My immune system has been completely bolloxed since I contracted Lyme Disease 20 years ago. It’s great like that, Lyme, really super impressive at surviving, the total bastard.
I’ve seen multiple ‘world renowned immunologists’ who quite frankly have known the sum total of fuck all about immune suppression and how to manage it. Lucozade being offered as one delightfully memorable solution.
I’ve read everything I can find, followed TCM traditions, naturopathic advice, functional medicine advice and delved into the depths of old wives tales and traditional herbal medicine just to boost my immunity.
A lot of it hasn't worked. Some of it did. If it did, I’ve listed it below. It’s all quite expensive, not all of it’s organic and most of the practical day to day things are a complete pain in the arse. They're also kind of worth the effort.
I’ve had to self-isolate for years at a time, I’ve had to and still have to sanitise everything that I come into contact with. I’ve had to behave as though the world is a threat, because when you’ve zero white blood cells, it kind of is.
The most important thing that I had overlooked, but was forced to learn, the hard way (the only way I learn, it seems), was to start thinking of the body as a whole.
We’re kind of trained in the western world to see each part of us as a separate entity.
A headache is in the head, stomach pain in the stomach, foot pain in the foot etc….
We’ve been trained to see our bodies like cars. Exhaust is falling off, fix the exhaust… don’t even think to ask if it could possibly have happened while you were bouncing over speed bumps with heedless delight (that might just be me), and if maybe, just maybe you should knock that off for a bit.
Our digestion will affect our brains, our cognitive process will alter our actions, our actions will affect our emotions, and our emotions will affect everything (including whether you head butt someone or hug them) within your whole body. It’s a whole.
So what you put in you will determine just about everything else.
Anything you can do to lower the load of things your body has to deal with, process, detox, will boost your immune system.
You’re literally freeing up woman, or if you prefer (I currently don’t much) man power. A lot of it’s quite hard, so just take any of it you fancy trying and ignore the rest.
Breathe - like you're not already, I know. Yep, I know.... but honestly, it's the thing that helps the most when I'm feeling really rough or stressed. Apart from chanting, but one annoying yoga concept at a time. The power of the breath is amazing. Find somewhere quiet to sit, spine tall and focus on your breath.
In and out through the nose. Start to slow it down, just a little. Match the inhales and exhales. Draw the air in and all the way down to the lowest part of the belly and empty from there. Maybe imagine the air is golden and healing. Perhaps count your heart beat. Perhaps start to exhale slowly through the mouth, imagining all the toxins leaving your body. Perhaps pause between inhales and exhales. Play with it. Embrace it. It's the entry point to meditation, to feeling at home inside your own body.
And now for the list of things you'd rather not think about....
Where possible… aim for organic. Pesticides cause a cytokine cascade, mass inflammation generally, destroy the gut lining, make your liver hate you, and give your whole system a whole load of work to do just to keep you in relative homeostasis.
Avoid processed foods, they’re hard to digest, to absorb nutrients from and stress the digestive system generally.
Avoid sugar, it feeds viruses, yeast, fungus, disrupts insulin and lowers the immune system.
Avoid sugar alternatives, if you can (this one kills me).
Avoid alcohol, it’s full of fucking sugar and stresses the liver. A stressed liver stresses the immune system. In TCM it’s either heating and dampening (laying the foundation for infection and mucous production to thrive), or cooling and dampening (laying the foundation for infection and mucous to thrive). It’s high histamine and triggers digestive issues.
Avoid vegetable oils, hydrogenated oils, highly processed oils. And look out or them lurking in processed foods. Because they’re lurky bastards. Stick to extra virgin olive oil and coconut oils where tolerated. Full fat butters and ghi.
Avoid anything that gives you any kind of indigestion, because that means that you’re system can’t currently handle it.
If it bloats you, makes you gassy or causes discomfort, if you get itchy after eating or drinking it, have rosy cheeks or feel a little flushed, there’s an allergic reaction of some kind happening within your whole (I did not intend for that to sound rude).
If it triggers a SIBO, SIFO (any of the o’s), gut disbiosis, histamine intolerance or leaky gut flare, avoid it.
Avoid gluten and gluten free. Gluten free often has so much alternative shit in it, it makes gluten look delightfully supportive. Gluten itself can be tricky to digest. Some people are fine with it, some aren’t and just haven’t linked their symptoms to it.
