7 Natural Remedies for Autumn Immunity
Keep bugs at bay & stay healthy this season
As autumn brings a sense of cosiness, with colder, darker weather and mugs of pumpkin-spiced lattes, it also ushers in a seasonal shift of health concerns – with the common cold and flu lurking just around the corner.
Here are 7 natural remedies for autumn immunity to keep bugs at bay and protect yourself against seasonal illnesses.
A popular herb renowned for its immune-boosting properties, Echinacea is a go-to herbal remedy for many the during cold and flu season. Not only can it help reduce the severity and duration of colds, it contains active compounds like polysaccharides and flavonoids that are known to stimulate the body’s immune system. It does this by enhancing white blood cell production and reducing inflammation, to allow the immune system to function more efficiently. Echinacea is also rich in antioxidants that can neutralise harmful free radicals, providing an added layer of protection to your immune system. It is available in various forms including teas, tinctures and capsules.
Garlic is a potent natural remedy with antimicrobial and immune-stimulating properties. It contains compounds like allicin which has shown to enhance immune function to help the body fight off infections. Garlic has antioxidant properties that help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which can weaken the immune system. There are numerous delicious ways to add garlic to your cooking such as mincing fresh garlic cloves and adding them to pasta sauces, soups, salad dressings and marinades. You can also roast whole garlic bulbs in the oven until they become soft and caramelised, giving them a milder, sweet garlic flavour that can be spread on bread or added to salads.
Ginger’s immune-boosting properties are attributed to its rich content of bioactive compounds like gingerol which possess potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects to support your immune system. A soothing cup of fresh ginger tea can provide comfort and relief when you’re under the weather. Try this ginger-containing immune-boosting tea. To incorporate fresh ginger into your meals, try grating it into soups, juices or smoothies for an added burst of flavour and immune support.
Derived from the flowering plant Sambucus nigra, Elderberry is renowned for its numerous health benefits, particularly in supporting the immune system. These small, dark berries are packed with antioxidants, primarily anthocyanins, which help reduce toxin load and combat free radicals in the body, making you more resilient and better equipped to fend off infections. Elderberries are also rich in vitamins, particularly vitamin C, which is known for its immune-boosting properties. Whether consumed in the form of a tincture, tea or syrup, this potent berry can help alleviate symptoms associated with the common cold and flu and play a valuable role in fortifying your immune defences. Here’s how to make elderberry syrup
Curcumin, the bioactive compound found in turmeric, offers a range of health benefits, including robust support for the immune system. Curcumin aids the immune system by promoting the production of immune cells, such as natural killer cells, which play a crucial role in detecting and eliminating pathogens and infected cells. It also enhances the immune system’s ability to recognise and target foreign invaders, thereby bolstering overall immunity. Its potent antioxidant properties help neutralise harmful free radicals, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. You can easily incorporate turmeric into your diet by adding it to curries, soups and smoothies. Alternatively, you can opt for a curcumin supplement for a more potent dose. Consult with a qualified herbalist who can advise on the best form and dose for your requirements.
Thyme, known for its delightful aroma and culinary uses, also boasts an array of health benefits for the immune system. Rich in antioxidants, thyme helps protect cells from toxin damage, which can play a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy immune system. Its natural compounds, such as thymol, possess antimicrobial properties that can assist in fighting infections and bolstering immune defences. Thyme is often used to alleviate respiratory issues, like coughs and congestion, thanks to its soothing properties, further aiding the immune response. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals that contribute to overall well-being. Whether used as a flavoursome herb in cooking, brewed into a tea, or infused into oils, thyme provides additional support for your immune system in autumn.
Unlike regular honey, raw honey is unprocessed and not heated or pasteurised, preserving more of its natural enzymes and nutrients. Raw honey is a versatile natural remedy known for its antimicrobial and soothing properties. It contains enzymes like glucose oxidase which produce hydrogen peroxide when honey comes into contact with moisture. Hydrogen peroxide has natural antimicrobial properties, making raw honey an excellent fighter against harmful bacteria and microbes. It can effectively alleviate and reduce the frequency and severity of sore throats and coughs by forming a protective layer over inflamed throat tissues, suppressing coughs and facilitating healing. Manuka honey, originating from New Zealand, is a top choice for raw honey due to its unique antibacterial properties attributed to compounds like MGO. Alternatively, you can explore raw honey varieties from local beekeepers. Enjoy it by the spoonful, in tea or smoothies, or use it in salad dressings and marinades.
Nurture your well-being this autumn
Autumn presents a unique set of challenges to our health, but with the right natural remedies and immune-boosting herbs, you can stay resilient and enjoy the season to its fullest. Incorporate these remedies into your daily routine to boost your immune system this autumn.
Learn more about autumn nutrition and how seasonal eating can support your immune system.