We take a tour of interventions and therapies to help boost the immune system. This includes an A-Z of techniques, potions, brews, bodywork and mind power.
Acupuncture: This uses needles insterted in the body along specific meridian lines to balance the body's energy or qi. It finds vulnerable areas in the body and strengthens them, providing you with a strong body-mind to fend off illness. If you're afraid of needles, try acupressure.
Almonds: These help the body recover from stress ' because they're loaded with vitamin B.
Bed rest: Get plenty of sleep. When we're run down and tired, our bodies become susceptible to increased stress and illness. Optimal rest allows your body and mind to function at their best.
Broccoli: An effective immune booster that s timulates the immune system and helps protect the body from damage.
Bach flower remedies: Floral remedies aimed at balancing out and bringing harmony to our emotional imbalances.
Blueberries: rich in antioxidant properties and vital when it comes to immune boosting fruit.
Craniosacral Fascial Therapy (CFT): When the body holds onto strain, our energy and communication networks get blocked. Allow the energy and information to flow, and the body is able to use its own healing abilities to return to wellness.
Dowsing: A pendulum made of crystal, wood or stone is used to diagnose and treat physical, mental and emotional ailments.
Echinacea: A herbal remedy for colds, flu and general immune functioning. It can be taken as a preventative measure or to help recover faster.
Elderberry: fights infection and lowers inflammation. Fragrances and essential oils: Oils like peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender have healing properties. Steam or inhale them in a bowl of hot water, or add them to a hot Epsom salt bath.
Fasting: Fasting help purify and detoxify the body. Waste materials are eliminated and because the body is not focusing on digestion, it has plenty of time for cellular repair and rejuvenation.
Garlic: A power house immune booster that also adds flavour to dishes.
Gigartina: A little known gem unparalleled at fighting off viral infections, without the usual side effects of medication.
Grapefruit: Packed with immune boosting flavenoids.
Hot toddy: Make a cup of hot herbal (caffeine free) tea, add lemon, honey and a small shot of bourbon or whiskey.
Homeopathy: Working on the principle that like cures like, homeopathy has tinctures, pills and capsules that help boost immunity. General homeopathic remedies can help treat basic symptoms of cold and flu in an acute illness, and specific prescription remedies for intense and longstanding illness. Preventative strategies include Oscillocccinum or Influenzinum and Oil of Oregano.
Humidifier: Steam helps relieve nasal congestion and a blocked stuffy nose.
Holotropic breathwork: A combination of modern psychology, spiritual practices and consciousness that uses different types of breathing to create alternate mental states that give rise to the body's natural ability to heal.
Iridology: Every organ has a corresponding point in the eye. Iridologists look at the eye to determine the body's state of health or illness.
Journaling: The act of writing down thoughts and feelings can be therapeutic. Partly because we can acknowledge discord in our lives without fear of judgement, and partly, because very often we already have the solutions to our problems and frustrations.
Kinesiology: This involves tapping into the body's own wisdom and communicating with the body and organs directly to bring about maximum healing.
Light therapy: Uses exposure to natural (sun) light or specific wavelengths of artificial light for a specific amount of time. It helps reset the circadian rhythm and is effective for skin ailments and seasonal affective disorder.
Meditation: Spend quiet time learning to listen. Whether you focus on your breath, go to a class, or use a technique like Transcendental Meditation, MindfulnessMeditation, Oneness Meditation, Vipassana, guided meditation or Yoga Nidra, taking time out can strengthen your mind, soul and immune system.
Naturopathy: While understanding the symptoms of diseases and their treatment, a naturopath goes beyond specific diseases and disorders and attempts to help the body heal itself and to prevent disease from occurring. Immune boosters may include aloe vera, liquorice root, echinacea, rose hip, olive leaf extract and green tea.
Neti pot: Use a neti pot filled with a salt water solution to clear the nasal passages and prevent build-up of mucus and infection. Add a teaspoon of coarse Himalayan or Kalahari Salt to a cup of warm water. Tilt your head and pour through one nostril and watch it drain out the other side.
Oysters are high in zinc, a natural immune booster.
Osteopathy literally means 'disease of the bones.' It involves physical manipulation of the muscles and bones to diagnose, treat and prevent illness.
Probiotics and prebiotics: Gut health is vital for a strong immune system. Probiotics are the good bacteria your system needs to digest food, and prebiotics are food for your probiotics. There are many varieties and brands available, or make your own by fermenting vegetables, sauerkraut is phenomenally rich in the probiotics you need.
Qi: The Chinese word for energy of the universe or life energy. Tai Chi and Qigong, are just two martial arts that focus specifically on moving Qi, or energy through the body. They have been known to raise body temperature. For those of you who get cold in the winter this is a great option.
Rest and relaxation: Take time out. Breathe. If you're constantly on the go your body doesn't have the time it needs to recover and repair from the daily wear and tear of life.
Reflexology: Certain points in the hands and feet correspond to different organs or parts of the body. By applying pressure to specific areas (on hands and feet) the corresponding organs receive the benefits.
Salt water gargle: Salt has its own natural antiseptic properties. Gargle 1-4 times a day (one teaspoon/glass) to help get rid of an infected sore throat.
Sweet potato: A perfect winter food with antioxidant beta carotene that helps remove free radicals and prevent cell damage.
Tea: Green Tea, white tea and herbal teas have health promoting properties including antioxidants.
Thalassotherapy: Natural Salt water from the ocean removes impurities both emotional and physical, leaving the body refreshed, invigorated and restored.
Unani: Uses plants and herbs to treat a variety of ailments including sinus, leucoderma, rheumatism, colds and flu.
Vitamin Therapy: A combination of vitamins to treat a range of illnesses and enhance overall functioning. For example, vitamin C has immune boosting properties and can be taken in moderate doses for prevention, or large doses for colds or flu.
Wheat Germ is one of the wheat seed that feeds the young plant. It's full of nutrients like zinc, Vitamin B and minerals as well as antioxidants. It also has a combination of fibre, protein and fats.
Watermelon: the red pulp near the rind is filed with glutathione, an antioxidant that strengthens the immune system
Water: Drinking plenty of water will keep your system hydrated, skin smooth and a sparkle in your eyes.
Xylotherapy: An ancient therapy where wood is placed on or near the body. Today we're more likely to use the essential oils of that wood on the body, like pine or eucalyptus, or even poultices from the sap.
Yoga: Keeping yourself strong, fit and healthy, and moving energy through your body is a great way to prevent illness. So is creating a general sense of wellbeing and happiness ' yoga is a great preventative.
Zinc: Immunity is enhanced with proteins that prevent viruses from reproducing. Zinc can also shorten the duration and severity of colds and flu.