Sunday, October 25, 2009

Winter SelfDefence Easy Ways to Support Your Immune System

The winter months are a challenge to our health but need not be a threat. Here are some easy ways to give your immune system a boost and help protect yourself from viruses and bacterial infections.

Get good rest

Avoid burning the midnight oil and instead snuggle down with some essential oils such as lavender, which has antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Get outside every day

Even if it's only for a few minutes, step outside and take some deep breaths, have a good stretch and go for a brisk walk if you can.

Eat fresh foods high in natural energy and vitamin C

Soups and stews that are warming, nourishing and easy to digest are ideal for the winter months. Now is not the time for cold foods and drinks. Think warm, fresh and comforting and you will be on the right track for improved immunity.

Positive Thinking and Natural Support

Our immunity can be compromised by stress and negative emotions. Finding ways to relax and enjoy the winter months can go along way to helping us keep fit and healthy. Simple pleasures like essential oils and a supportive diet can help chase away tension and lift your spirits.

The key is to go with the flow of the season, to adjust with it and adopt some self-supportive habits. Try warm baths with aromatic oils and candles; hearty home cooked meals and snuggling down for an early night with an uplifting read.

Take Thyme Out

Thyme essential oil is antiviral and antibacterial. Use a few drops in an oil burner or add to your bath for an immunity boosting, muscle soothing soak. Thyme oil can irritate sensitive skin, so mix it with some oil (such as grape seed or almond) or milk, before adding to your bath under hot running water.

Note: Do not use if you are pregnant or have high blood pressure.

Super-Foods for Boosting Immunity:

# Ginger

Ginger is one of the best natural remedies for relief from colds and flu, it has anti-viral compounds, and it can help sooth coughs and reduce pain too.

# Apples

Apples are known to be high in vitamin C; they also contain antiviral and antibacterial compounds. In the winter months they are delicious served baked or stewed with cloves.

# Liquorice

Liquorice tea is a warming and soothing drink revered for it's healing abilities in soothing sore throats and coughs. Look out for Liquorice Egyptian Spice by Yogi Tea in your local supermarket or health store.

Easy Winter Warmer

Put two cups of good quality cloudy apple juice in a saucepan
add ? teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
? teaspoon of cinnamon powder (or a whole cinnamon stick)
and a pinch of clove powder (or 3 whole cloves)
simmer for 5 minutes, then strain and serve

This vitamin C rich drink is quick and easy to prepare and contains a blend of soothing and supportive ingredients that combine to lift your spirits and boost your immune system.

Ananga Sivyer is a contributing editor and health consultant for LifeScape magazine and the author of the self-help workbook: The Art & Science of Emotional Freedom

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