Thursday, November 29, 2012

Learn Easy and Powerful Immune Boosting Tips


The above quote is 100% true. Every drink and bite we take will either help our bodies fight against disease or allow disease to over-run us. 

Today, I’m going to share sixteen immune boosting tips that will help you nourish and heal your body throughout the toughest months of the year.  Old man winter is coming and because the biggest holidays {parties and celebrations} are within its grip, many become sick during this season.  Ladies, we all know as caregivers we tend to forget about ourselves.  Now is the time to put yourself first so you can be at your best to care for all those you love.

I share this list as a reminder to myself and I pray it helps many of you remain healthy this year!
These are my go to essential oils when anyone starts to come down with anything!

NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  All tips are from my personal experience and research.  If you are experiencing any health challenges, then please consult a physician you trust to help incorporate these into your life safely. 

Let’s get started with the one that is easiest immune boosters and yet so many refuse to do…(feel free to pin and share this is too good to keep to yourselves!)

Immune Boosting Tip #1 Drink... (More)... Water.
I have shared this tip so many times over the years. Drinking enough water every single day is vital to your health!


Water is the substance of life. Life can not exist without water. We must constantly be adding fresh water to our body in order to keep it properly hydrated. Water can be a miracle cure for many common ailments such as headaches, fatigue, joint pain, and much more. We can go for weeks without food, but only 3 days without water!

The body is comprised of 80% water. Water makes up nearly 85 percent of your brain, about 80 percent of your blood and about 70 percent of your lean muscle. (Because there are a lot of tissues that have less water, the average is about 50 percent.).

It is difficult for the body to get water from any other source than water itself. Soft drinks and alcohol steal tremendous amounts of water from the body. Other beverages such as coffee and tea are diuretics therefore stealing precious water from the body. (source and to continue reading the top ten reasons our bodies need water click here)


Here is another great post on the health benefits and importance of drinking enough water.


Because I believe drinking enough water is the most important immune boosting tip – please read this post as well., you will learn the importance of drinking a cup of warm lemon water each morning. If you do not have organic lemons available you can use Spark Natural’s lemon essential oil.

Immune Boosting Tip #2:  Eliminate or Reduce Refined Sugars and Artificial Ingredients.
The average American now consumes 175 pounds of sugar per year.

Just in case those didn’t make your cringe – check this out:

More great resources on cutting back and avoiding refined sugars:

Immune Boosting Tip #3:  Get more sleep. PERIOD.

not enough sleep

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but this one has been very hard for me the older I get.  I have struggled for years getting 8 hours or more of sleep.  Not to mention falling asleep.  Hormones and thinking have been my greatest sleep robbers.  I’m finally getting a handle on both and with the help of my naturopaths I’m happy to report sleep is now my friend!

Women’s Health posted this great article on How to Sleep Better: Solutions for Insomnia

A lack of sleep will weaken your immune system, not only reducing T cells but also impacting levels of proteins called cytokines. Research shows that your risk rises significantly if you sleep for under seven hours a night, and the less you sleep, the more likely you are to weaken immune function.
The hormone melatonin is also secreted while you sleep, and since insufficient melatonin production is linked to decreased immune function, this is another route by which your sleeping habits influence your immune health. You should know that exposure to light at night will also interfere with your production of melatonin, so it’s important to keep your bedroom very dark, and also keep the light off if you wake up at night to use the bathroom.

Quoted from:

Immune Boosting Tip #4 Lower Your Stress and Learn How to Manage it Better
Stress is one of the leading causes of disease and us not feeling well.  Learning how to manage and reduce stress is key to remaining healthy and enjoying life – even during our toughest seasons.

