How do I naturally boost the immune system?

Naturally Boost Your Immune System Loula NAtural

How do I naturally boost the immune system?

Inflammation is key to healing and the immune system- it is the way the body puts up barriers to shield off the area needing repair. By allowing the inflammation, heat (fever), pain and swelling to be like a no go area (like when resurfacing a road) you are allowing that area to get what it needs. By ignoring these symptoms and surpressing them with anti-histamines, anti-inflammatories, pain killers, steroids, antibiotics and so many other methods you are prolonging the area the time and resources it needs to heal and return to optimum health. By using natural methods to boost the immune system, you can promote healing and repair of the whole body.

Look to nutrients which support the immune system and all the jobs it needs to do- central to this, of course, are bacteria. Fermented foods are the easiest way to get the body balanced. A man named Antoine Bechamp (who worked alongside Louis Pasteur) discovered tiny organisms he called “microzymas” which are present in all things – animal, vegetable, and mineral, whether living or dead. Depending upon the condition of the host, these microzymas could assume various forms. Bad bacteria and viruses were simply the forms assumed by the microzymas when there was a condition of disease. In a diseased body, the microzymas became pathological bacteria and viruses all in the name of survival. In a healthy body, microzymas formed healthy cells. Fermented foods have a balanced ratio of these microzyma’s which can morph, adapt and transform into what the body needs to regain balance. 

Also read this great article from Lynn Margulis about how Kefir forms in the same manner. There is also this one on multicellularity;

“Single celled micro-organisms are constantly interacting with their neighbours, from individuals of the same species to cells from different domains of life, forming complex biofilm patterns, complex nutritional symbioses, and complex clumps.” (source)

Here is Kefir under the microscope;

kefirmicroscopy

 Sometimes this may mean the body’s inflammatory response will turn on to set up a healing area so that the body is able to find energy, strength and motivation. A common thing I hear is that ‘fermented foods do not agree with me”. This is not true- the body has to sometimes go through upheaval to achieve balance. We are 10-20 times more bacterial cells than human cells. Fermented foods are essential for every age to boost the immune system.

Every human on the planet needs fermented foods in their daily diet. Regardless of age.

Life gets better Loula Natural

Firstly REDUCE the IMPACT of Stress

Excessive stress (whether mental, physical or emotional) is detrimental to your immune system and therefore your overall health. Stress affects you by drawing away your life blood from the organs to supply the skeletal muscles in the fight or flight mode. Whether you perceive stress or not, stress is a reaction to stimulus, whether that be walking down the road in a city with everything going on around you, to being overworked and underfed in a job situation, to constantly worrying about anything and everything.

Even watching TV is a stressful situation as the constant flicker and movement is incredibly stimulating. In fight or flight (the opposite being the Relaxation response) mode the blood supply is diverted away from your organs to the skeletal muscles. By diverting the blood supply you are taking away nutrients, oxygen and life source away from the cells in your vital organs disrupting the essential environment and processes for cellular health. Any stagnation, mental, physical and emotional will also contribute to this. To boost the immune system we need to have times in the day to return to rest and recovery mode.

Use Breathing techniques (here is my Rainbow Breathing and Simple Meditation from Real Fit Mama)

Visualisation techniques

Gentle exercise like hiking and yoga

Get into nature- grounding

meditation

Massage

Bach Flower Remedies

EFT

Aromatherapy (essential oils)

Get back to REST and RECOVERY everyday for at least 1-5 minutes. Tiny changes can make huge differences.

Nutrients needed to boost the immune system then also help the bacterial levels in your body or will help the body through the various stages of inflammation (heat, swelling, pain and redness (blood circulation).

Immune Boosting Foods

Nutrients that help can naturally help balance bacteria;

Fermented foods (see my book Culture Your Life)

Elderberry

Lavender

Onions,

Garlic,

Raw honey  

Calendula

Super Greens

Spices; Cinnamon, cloves, star anise

Coconut (oil, meat, water)

Jerusalam artichokes

Ginger

Herbs; thyme, rosemary, oregano, coriander, parsley and basil

Protecting nutrients (allow the body to do its job);

Anti-Oxidants (berries, greens, hibiscus, Rose hips, elderberries)

Viamin A

Vitamin C (including citrus fruits)

Hormone Balancers (like blood-sugar balancers-Holy Basil, cinnamon)

Vitamin D

Fats (butter/ghee, coconut oil, nuts/seeds, avocado’s and eggs)

Protein (including gelatin)

Magnesium

Zinc

Ginger (helps to raise the body temperature)

Bone Broths

Herbs; thyme, rosemary, oregano, coriander, parsley and basil

Nutrients that also clean up and restore the area back to normal

Chamomile

Anti-inflammatories (see a whole list here)

Fermented Foods (see my book Culture Your Life)

