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Immunity Series #3: Kicking It

Immunity Series #3: Kicking It

Disclaimer: We're about to get up close and personal with phlegm and feelings. Skip to another post if that kind of thing's not your jam.

It happens. Sometimes it comes out of nowhere with no warning. Or, sometimes it gives a decent warning, but I'm too busy to pay attention.  And even sometimes -  I heed the warning,  do my due diligence, like I explained in Part #1 (daily winter wellness action steps) and Part #2 (what to do when exposed) of the Immunity Series... but yet, it gets the upper hand in the end. Here’s what to do when you find yourself in the middle of the storm.

In the Eye of the Storm

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These respiratory storms sure have a way of knocking a human-doer off their feet. Especially those with control issues and comfort idols (ahem.) It’s as though they (and really all illnesses) are custom-tailored to convince us that we have lessons to learn about human-being, and that we are, dependent on a Creator after all for our health and life.

A wise preacher more than once, in the throes of his deadly health battle, “Don’t waste your sickness. Let it make you make much of your Creator.” I think I have a lot to learn about stewarding these inconveniences well.

But for now, I'm going to share some tips for helping you breathe through the inevitable storms that may come your way (though hopefully fewer and farther between now that you’ve read through this series).

All these tools can help you cope when you are gifted with the opportunity to just be.  So as we learn to embrace a grateful and humble attitude as we cease from our work, let's use the God-given tools of nature over the conventional counter wherever we can to ease the discomfort, nourish and strengthen our beaten down immune system and deter any secondary “inconveniences” from taking over.

 

Here's the layout:

Airways

1. Diffuse

2. De-congest: Oil Pulling + Neti Pot

Immune System Power-Up

1. Garlic Spoons

2. Thieves: Roll, Drink, Soothe

3. Vitamin C

Airways

1. Diffuse

In respiratory illnesses, we tend to have issues with breathing. Blocked sinuses, runny noses, impeded bronchial tracts, and a sticky abundance of phlegm (who ever thought of that word, anyway??) become our very present reality.  And thus, my favorite two oils for respiratory help are Thieves and R.C.

If you've read my post on Thieves oil,  or the other Immunity Posts 1 and 2, you already know about the wonderful properties of the essential oils making up this blend, plus the multiple ways you can use it to boost your immunity and kick germs to the curb. It also helps your respiratory tract as well.

But when it comes to helping to open up uncomfortable, phlegmy (*cry-laugh emoji*) airways, I highly encourage diffusing R.C. (think, "Respiratory Congestion"). It's a beautifully fresh-smelling combination of conifer oils, myrtle, and 3 different types of eucalyptus, making it a valuable gem when experiencing sick-day congestion issues.

Alternate R.C. and Thieves in the diffuser and keep it near you day and night.

Since a diffuser is a MUST for using essential oils to support your respiratory system, I highly recommend getting the Premium Starter Kit if you want to start using essential oils for your immune system! It includes the "Everyday Oil Collection" (which includes all 5 oils I list on this post, plus 6 more) AND a diffuser! It's the most cost-effective way to get started.

2. De-congest

I don't know about you, but mornings with a respiratory bug are the WORST part of the whole day for me. I feel like someone poured quik-crete into my nostrils as I slept. Plus all the drainage makes for a scratchy, sensitive throat and rattly cough... not to mention the phlegmy fountains from my nose. OH HAVE MERCY. 

I literally fall into despair and feel like I can't face the day. I feel sicker those moments than any other time...until...the miracle of de-congestion happens.

Over the years, I've found two tactics to be more helpful than anything else at rapid de-congestion. The OTC meds, as you guessed, are definitely not in first place in my book:

  • Afrin causes more pain than anything and tastes horrible and burn-y (plus the label warns you to not use it more than 1x a day and not for over 3 days in a row or else you'll form a dependence on it!).

  • Sudafed sometimes helps, but it takes over half an hour to even begin to take effect and doesn't really get rid of the gunk.

  • Mucinex can be great for breaking up stubborn, long-standing congestion, but it also takes a while to kick in and doesn't help you drain on command.

Even the simple "steamy shower" tactic doesn't really help liquefy and decongest very thoroughly. But you know what does? Oil-pulling and a Neti Pot! Wash your face with warm water or take a shower, and then do these two things:

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  1. Oil Pulling. I don't know why this works, but it does.