Learning healthier ways to manage stress
If your methods of coping with stress aren’t contributing to your greater emotional and physical health, it’s time to find healthier ones. There are many healthy ways to manage and cope with stress, but they all require change. You can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose, it’s helpful to think of the four As: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.
Since everyone has a unique response to stress, there is no “one size fits all” solution to managing it. No single method works for everyone or in every situation, so experiment with different techniques and strategies. Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control.
Dealing with Stressful Situations: The Four A’s
Change the situation:
  • Avoid the stressor.
  • Alter the stressor.
Change your reaction:
  • Adapt to the stressor.
  • Accept the stressor.
Manage Stress is by Adjusting Your Attitude
How you think can have a profound effect on your emotional and physical well-being. Each time you think a negative thought about yourself, your body reacts as if it were in the throes of a tension-filled situation. If you see good things about yourself, you are more likely to feel good; the reverse is also true. Eliminate words such as "always," "never," "should," and "must." These are telltale marks of self-defeating thoughts.
Healthy ways to relax and recharge
  • Meditate and Pray.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Call a good friend.
  • Sweat out tension with a good workout.
  • Write in your journal.
  • Take a long bath.
  • Light scented candles.
  • Savor a warm cup of coffee or tea.
  • Play with a pet.
  • Work in your garden.
  • Get a massage.
  • Curl up with a good book.
  • Listen to music.
  • Watch a comedy.
The above are excerpts from this post on managing stress.
Another excellent post - 33 Ways to Reduce and Prevent Stress

Immune Boosting Tip #5 Slow. Down. and BREATHE.
Breathing is something most of us take for granted.  It happens without us really thinking about it.   Until, we are so stressed and can’t seem to take a breath or catch our breath.  Then we realize that we are not truly breathing in and feeding our mind, body, and soul.   Most of us are shallow breathers because we are on the go too much (over booking our schedules and our children), too stressed, and never really learned how to breathe.  

Breathing is one of the fastest ways to relax our body and mind, while easing the tension we are feeling from stress.

When I take a deep breath in I say to myself, “Breathe in Jesus and His love for me.”
When I let that breath out I say, “I’m letting go of “x” and all that it brings with it.”
Breathing and Stress Management – learn how to breathe properly and effectively to heal the body. 
The Power of Learning to Breathe Properly – another great post to help you understand the importance of deep breathing!
Deep Breathing the Truly Essential Exercise – Women’s Health Blog.
18 Benefits of Deep Breathing – Relax and breathe in while learning how to breathe properly.
There are days where the next graphic is all I can do…and when I stop to breathe deeply everything seems to feel a little better, I can think through the situation much clearer, and I am able to remember it will all be OK! 

Immune Boosting Tip #6  Sip, Drink, or Eat Homemade Chicken Stock/Broth Regularly.

Why?  Garlic, turmeric and ginger are potent detoxifying and antiviral herbs to help the body get rid of toxins, stimulate circulation, reduce inflammation, aid digestion and boost your immune system.  Coriander also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight disease. Adding a little protein such as chicken will supply your body with essential amino acids your body needs to heal and nourish. The perfect ingredients to help you get through the winter cold.
Add in coconut oil to your soup and diet for these immune boosting benefits:  unrefined coconut oil has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that can help to boost your immune system and recover from illness more quickly. You can add coconut oil to foods like smoothies or oatmeal for your child to eat, or use it as a base for homemade rubs where it will be absorbed into your child's body through their skin. 

Click this link to get the recipe for a great Immune Boosting Chicken Soup:

Here is a great chicken soup recipe to try as well!

Immune Boosting Tip #7 - Keep your body on the more alkaline side since viruses such as the flu will thrive in an acid environment.

It all started with me learning about Dr. Young out in California and drinking the green powder he developed 10 yrs ago.  I began a health journey to living a more alkaline life.  However, I no longer agree that a one size fits all diet works for everyone.  Thus, I changed my diet a year ago to add back in organic animal protein.  I still believe and agree it is very necessary to avoid the majority of acid foods available to us.  Those foods are on the left side of the following chart.   We eat a mainly alkaline diet today and avoid all the highly acidic foods.  I juice regularly and don’t eat tons of fruit until summer time.  When I begin to feel a little run down, I avoid all acid foods and increase my alkaline food intake.  I do the same for our children.

If you want to understand more about this diet and natural health theory – here are a few places to go (#1, #2, and #3)

Immune Boosting Tip #8: Co Q10 – We all need it!

The immune system protects and defends the body from foreign substances, from toxic waste in the body, from improperly digested proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, and many other actions that protect you. The main method the immune system uses to defend you is to act rapidly to perceived threats and to proliferate swiftly to perceived threats.