Epsom salts

Oats

Aloe Vera

Turmeric

Elderberry

Immune Boosting Foods Pin

More Information:

culture your life

5 Reasons to make Kefir

Kefir FAQ

5 Reasons to Brew Kombucha

Spring into HEalth

Inflammation

Heal From Inflammation

Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients

Naturopaths First Aid Kit

What to do when your kids get sick

What to do when you get sick- fever

5 ways Nutrition can change your life

Recipes

Honey and Onion Immune Elixir

Sunshine Shot

Elderberry Cordial

Immune boosting pumpkin pie spices

Lemon, Honey and Ginger Tea

Hibiscus Tea

Orange Peel Powder

How to make your own bone broth

Coconut and ginger chicken soup

Coconut Milk

Lemon, Orange and ginger curd

Healing Body Butter

 Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak

See here also for my fermenting Inspiration Pinterest Board; 

Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest.

check out this post;

How does the Immune System Work Loula Natural

Naturally Boost Your Immune System Loula NAtural Pin

How To; Ferment Sauerkraut

How To: Ferment Sauerkraut

Ferment Saurkraut Loula Natural fb

For my inspiration watch this;

Sandor Katz has taught me so much about fermenting… here is his book The Art of Fermentation. and here is his book Wild Fermentation and the link to his website.

Here is how I have tried to make sauerkraut- without a crock or any kind of fancy equipment! Just what I already have in the house.

Sauerkraut is cabbage that has been fermented. Normally made from finely shredded cabbage and salt. The salt preserves the cabbage for a few days while the probiotic bacteria begin to grow. Raw naturally fermented sauerkraut contains lactic acid and the living probiotic microorganisms that are beneficial to the digestive and immune systems.

Fermented cabbage has a long history of providing benefits for many different health conditions mainly because fermentation process increases the bioavailability of nutrients rendering sauerkraut even more nutritious than the original cabbage.

I have used a mix of half red cabbage and half white cabbage cause I love both. Cabbage is one of the cruciferous vegetables which may have huge benefits on the digestive and hormonal systems. The vibrant colour of red cabbage reflects it concentration of protective phytonutrients, far more than a green cabbage. This enhances the claims to health benefits such as dietary antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Fermenting these (and adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to potentially further enhance them) make these nutrients a powerful mix of goodness and healing for the body.

Here is the recipe with directions and I have photos to follow

Sauerkraut
A simple way to ferment cabbage using only salt and cabbage!
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 head of red cabbage thinly sliced
  2. 1/2 head of white cabbage thinly sliced
  3. 1-2% of cabbage weight in sea salt/ pink Himalayan salt (I generally use 1.5% weight)
  4. Equipment;
  5. Bowl
  6. Mason Jar (or litre jar)
  7. Jar which will fit into the mouth of the mason jar or
  8. A ceramic crock/ glass fido jar with a wide opening with a plate on top to weigh down the cabbage
Instructions
  1. Try and retain one of the outside leaves of the cabbage for later, cut out heart of cabbage
  2. Weigh the cabbage and times the weight by 0.015 to find out 1.5%. Weigh out that amount in salt.
  3. Thinly slice your cabbage.
  4. Add the thinly sliced cabbage to a non reactive bowl (plastic, glass, stainless steel or ceramic).
  5. Add the salt and get your hands in there to massage and work in the salt. The cabbage will quickly become softer and wilted. You will start to see water collecting in the bottom of the bowl.
  6. Add to the mason jar/ceramic crock pushing the cabbage down with a wooden spoon, potato masher or your other jar. You can also just use your fingers. You will notice the brine being created and rising up to the top of the cabbage.
  7. When all the cabbage is in the jar then you place the retained cabbage leaf on the top- this will ensure all the stray bits remain under the brine. Push the smaller jar down and weigh down with either ceramic baking beads, marbles or rocks. This step is not compulsory but does help the first few days of fermenting as it makes it easy to continue to push the kraut down to keep the cabbage in the brine.
  8. Leave for 1 week and taste, depending on the temperature and humidity levels of your fermenting spot- leave for up to 28 days. Ferment to taste so continue to taste and then refrigerate when you like it!
Notes
  1. Ensure that the cabbage stays under the brine to reduce mold and mildew growth.
Adapted from Sauerkraut by Sandor Katz
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
This is the basic recipe. You can play with flavouring your sauerkraut with turmeric, apple, caraway seeds, fennel seeds or carrot. 

Here are the baking beads I use to weigh down the smaller jar

baking beads

Here is the jar set up again-underneath the jar you can see the whole leaf of cabbage to keep the little bits under the brine.

picture of the kraut Loula Natural

Thank you to here for the tip about the whole leaf of cabbage. Once the fermentation has been going a few days I will remove the second jar and put a lid on the jar.

If you use a lid be aware you need to release the build up of carbon dioxide which is a product of all fermentation. Depending on the speed of fermentation (which as mentioned before- depends on the temperature and humidity levels in your fermentation spot) this may be daily.

I will post below what it looks like over the next few days and weeks.

