Some people sail through the cold and flu season without a cough or runny nose.
While others are continually side lined with uncomfortable symptoms like congested sinus, sore throat, fever and persistent cough. Why is this?
Research shows that your increased susceptibility to catching a cold or the flu may result from lifestyle habits you may not even be aware of, until now.
6 Signs Your Immune System Needs Support
1 - Your Stress Level is HighTurns out, ongoing stress plays a MAJOR role in your succumbing to colds and the flu. Research in the field of "psychoneuroimmunology" has shown that mental and emotional stress dramatically weaken your immune system by decreasing your body’s production of white blood cells that help you fight infection. Studies show definitively that high stress levels impact the quality of your health and can lead to chronic infections and disease.
2 - You Always Have a Cold or Ongoing Allergy Symptoms
If you have chronic colds and suffer with symptoms like constant sniffles through the entire cold and flu season, or ongoing allergy symptoms throughout the year, then you immune system needs a boost. If you’re continually sick, have a stuffy nose, itchy red eyes, feel achy and feverish, then your immune system is weak. Your immune system usually develops antibodies to handle any germs or allergens that may be present in your body and destroys them within a few days. Typically, a cold should run its course within a few days and you should feel in the pink of health within seven to ten days. If not, then you have a weakened immune system.
3 - Your Wounds, Cuts, Burns & Bruises Are Slow to Heal
Skin healing is rapid when your immune cells are healthy and robust. When your immune system is healthy, after an injury, your skin tissue immediately reddens with nutrient rich blood to supply the injured area. The rush of blood to an injured area serves to protect you from infection, as well as regenerates your skin cell tissue rapidly. If your skin is very slow to heal, when damaged in some way, then your immune system is weak and needs a boost.
4 - You Feel Chronically Low Energy & Exhausted
If you’re feeling chronically tired, even after a good night’s sleep, then your immune system needs a boost. Your immune system is high energy dependent. Feeling chronically sluggish and low energy, indicates that your immune system may be over extended and needs support. Your body needs tremendous amounts of energy to fight off an infection. In example, a heavy flu bug can completely drain your energy and leave you feeling physically weak and exhausted. At such times you need to curtail your activity for a time, stay in bed and rest to recover your strength and allow your immune system to rebound.
5 - You Have Upset Tummy & Digestive Issues
Over 50-70% of your immune system is located in your digestive tract. If you suffer from frequent gas, constipation and diarrhea then your gut microbiome, and the healthy bacteria that live in your gut, may be out of balance. When this occurs your immune system becomes compromised and functions less efficiently. Chronic inflammation can result, putting you at ongoing risk of infections.
6 - Frequent Infections
For instance, chronic ear, nose and throat infections are a sign that your immune system is not functioning properly. The generally accepted guideline for use of antibiotics is that, If you’re taking one or more courses of antibiotics every year, then your immune system is compromised and needs a boost. However, I, myself, feel this is a sad situation to get into with your immune system. I haven't used an antibiotic in more than 40 years. The widespread use of antibiotics has contributed to the development of staph infections in hospitals that no antibiotic can touch. Going through the discomfort of a cold or the flu helps to stimulate your immune defense system to develop antibodies. While taking antibiotics may actually weaken your immune system, as well as lead to an imbalanced gut microbiome where 50-70% of your immune system is located. There are times when an antibiotic is necessary, but widespread use at the slightest sniffle may not be prudent. What's needed is rest, hydration and a little preventative care and to stop driving yourself so hard.
There are more than 250 Immunodeficiency Diseases (PIDD) which are due to a compromised immune system. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology sets the bar for immune deficiency at what I consider a VERY low level. You can check out the AAAAI standard for what's considered immune deficiency HERE.
LAVENDER (Lavandula angustifolia)
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FDA Approved: Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) Status
For broad spectrum immune support and to relieve stress lavender oil may be your best choice.
In vitro studies show that Lavender essential oil acts to modulate both the immune, as well as neuroendocrine systems to promote broad systemic balance to the entire body mind system.
Other studies showed Lavender oil exhibited many desirable properties of an anxiolytic (anxiety reducing) agent, including a “calming effect without sedation, as well as a lack of dependence, tolerance, or withdrawal symptoms.”
A universal first aid oil, Lavender is highly scented with a distinctly sweet, robust and floral aroma. As a universal first aid healer lavender has the most broad spectrum application of any oil in aromatherapy. It is beneficial for treating an assortment of wounds, as well as helpful for relieving inflammatory conditions like fever blisters, herpes outbreaks, allergic reactions, rheumatism, sore muscles and back pain.
Studies show that inhalation of Lavender oil suppresses allergic airway inflammation and may be useful as an alternative medicine for bronchial asthma.
Lavender oil is also excellent for balancing hyper emotional states. It may be useful for relieving shock, anger, impatience and irritability.
CAUTIONS: None known.
READ next article in series, Essential Oils for Immunity Cold & Flu Prevention & Treatment of Diseases: 9 Things that Put Your Immune System in Danger - Quick Immunity Checklist!