"Co Q10 can double the body’s level of protective antibodies, alleviate allergies, suppress proliferation of cancer cells, boost immune system chemicals that attack cancer cells, increase the body’s resistance to virus, and greatly enhance the general function of the immune system." Daily CoQ10 has more than just immune building benefits.  Quote source

CoQ10, also known as Coenzyme Q10 or ubiquinone or mitoquinone or ubidecarenone, is very important for the body. This is a vitamin-like substance that plays a major role in energy production in all body cells. The energy required by the body to perform different functions is generated in the body with the assistance of CoQ10. This substance was discovered in 1957 and it is naturally present in foods like organ meats, and in small quantities in beef, peanuts and sardines. As people grow older, their CoQ10 levels go down making it important to take CoQ10 supplements that help in rebalancing their levels of this essential enzyme. Deficiency of this enzyme might cause heart problems and even severe metabolic dysfunctions.  Thus, our need to take the right amount for our bodies each.

Read more here:

Immune Boosting Tip #9 – Start taking a quality probiotic and/or making them at home!

You might be more familiar with the words - Acidophilus or bifidophilus.  But, The word “probiotic” means “for life”.

Prebiotics, such as the oligosaccharides (which are fermented and not digested) in soya make the immunity-boosting organisms grow more rapidly and enhance their positive effect.
Pre- and probiotics. Pre- and probiotics are powerful immunity boosters. Prebiotics are food components that improve the food supply of the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, so that the beneficial bacteria can grow and flourish. Probiotics are cultures of the beneficial bacteria that occur in the intestinal tract of healthy human beings. Probiotics increase the uptake of important minerals (this includes synthesizing vitamins B complex and K, enhancing immune function by crowding out yeast and parasites, producing enzymes, helping regulate blood cholesterol, improving digestion and colon function, and helping to prevent certain types of cancer) from the GI tract thus preventing deficiencies, which lower immunity.

Here are probiotics that you can make at home: Kefir, Yogurt, Kombucha Tea, lacto-fermented beets, etc.
Here is a great article on Probiotics.
Our children take a probiotic each morning before eating breakfast.

Immune Boosting Tip # 10 – Fresh organic garlic.

Here is an excellent immune booster drink with garlic in it – check it out!

Immune Boosting Tip #11: Small and regular doses of a few select herbals help the immune system remain strong!
A great immune booster shot:  Grated organic ginger, 1 organic lemon 1 tablespoon of raw manuka honey, 1 teaspoon of organic cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon of organic fresh grated turmeric, 1 teaspoon of liquid Echinacea 

During the winter months we increase our Vit. C, Vit. D, Zinc, and Echinacea, especially when we know we will be exposed to more germs (school, church, and big family gatherings) and our bodies are under greater stress.

Another immune boosting herb I love is Tulsi (Holy Basil).  It comes in a wonderful variety of flavors! 

I drink at least two cups of this tea every day and when I am run down I will enjoy approximately 6 cups.

Immune Boosting Tip #12: Drink Green Tea and Eat Foods High in Antioxidants
I personally do not buy green tea from most stores.  Why?  Because I want to ensure I’m getting every benefit I can from only drinking a quality green tea.  I buy loose leaf organic green tea and am blessed with green tea from China (my dearest friend’s husband brings it home for me and many others as a gift twice a year).   

Here are two quality green teas that you can begin to enjoy straight from your home or office:  Rishi Organic Green Tea and Choice Organic Japanese Green Tea

Be sure to read this article and this one to understand all the amazing benefits we receive by drinking at least one cup of green tea a day.


