Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Immunity Boost

Last year I had numerous colds, 13 to be exact, some of which turned into nasty sinus infections, and caused me to have cronic sinusitis throughout the summer. I have struggled with allergies and asthma since early adolesence. I spent most every allergy season sneezing and wheezing, puffing on my Albuterol inhaler. I had pretty much expected that I was going to have to just deal with it.

I was WRONG! After a visit to my allergy and immunology specialist, which required me to have a scope crammed up my nose and down my throat (not a fun experience), I found out that I had a deviated septum, tons of nasal inflamation, and sinus polyps. The first thing he wanted me to do was get a prescription for an antihistamine and a steroid nasal inhaler. Then he wanted me to consider allergy shots! Whoa!

I am by no means a total naturalist, but I don't like the thought of injecting my body with anything. And I am not to keen on taking a lot of pills or steroids. (disclaimer: I understand that steroids are a necessary evil sometimes, especially with asthma, so I will say that I don't mess around with my ability to breathe and do occassionally use a steroid inhaler for my asthma. And encourage anyone with asthma to do the same.) So, thinking that he was going to laugh in my face, I asked him if there was anything I could try that was more natural first. To my utter astonishment he was very receptive. He suggested that I try nasal lavage.

He gave me a sample of this nasal rinse bottle and some natural saline packets.

I was a little icked out at the thought of blasting my nostrils with a shot of salty water twice a day, but it was better that the alternative. I left that appointment with instructions to return in a month if the problems continued.

That night I filled my bottle with distilled water and a saline packet, and shot it into my right nostril. A little too hard. I felt like I was had sucked a bucket full of lake water into my nose. It burned and stung and I vowed never to do that again. Then I read the instructions (which I urge anyone to do BEFORE they try this). I was a little overzealous with my squirting technique. So, being the trooper that I am, I tried again. This time it was a much smoother process. I won't go into specifics because cleaning out your nasal passages is not so pleasant.

A few days later I noticed a definite improvement. I could breath through Both nostrils for the first time in years!

I decided to do a little Google search to see what else I could do to boost my immunity naturally.

Green tea! I have read so much about the benefits of green tea. It is really a remarkable drink. I cut out most of my coffee, and started organic drinking green tea. Eight cups a day! Having the Cuisinart one-cup brewing station really helps this process. I just slide my cup under the head and push a couple of buttons. Easy peasy.

I also read about the benefits of probiotics. They come in a few forms, capsules and yogurt are the most popular.

My absolute fave is Chobani Greek style yogurt. It has several different cultures, including immune boosting and digestive (a whole other issue entirely).

And, last but not least, my super immunity smootie. It had strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, pomagranate juice, bananas, and yogurt (I like Stonyfield Farms Organic Vanilla). The berries are loaded with vitamin C, and pomegranate is one of the healthiest juices you can drink. Plus the yogurt gives another dose of probiotics.

The results...

This fall and winter I have only had 2 colds!

But, I feel that I have to tell you, I am suffering from a cold as I write this (with a pile of tissues accumulating in the trash beside me). It has been very mild, with not one asthmatic symptom, or even a stuffed up snoot. Which is a total victory for me! I will take 2 over 13 any day.



  1. so do you still do the nasal rinse - i have heard how good they are for you, but i am a chicken to try it. also, is there a lot of caffeine in all that green tea? don't know if i could handle that much. thanks for sharing all your immunity boosters!

  2. Thanks for reading! Yes, I still do the nasal rinse, but only once a day now. There is caffeine in green tea, but you can buy decaffeinated! I was drinking a pot (or more) of coffee a day (not very healthy) before starting the tea, so I didn't notice any effects. There is significantly less caffeine in green tea vs. coffee though.

  3. It sounds like you are on the right track! I drink lots of green tea too. Yogurt is great for immunity. Have you tried kefir? It's really good for immunity. I'm glad you have a doctor that's receptive to doing things naturally instead of just writing a prescription.


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