    • Take a heaping teaspoon-full of coconut oil (or olive oil would be fine too).

    • Chew til it melts and swish for a good 10 minutes at least.

    • Then, spit in the trash (not the sink - it will solidify and clog), and rinse your mouth with a good mouthwash or hot salt water to de-germ your mouth. (Apparently this "pulls" all sorts of toxins and germs from your system, and it's best to sanitize before swallowing.)

    • I KNOW it's a weird sensation. But desperate times call for desperate measures. TRUST ME - this works! It's worth it! It will "liquefy" things in your sinuses. If I don't do the oil-pulling first, I'm rarely able to do the Neti pot while super congested.

  2. Neti Pot. Like I said in the last post, flushing/cleansing is huge for keeping bugs out, but if you are stuck with the bug - then the main goal is de-congesting, and this WILL help clean you out. As I mentioned before, use about a cup of warm-ish water and a pinch of non-iodized salt. Watch a video on how to use it or read the box. Make sure to breathe through your mouth to help the air/water flow.

Immune System Power-Up

1. Garlic Spoons

When taken consistently, every 3-4 hours, this is a deadly weapon against sickness and should have you back on your feet and breathing clearly far quicker than just waiting it out. Click here for how to make them, and a study on garlic's efficacy in preventing and shortening colds!

 

 

2. Thieves - Roll it/Drink it/Sore throat-Soother

 
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Three awesome ways to use Thieves when you're sick besides diffusing it (which, by the way is just the polite thing to do if you've got roommates or spouses who hope to stay healthy) are to roll it, drink it, and make it into a cough/throat syrup.

Roll It

When I'm already sick, I rub my 1:4 dilution on my:

  • throat and chest

  • the back of my neck and up and down spine

  • feet

    • tips and undersides of my toes

    • the middle area between the upper balls of my feet.

      • (I press deeply on these areas as I rub it in, as these are reflexology points for sinuses, ears, and lungs.)

      • (Note: on adult feet, you don't have to dilute it but can put a drop on straight from the bottle.)

Some people say Thieves on these spots helps knock things out much quicker than usual, and my experience suggests that as well!

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Drink It - with Honey, Lemon, and ACV

As I've mentioned before, you can drop a drop of Thieves into a cup, add a teaspoon or two of RAW honey (raw is best for anti-bug activity), and fill it with hot-ish warm water to drink.  But when you're sick, you need all the help you can get, so add a squeeze of organic lemon, and a teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar to rev your system and beat back any bad microbes in your throat and gut.

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Cough/Sore Throat Syrup

I love this. Soothe the symptoms NATURALLY, while strengthening your system, and beating back the bad guys.  A 3-in-1 deal. All you need is raw honey and these 3 high quality oils. 

All 3 of these are in the Premium Starter Kit, you guys!! As are all of the oils in this post, actually. Thieves, Frankincense, and Lemon (as well as the RC for your airways). 

Put 3 tablespoons raw honey in a small glass jar (not plastic!) and mix in 4 drops Thieves, 2 drops Frankincense, and 2 drops Lemon, and take a spoonful as needed.   (Note: add a drop or two of Peppermint to the mix for a cooling effect and Lavender for a soothing effect...both of which are ALSO in the Premium Starter Kit!)

 

3. Vitamin C

And last but not least - stay hydrated, and keep pounding that Vitamin C.  Either use a buffered powder like this, or Ester-C tablets for easy absorption and low acidity. Take about 2,000mg per couple hours.

As long as you're taking a form that's easy to absorb and is low-acid, then no: 10,000mg a day is NOT too much.  You can't overdose by doing this - you will only be empowering your system what it needs to fight back!

 

Airways

1. Diffuse

2. De-congest: Oil Pulling + Neti Pot

Immune System Power-Up

1. Garlic Spoons

2. Thieves: Roll, Drink, Soothe

3. Vitamin C

So there you have it - the tools to help your body NATURALLY deal with the symptoms of respiratory illnesses, and the tools to nourish your system as it's cleansing and resting from the stress of trying to hold your world together. 

Here's to not wasting our sicknesses!  May we all learn to look beyond the discomfort of our present inconveniences and view them as invitations to something greater.

Immunity Series #2: Fighting Back

Immunity Series #2: Fighting Back

Easy Coconut Milk and Turmeric Rice Bowl

Easy Coconut Milk and Turmeric Rice Bowl