DU5W3949

 

Isn’t it pretty!

To make things easier for you, here is my pdf printable notes for you to make it at home! Let me know what you flavour yours with…

Sauerkraut handout

Ferment Sauerkraut Loula Natural

If you love fermenting come and check out my collection of inspiration from around the web. Full of drinks, foods and everything bacteria! Let me know if you would like to be a contributor.

Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest.

Here is a great healing, fermented sauerkraut; Purple Cabbage and Apple Sauerkraut from A Harmony Healing

Elderberry Cordial or Cough Syrup

Elderberry Cordial or Cough Syrup

Elderberry Cordial and Cough syrup Loula Natural fb Elderberries are amazing for the immune system. See my Nutrient Fact Sheet here. There is already a well known cough syrup that contains them, this one knocks it out of the park! I have used it for months for my family (kids included), to make Kefir, Gummies and as a cordial with sparkling water. Because this is so concentrated, it will last for ages!

Elderberry Cordial or Cough Syrup
A great way of combining the flavours and nutrient properties of many immune boosting nutrients.
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Ingredients
  1. 1.5 cup dried elderberries (see here)
  2. 7 cups of water
  3. 2 T fresh or dried ginger root (ginger powder can also work)
  4. 1 tbs cinnamon powder or 1 cinnamon bark stick
  5. 1 tbs cloves or 1/2 tsp clove powder
  6. 4 Star Anise
  7. Juice of one lemon or orange (optional)
  8. 1/2 cup of dried Cherries (optional)
  9. 1tbs fresh tumeric root (optional)
  10. 1/2-1 cup raw honey (sweeten to taste but raw honey also has immune boosting properties)
Instructions
  1. Bring the water and Elderberries to the boil in a non reactive saucepan (ie stainless steel). Allow to simmer for 20 mins. Allow to cool slightly. Strain Elderberries through a muslin bag or strainer, squeezing to extract all the juice.
  2. Throw everything else together (except the honey) into a saucepan. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer until the liquid has reduced to half (about 15 mins). I then let the mixture cool with all the bits still in to try and get every bit of goodness!
  3. When it has cooled (it may still be a little warm) strain out the elderberries and roots and spices. Add the honey to the liquid and stir. Pour into a jar or bottle (you will have about 2 cups of liquid- about a litre).
Notes
  1. Is great mixed with soda water, in water Kefir as a second ferment, in Gummies or on its own off a spoon when necessary.
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
You can take this daily (1/2 tsp to 1 tsp for kids over 1 and 1 Tbsp for adults) or you can take it when you start to feel run down. Or you can use it to make Kefir or Gummies. You could also add some Vitamin D3/K” like this one to the bottle to really pack a punch (add 10 drops to the liquid to get a small Vitamin D kick when using it.

Here are some other coughs, colds and natural remedy posts;

What do you do when you get sick- Fevers

What do you do when your Kids get sick

Naturopath’s First Aid Kit

Naturopaths Family Travel Kit

How Nutrition can change your life

Cheerfully Imperfect- Wet Sock Treatment

Mix Wellness; 12 step program to stay healthy (naturally)

Homestead Garden; Here is another recipe for How to make elderberry syrup

Elderberry Cordial and Cough Syrup Loula Natural pin

 

Yummy wake-up

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Every morning I wince through my shot of Apple Cider Vinegar, this morning inspired by here and here I thought I would try something different. I add cinnamon to almost everything and the raw honey goes in the smoothie (or if I am feeling a bit run down or the kids have a sore throat it goes straight in the mouth!) so the combination is a winner for me! Further diluted this is great for kids (over 1 as it contains raw honey). Apple Cider Vinegar is also super simple to make at home- here is my recipe Apple peels and Water!

 

1 tall glass of filtered water

2 tsp Raw Honey

1-2 tablespoons of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (it should still contain ‘the mother’)

1tsp Cinnamon

 

I whizz it up in the blender as the raw honey and cinnamon don’t dissolve too well otherwise. I add a couple of little star ice cubes cause that makes me feel like its a little bit of magic!

 

Why do I have a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar every morning (source)

 

  • Has anti-tumor potential
  • Prevents bladder stones and urinary tract infections
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Increase stamina
  • Alleviate symptoms of arthritis and gout
  • Reduce sinus infections and sore throats
  • Balance high cholesterol
  • Improve skin conditions such as acne
  • Protect against food poisoning
  • Increase metabolism which promotes weight loss
  • Improve digestion and improve constipation
  • Prevent muscle fatigue after exercise
  • Fight allergies in both humans and animals

Apple cider vinegar contains potassium and enzymes that may produce an alkalizing effect within the body, stimulates digestion and that may relieve fatigue (something I need in the morning as I am still feeding my son!). Much better than coffee (which I dont like the taste of anyway!)

 

Here it is again with a whole tray of ice cubes blended it- most cooling drink ever!

coldacv

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