healthy immune system
Many of the holiday party trays have red bell peppers and broccoli that make it easy to eat immunity boosting foods. If you’re asked to bring something to a party, why not be a hero and bring a healthy snack instead of sweets? I know we all want the fudge and rum balls, but overindulging has its’ price. Here’s a simple recipe with some of the ingredients listed above for a unique and tasty salad:
Fast Chicken and Broccoli Salad
- 1 large head of broccoli
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (or goat cheese if you prefer)
- Juice of one fresh lemon
- 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil + one extra tablespoon
- Salad Greens of your choice
Chop up the broccoli and red bell pepper into bite sized pieces and set aside. Saute the chicken breasts in the olive oil until cooked; let cool. When cool enough to handle, chop up the chicken breasts into bite sized pieces. Combine broccoli, bell pepper, minced garlic, chicken, slivered almonds, parmesan cheese, lemon juice and the extra tablespoon of olive oil (or a bit more to taste) into a large bowl and toss well; add chopped greens and toss again. Serve cold. You can always substitute your favorite salad dressing instead of the extra olive oil. You can also add other things like tomatoes, red onions and chopped raw cauliflower if you want even more taste.
This makes a big colorful bowl of salad to take to holiday parties and dinners!
How To Use Essential Oils To Boost Your Immune System
Aromatherapy is a simple and effective way use essential oils to boost your immune system. Here is the blend I make for boosting your immune system:
Immune System Tonic
Combine all ingredients into a 2 ounce glass bottle with a pump dispenser. Shake well before each use and apply to your neck, throat and chest 3 or 4 times daily. If you want me to make this for you, simply go to the Scented Balance website to purchase it using the Custom Aromatherapy Oil Blend link for $19.95 plus tax and shipping. Simply mention in the notes that you want the Immune System Tonic and I’ll take it from there!
I created a Facebook Live video about your immune system and how you can stay healthy during the holidays and you can see it here. By the way – Facebook rewards business pages each time you watch and share a video, so please do watch and share! You’ll help a whole lot of your friends stay healthier this holiday season and I can always use the Facebook brownie points!
What else can you do to stay healthy this winter? Wash your hands with plain soap and warm water. Don’t use the antibacterial stuff – you’re killing off the good “germs” along with the bad ones and it makes you more susceptible to sickness. Do your best to keep your hands away from your face – especially your eyes. I wrote a post earlier this year about staving off colds and flu – it’s still good information!
Stress and Your Immune System
I can tell you from experience that stress wreaks havoc on your immune system. Constant stress wears you down and it’s ever present during the holiday season. I managed to completely burn out my adrenal system two different times and yes, I’ve learned my lesson about stress! I lived with chronic stress for way too many years and it’s hard on your whole body.
WebMD.com has some suggestions for managing your stress:
- Get enough sleep – yes this is the second time I’ve mentioned this – it’s that important!
- Learn and use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation daily
- Exercise – even if it’s only for a few minutes, your body is meant to move
- Take time for yourself to decompress
- Build your support network to keep in touch when you’re stressed
- During times of high stress, consider counseling. I’m a holistic life coach and I can help you!
- Get more magnesium oil in your diet by supplementation or applying directly to your skin.
I know a lot of this information seems like something we should already know, but it’s good to be reminded every once in a while to take care of yourself first – all through the year – but especially around the holidays.
Please let me know how I can help you – I’m grateful for you and happy to be your aromatherapist and holistic life coach! Fill out this contact form and let me know how I can help you today!