Hi.

Welcome to my blog. 

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 prevention) and Part #2 (what to do when exposed) of the Immunity Series... but yet, it gets the upper hand in the end.    

WHY? How could this have happened? Irony - that's why.  Someone pulling the strings has an ironic sense of humor. Get this. As I photographed and edited and planned out the final post for this series, I felt something...just a twinge. I downed the garlic spoon after photographing it,  rubbed on some Thieves, and forgot about it.  And then, about 12 hours later, all my weekend plans came crashing down...

Some Why's

Before I lay out all the ways I cope with sickness, I'm going to wax philosophical for a minute. Why do we get sick (even when we do everything we can to avoid it)?

1. CONTROL. I don't know about you, but I think I need to learn some lessons in control...as in letting go of it.  After the discovery of these fine oils and all-natural, nourishing life-hacks, Divine Providence has been allowing me to swiftly dodge the bullet about 6 of 7 times. And yet... the 7th bullet meets its target.  Why?  Probably since I need to be reminded I'm not in control.  I'm not the Creator, and I'm not the Sustainer (no matter how many of the oils in His divine, plant-based treasure chest He shares with me).

2. REST.  I think the real Creator and Sustainer smiled big last week.  "And after she had finished all her [blog]work... on the 7th sickness-avoidance attempt... she rested" (against her will).  All right - that whole Shabbat (sabbath) idea is important. Nothing like a good dose of a virus to knock a Human Do-er off her feet and remind her she needs to just ... be.  Not to hold her world together, not produce all she had promised to produce, not to at least get some stuff done online from the couch.  Not even to have a little fun for once and binge-watch documentaries, but to just ... be, and abide.  (This virus was custom-tailored. I literally had no energy or wherewithal for anything - not even Netflix -  but to be.)

Maybe this isn't your Achille's heel, but I'm learning that when my initial, subconscious reaction to getting sick (or to anything else unfortunate) is "HOW?! Why, God? I thought I was doing everything right!"  ... it's a symptom of a deep-rooted heart problem, signalling that an unproductive, mental-function-slowing, task-unoriented Shabbat is probably long overdue.  

It pains me to get sick. I fear it, if you haven't already guessed.  I tend to see it as the enemy of order, productivity, income, convenience, relational goals, spiritual goals, organizational goals... it's a goal-killer.  "This is such a WASTE!" my mind screams. "Why did this have to happen?"

In the reverberations of my exasperated, half-whispered, half-whined question, it was as if a sort of answer filled my heart: "Inconveniences are not the problem... your view of them is.  Don't waste your sickness - it's an invitation. Press into just being, and abiding in the being."

Managing Respiratory Sickness Symptoms

FullSizeRender.jpg

Sickness as a blessing, as a gift? Not a curse? I'm starting to realize that I have much, much much more to learn about immunity.

Now - let's get down to business. I'm going to share some tips for helping you breathe through the inevitable sicknesses that may come your way. 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 pharmacy wherever we can to ease the symptoms, nourish and strengthen our beaten down immune system and deter any secondary infections from taking over, as we accept the invitation to rest.

 

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:

IMG_6697.JPG
  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

 
FullSizeRender-1.jpg
 

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!

FullSizeRender-4.jpg

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.

FullSizeRender-1.jpg

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