Tag Archives: Natural Remedies

wintersick

BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM TO STAY WELL

By Susan Hilton RN, MSN & Certified Aromatherapist

You already know that your immune system helps fight harmful bacteria and other invaders on and in your body. But you might not know it also influences virtually every other system in your body — from your hormones to your nervous system. Your immune system is a collection of white blood cells scattered throughout your body, and there are two major goals for immune cells:

1. Addressing issues INSIDE your cells.

2. Attacking infections on the OUTSIDE of the cells.

Your immune system needs to be in great shape during this season of colds and flu. We are unfortunately more likely to spread germs among one another this time of year. It’s in the winter months when we also seek comfort in carb-heavy foods and sweets. While there is something to be said for treating the symptoms of illness with natural remedies, the best way to fight a cold or the flu is to prevent it from ever happening. The truth is that a high-functioning immune system will be able to successfully battle the flu and even the common cold without expensive prescriptions or preventative injections.

Let’s look at five ways to improve your immune system and stay healthy this winter.

1. Limit or Eliminate Processed Foods – Processed carbohydrates including white flours and certainly sugar can wreak havoc on your immune health, spreading inflammation and compromising your ability to ward off illness. Alcohol can also hinder immune function. Though this may be the time of year for indulgence and celebration, limit these toxins if you want to make it through the season without getting sick.

2. Stock up on Whole, Organic Produce – Fruits and vegetables can provide numerous antioxidants and vitamins that your immune system needs to function properly. Try to add fresh produce in place of the processed carbs you would normally eat. Juicing or making green smoothies can also help tremendously when it comes to boosting immunity.

3. Herbal and Essential Oil Protections – There are all-natural herbs and therapeutic grade essential oils that can do wonders for immune health. Elderberry, Echinacea, and Cinnamon are all good options to keep on hand for making protective herbal teas. Cooking with extra garlic, turmeric, and ginger can also boost your immune system. When choosing essential oils, look for those with anti-virus and anti-bacteria therapeutic components. These can be diffused in your home to help everyone in the household stay healthy.

4. Relax – This time of year it’s normal to be a little more stressed than usual. Make sure you are taking time to get plenty of sleep and unwind. Also, daily exercise isn’t only important for your fitness, but also for your mental health and ultimately your immune health.

5. Vitamin D – The “sunshine vitamin” is especially important this time of year especially with the sun being more difficult to get during the winter. Make sure you are spending some time in the sun, whenever it decides to show its face. And if your winter doesn’t allow you the sun you need, consider adding a supplement just for the colder, darker months.

In order to stay healthy, you need to have healthy habits. Tis the season for colds and flu, but you don’t have to be a statistic this year. Eat right, get active, and keep your immune system functioning as it should. If you do get sick, get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, consume some immune-boosting foods, and try some therapeutic grade essential oils to help you feel better.

The Nature Cottage specializes in health and wellness products and treatments featuring therapeutic grade essential oils. We are now located at 21 South Main Street in Lexington. Come in to talk with our educated staff. Susan Hilton is a Registered Nurse and Certified Aromatherapist. She will be happy to help you with your health and wellness needs. Please come in to see us or contact us by logging onto thenaturecottage.com or calling us at 336-843-4297.

seasonal_allergies

Blooming Spring – Ahh Choo!

By Susan Hilton, RN, MSN – The Nature Cottage

It’s spring time again! Most of us are so glad winter is gone and warmer temperatures are coming back. That is until we start thinking of our seasonal allergies returning.

Blooming flowers and trees are nice to look at for most people but not to people with allergies. Pollens from trees, grasses and flowers are the common causes of spring allergies. When they are inhaled and enter the body, the immune system treats them like bacteria and viruses, causing the immune system to release antibodies and attack the allergens. This reaction of the immune system triggers the release of histamine in the blood causing symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, coughing and watery eyes. People who are prone to allergies during spring time should know how to deal with it to avoid further health issues. The following tips can be very helpful to survive spring allergies.

Many people will want to consult their doctor. This is perfectly fine, especially for those with other health issues like respiratory illness. Spring allergies can be dangerous to people with asthma which can lead to narrowing of the airways making it difficult to breathe. Your doctor or allergist can perform skin tests or blood tests to determine if you need to be treated with allergy medications.

There are also many allergy nasal sprays and medications over the counter that can be used to lessen the allergy symptoms. Some allergy medications have side effects and cannot be taken for more than a few days, so always seek your doctor’s advice. Allergy shots may also be recommended by your doctor to help your body to eventually develop tolerance to allergens. Shots will require you to go to the doctor’s office to receive them or you can give them yourself.

Keep your home clean and pollen-free. Cleaning the areas of your home where dust and pollen can settle, places like shelves and carpets, will help. Vacuuming carpets more frequently and wearing a protective mask will help keep you from breathing the particles in while you clean. Remember your animals will bring in pollen when they come back inside. Wiping off their paws with a wet paper towel will get the dust and pollen off your floors.

It can also be helpful to have an air purifier to control airborne pollens inside your home. Make sure to clean air filters on a regular basis and keep the doors and windows closed. Wash your bedding, pillow cases, sheets and clothes as often as possible because pollens have the tendency to stick on fabrics. Controlling pollens in your home can be very helpful to survival of spring allergies.

Get new filters for your central heating and air conditioning and install them now. This is also a great job to ask someone else to do. Having fresh new filters will help filter particulates. The windows need to remain closed. Have the normal maintenance done early so that when the first hot day happens you can turn on your air conditioning with confidence and have it work the way it should.

Stay indoors, especially in the morning when airborne pollens are usually high. To avoid them altogether, just stay indoors. If it cannot be helped and you really want to go outside to enjoy the beautiful day, try to schedule your outdoor activities later in the day or go outdoors when the pollen count outside is low. Wear a protective allergy face mask if you have outdoor activities like gardening and grass mowing. Take a shower after your outdoor activities and wash your hair thoroughly. To survive spring allergies, you have to avoid exposing yourself to airborne pollens as much as possible.

Consult with The Nature Cottage in Lexington for ways to use 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils to control and combat your seasonal allergies. We have many oils that help reduce the symptoms or completely remove your allergies. Our special Allergy Bomb uses three essential oils: Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint. Using these oils once or twice a day can keep you smiling through spring and summer.

Also, consider starting to remove allergens and chemicals from your home and replacing the chemicals with clean essential oil products. You can use an essential oil diffuser to clean the air in your home and office using essential oils such as Purification. I was once terrified of spring coming because my allergies where so bad. I used nasal sprays and medications that my doctor prescribed but never got complete relief. After getting most of the chemicals that I cleaned with and used personally out of my house, my allergies started to improve.  Adding essential oils to help with my prescriptions was next. Now I only use essential oils and I’m pretty much allergy free. Contact The Nature Cottage to see how we can help you.

Remember, spring and summer allergies affect so many of us. Use these suggestions to combat the symptoms of allergies. And you, too, may be able to enjoy each day of the spring and summer!

Susan Hilton RN, MSN The Nature Cottage