Immune Boosting Tip #13 – Health benefits of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide

Check out these health benefits of a common kitchen staple, organic apple cider vinegar:
  • If you’re feeling exhausted after a workout, add a couple of tablespoons of this vinegar to your glass of water. It contains potassium and enzymes, and the amino acids can act as an antidote to the buildup of lactic acid in your system.
  • To whiten your teeth, gargle in the morning with apple cider vinegar and water — it helps remove stains and whiten your teeth, as well as kills bacteria in your mouth.
  • For an upset stomach, sip a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with water. If it’s a bacterial infection, the antibiotics in the vinegar can help.
  • A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar can stop hiccups immediately.
  • Before eating foods that you know are going to make you feel sick later, add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey to a glass of warm water and drink it about half an hour before you eat.
  • For leg cramps that wake you up in the night, add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a little honey to a glass of warm water.
  • Drinking one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water can help drain your sinuses.
  • When you start feeling a sore throat coming on, gargle ¼ cup apple cider vinegar and ¼ cup warm water every hour—the acidic environment vinegar creates kills most germs.
Scientific Evidence of Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits (source webmd)
But there are some medical uses of vinegar that do have promise, at least according to a few studies. Here's a rundown of some more recent ones.
  • Diabetes. The effect of vinegar on blood sugar levels is perhaps the best-researched and the most promising of apple cider vinegar's possible health benefits. Several studies have found that vinegar may help lower glucose levels. For instance, one 2007 study of 11 people with type 2 diabetes found that taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4%-6%.
  • High cholesterol . A 2006 study showed evidence that vinegar could lower cholesterol. However, the study was done in rats, so it's too early to know how it might work in people.
  • Blood pressure and heart health. Another study in rats found that vinegar could lower high blood pressure. A large observational study also found that people who ate oil and vinegar dressing on salads five to six times a week had lower rates of heart disease than people who didn't. However, it's far from clear that the vinegar was the reason.
  • Cancer . A few laboratory studies have found that vinegar may be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth.  Observational studies of people have been confusing. One found that eating vinegar was associated with a decreased risk of esophageal cancer. Another associated it with an increased risk of bladder cancer.
  • Weight Loss . For thousands of years, vinegar has been used for weight loss. White vinegar (and perhaps other types) might help people feel full. A 2005 study of 12 people found that those who ate a piece of bread along with small amounts of white vinegar felt fuller and more satisfied than those who just ate the bread. 
While the results of these studies are promising, they are all preliminary. Many were done on animals or on cells in a lab. The human studies have been small. Before we will truly know whether vinegar has any health benefits, much larger studies are needed.
I was so excited when I found a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash in our local organic market.   I now use it every time I brush my teeth.  I have the children gargle with it the minute they say their throat is getting sore.  I use it to clean all of our toothbrushes once a week during cold/flu season (then I throw them out at the end of each month). 
Hydrogen Peroxide Uses

Visit this link to read all the amazing health benefits and ways you can use hydrogen peroxide around your home.

Immune Boosting Tip #14 – Make your own immune booster.
GO TO THIS AWESOME TUTORIAL!!!  And read this post with a great recipe as well.

Immune Boosting Tip #15 Exercise is also very important to boosting our immune systems.  You can read more about it here. 

Immune Boosting Tip #16 Last but NOT least:   Don’t forget to laugh – A LOT!   You can even look into laugh therapy!

What tips do you use to stay healthy throughout the winter and year? I would love to hear them.

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  1. Every time I start to feel run down (if I've fallen short in any of the categories you posted!!) I drink Echinacea tea from Tradiitonal Medicinals.... works wonders and boosts your immune system!!

  2. LOVE this post!! So much good stuff all together in one place -- THANK YOU for taking the time to gather it all up and make it easy for us to follow!!! Most of these tips are so common sense, but yet, we all need a reminder about these.... and so many of them are so so SO easy to do - cause we do so many of them already, just adjusting a bit how we do them (um, drinking, breathing, sleeping???)

    One thing that you brought up was the apple cider vinegar thing. You had shared with me a apple immunity drink (link: and I drink that for several days as soon as I start thinking I'm getting sick -- and it's a huge help in that I don't get sick!! Woohoo!! It's actually really tasty, and depending on the color of apples you juice (or the color of the apple juice -- I've used Simply Apple when I didn't have time (or apples) to fresh juice my own apples) it can be a really pretty pink/red color -- or an interesting brown color... LOL


  3. Hey Girl,
    It's been good to "catch up" a little tonight reading some of your blog posts. Tell the kids I loved seeing their pictures. Having a newborn and sick kids lately I have felt out of the loop! After reading this post, I think I'll go have a cup of Tulsi tea!
    Love you,


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