Happy Fall, Everyone! Because the time of cold weather, warm drinks, and layering-up has finally arrived, supporting your immune system is paramount. Around this change of season, viruses and other bugs like to make a grand appearance, and even cause some cold and flu symptoms. But have I got a newsflash for you: getting sick should actually be celebrated—strange, but oh so true!
Getting a fever actually means that your immune system is working and doing a great job of cooking off bacteria and viruses. However, although that fever is good, you also want to recover from said fever in a short amount of time. To support a quick recovery, a few of the best ways to fuel your system include the foundations: food, water, and lifestyle.
Food is one of the best ways to support the immune system. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Autumn is a season of harvest. It is a time to pull inward and gather on all levels. This means preparing food that reflects these qualities, aka food cooked ‘low and slow,’ as in soups and stews, as well as by incorporating heartier flavours and spices such as garlic, ginger, and turmeric. You can also be adventurous by throwing in some bitters like dandelion, romaine lettuce, and alfalfa in order to move energy inwards and downwards.
Water is another element that is cheap, accessible, and very beneficial. Simply drinking enough water is important in keeping mucus membranes working properly, as well as by flushing any bugs down into the stomach to blast them away. Water used as therapy is called Hydrotherapy. Alternating hot and cold showers works wonders. By moving lymph and increasing circulation (even just a few daily cycles of this) will not only support your system but oh how your skin will shine.
Sweating daily is one more crucial piece of the immune support puzzle. Depending on your constitution, exercise in whatever form you enjoy (hot yoga, running, Pilates) and obtaining a good sweat is optimal. Saunas are an awesome practice to move your lymph and sweat the sickness out. Just remember to drink a lot of water to replace what has been lost in sweat!
As this Fall season merges into Winter, taking time to give your immune system a little extra TLC can help ensure you stay healthy and strong. For additional support, tips, and tricks don’t hesitate to book an appointment.
– Mairead Fitzpatrick, Naturopathic Student