Aside from washing hands and self-isolation in line with Government approved medical advice at the time of writing, there are many things you can do to ensure that you stay healthy in the face of coronavirus (COVID-19). This guide is also useful for general well-being.
Sleep is fundamental, it is the time when the body and brain detoxes and heals itself. A lack of sleep or poor quality sleep, would not allow the body to heal itself. In fact, your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy. Ongoing sleep deficiency can alter the way in which your immune system responds, meaning you may have trouble fighting common infections.
Tips for getting a good night’s sleep:
- avoid caffeine just before bed, choose one of our calming caffeine-free herbal infusions before sleeping (such as linden or chamomile);
- avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening;
- exercise daily (vigorous activity is highly recommended in line with Government guidance);
- avoid bright light in the evening (from phones etc) and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning, keeping your circadian rhythms balanced; and
- take a bath ideally 90 minutes before bed.
Our adaptogenic herbals work to counteract the effects of stress on the body. Stress impacts the immune system, and a sub-optimal functioning immune system will mean susceptibility to bacterial and viral infections.
Our founder drinks her own blend of immune boosting herbals, which is a mix of:
- elderflower (used traditionally for the treatment and prevention of upper respiratory tract infections and commonly prescribed in Germany for coughs and colds);
- linden (used traditionally as a powerful decongestant for symptoms of colds and flu); and
- olive leaf (packed with oleuropein and omega 3s which have powerful antimicrobial and antioxidant properties).
The aim of the game is to not let any illness, be it bacterial or viral, take hold of you. Drinking herbal infusions at the onset or prior to developing a cold/flu may boost your immune response to allow your body the best chance of fighting any infections, although this is not a cure and anyone who thinks they have contracted COVID-19 should follow Government approved advice.
Check out our immune boosting herbals here.
The importance of a balanced diet can never be underestimated. Eating or drinking too much sugar curbs immune cells that attack bacteria. This effect lasts for at least a few hours after consuming a couple of sugary drinks.
Eat more fruits and vegetables, which are rich in nutrients like vitamins C and E, plus beta-carotene and zinc. Include a wide variety of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables in your diet.
Vitamin Supplements & Probiotics
It’s so important to consume a multi-vitamin complex with the necessary minerals, either through food or with food combined with supplements (supplements should never substitute food sources, hence the name). A vast array will contribute to the normal functioning of the immune system, which is key here.
Probiotics, are live bacteria and yeasts which are good for your general well-being, especially your digestive system. They may help give your immune system a boost, by inhibiting the growth of harmful gut bacteria. Additionally, some probiotics have been shown to promote the production of natural antibodies in the body. They may also boost immune cells like the IgA-producing cells, T lymphocytes and natural killer cells.
Exercise improves your overall fitness, which can help boost your immune system. During exercise, the number of some immune cells in the bloodstream can increase dramatically by up to 10 times, especially natural killer cells which deal with infections.
In addition, when you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain, and triggers a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.
An absolute no brainer!
The age-old Japanese practice and tradition of visiting a ‘sento’ or public bath is still popular today. Most ancient cultures have long believed in the healing effects of water. Similar to mindfulness, the Japanese practice is used as a way of cleansing both the body and the mind.
Bathing has a multitude of health benefits. Not only does a warm bath enhance blood flow, it allows for greater oxygenation as it allows deeper and slower breaths, particularly when taking in steam. Taking a hot bath can kill bacteria and improve immunity, relieving the symptoms of cold and flu.
Why not add some epsom salts, which help with muscle soreness and stress, allowing for even greater relaxation, or the left over damask rose buds from your herbal infusion for an ultimate aromatherapy experience.
Be it reading a book, taking a bath, meditating, or exercising, we all need at least 15 – 30 minutes a day of ‘me time’ to relax and unwind, so that we can feel better, be more focused, and therefore feel more relaxed.
The only way to truly have some me time is to cut out all distractions, focusing on just you, which will help to reduce stress levels and therefore improve the functioning of the immune system.