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How I Improved my Immune Health

Growing up, I was a very healthy child. My immune system was incredibly healthy. My most severe illness up until college had been Strep throat, and a pretty minor case at that.

By the end of my freshman year, I had racked up enough medications to start my own pharmacy. My immune health had dramatically worsened. My list of ailments included the flu, a persistent cough/case of bronchitis, strep and more. It’s no surprise that my health took a turn for the worse. I was living on campus and bartending on the weekends, which messed with my sleeping schedule.

Some of this illness continued into my sophomore year, partly because of problematic tonsils. I slowly got better at taking care of myself and wasn’t sick as frequently. But after another ER visit, followed by nearly passing out and being taken to urgent care because of a combination of very low blood pressure with a very high heart rate that had come with my latest case of strep, I knew that I had to start being incredibly serious about my immune health.

Apple Cider Vinegar Gargle

This became part of my ritual after a shift at the bar, or anytime my throat started to feel funny. The hope was to kill any germs I may have come into contact with before they had the chance to get me sick. I just put a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar (with mother) in a cup of warm water and gargle. It’s really that simple, but it soothes my throat a bit after yelling over music for hours, and I haven’t been sick since I started doing this

Probiotics

My doctor recommended taking probiotics when it seemed I was catching literally everything I came into contact with. College had pummeled my immune system and it was entirely incapable of fighting back. I found these delicious probiotic gummies for improving immune health and love them. Probiotics are helpful for your immune system and also good for your general gut health (gut health is important!!). They can even help with your skin!

Tea

This sounds kinda hokey, I know. I am definitely not claiming that I drank a cup of tea and my health issues went away. Tea alone will not solve anything. However, ingesting herbs with certain healing properties can help to bolster your immune system and soothe your symptoms. My favorite is a packet of elderberry and echinacea tea with a packet of lemon ginger. I also have specific throat care, and breathe easy. This brand has a HUGE array of different types of teas for sickness, stress, menstrual problems, digestive problems and who knows what else! I like to steep one of these bags with one of my other favorite teas. They don’t always taste the best (throat coat, I’m looking at you), but since they are supposed to be acting “medicinal,” that is to be expected. Mixing them with a yummier tea makes it way more pleasant to drink!

Vitamin C

This one probably doesn’t even need to be said. Just about everyone I know drinks a packet of Vitamin C when they’re feeling funky. I also love to have natural sources of Vitamin C around the house because it’s always good for you, but these concentrated packets are great when I’m concerned that I was exposed to something and think my immune system might need a little extra help.

Is this a magic fix?

Hell, no! Drinking tea and taking probiotics will not fix anything if you still treat your body like shit. These are specific ways I have found to give my immune system a helping hand. When your immune system is as compromised as mine was, it needs a little boost. Since I’m still bartending and living in a college town, I still use all of these on a regular basis to make sure my immune system doesn’t slip. But, on top of this, I do my best to get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, and eat well! Fruits and vegetables are packed with so many natural vitamin and antioxidants and are so easy to incorporate into meals if you’re not a “eat raw veggies” person like me. Taking care of your body is the first, and most important, step.

I found these extra measures necessary when just taking care of my body wasn’t enough. Since taking these extra steps on a regular basis, I have not been sick, I have had a renewal of natural energy after about a year and a half of constant fatigue, and I’ve seen a change in my mindset and productivity.

I hope that this helps anyone who may be feeling as beaten down as I did for a long time, and if you have any other suggestions, or questions, feel free to reach out on Instagram (@lotsoflora). I’d love to hear from you!

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