Avoid dairy… especially if you have a reaction to it, but also if you get an infection. It exacerbates mucous production, your don’t ever need more mucous. Bugs love mucous, it’s like a welcoming fun packed holiday home for them…I’m thinking Butlins for some reason.
Avoid nuts for the same reason. As nutritious as they are, they do make mucous.
Bananas, oranges, orange juice, citrus fruits all create mucous too…sorry. I’m so fucking sorry. I had a really strict godmother growing up, she’s German, quite scary, a little bit militant and we called her aunty no. I feel I am channeling aunty no.
Avoid caffeine. It stresses your adrenals and fucks up your ability to rest and recuperate.
Avoid perfumes, perfumed candles, scented room fresheners, car fresheners, washing powders, hand soaps, make up. If it’s perfumed, it’s stressing your liver and messing around with your hormones. If you inhale it, your body has to process it, and chemicals put an enormous amount of duress on the body. Find perfume free, and if possible chemical free alternatives. It’s a ball ache, and it’s a hard switch, but they won’t have sold out of any of that shit yet….because no one likes them, so there’s that!
Avoid chemicals, wherever you can. The play havoc with everything. You’re body has to undo that havoc. Bleaching the fuck out of everything can feel cathartic, but if you have mould in your home, it makes it more aggressive and if you have cells in your body, it will fuck with them.
Start taking probiotics. The good bacteria in the gut is the power house of your immune system, and influences your brain, which can and will influence how you cope with all the current shit going on.
If you’ve got gut issues, it can be tricky to find ones which are tolerated. I could only use saccharomyces boulardii for years. I can now take megaspore as well, the dance I did when one of those went down without flooring me was something to behold.
Anything with FOS in can be tricky, by tricky I mean bollocks, and fermented foods, while wonderful, can really fuck the gut up if you’ve got histamine issues, mast cells problems, SIBO etc. If you haven’t, fermented foods are awesome.
Stay hydrated, with room temperature water with a dash of lemon and a slice of ginger and herbal teas or infusions, not tea or coffee or fizzy drinks, they dehydrate you.
Get some sun just not to lobster level – we have vitamin D receptors in our eyes and on our skin. Vitamin D boost immunity.
Cut down on blue light from devices and use apps like twilight to reduce the blue hues, which are especially disruptive after dark. Put your phones on night mode.
Put your phone on aeroplane mode where possible.
Turn wifi off at night, and if possible use Ethernet plugs or hard-wire everything instead.
Liposomal vitamin c - wonderful for infections, and preventing infections.
Glutathione -is wonderful for detoxing the system. You can use coffee enemas instead - if tolerated. See the post Anal for a how to.
Resveratrol – a very potent anti-viral.
Olive leaf - anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, can lower blood pressure (I already have low bp and it hasn’t lowered mine further, I kind of suspect it regulates it, but proceed with caution if you have a very low bp).
Elderberry - anti-oxidant, lowers histamine, inflammation and is anti-viral.
Monolaurin – prevents and treats colds and flu. Immune boosting. Great for CFS/ME/Lyme/EBV.
Cistus tea – anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial.
B6 - immune boosting, great for the nervous system and brain function.
Sources - Liver, potatoes, salmon, chickpeas and chicken.
Selenium – anti-inflammatory, reduces oxidative stress, boosts immune function and supports the thyroid.
Sources – Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, sardines, eggs and oysters.
Magnesium malate or Ease – relieves stress, immune boosting, anti-inflammatory, helps with pain and with sleep.
Sources – Avocados, spinach, pumpkin seeds, bone broth and legumes.
Turmeric – anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-viral and anti-bacterial.
Ginger – anti-inflammatory, warming on an energetic level and enhances immunity.
Sources – buy root ginger, peel and add to teas and stews/curries/casseroles.
Electrolytes – we often become deficient when ill, stressed and dehydrated, so great to add to water for a general boost.
Minerals – supports every function in the body.
R lipoic acid – a very powerful antioxidant. Wonderful for detoxing if you're feeling super tired or buggy.
Fish oils – great for overall health. They support the immune system, the heart, are wonderful for depression and anxiety, support digestion, reduce excess fat in the liver, support detoxification and are anti-inflammatory.
Sauna-ing – amazing for detoxing and general health. If you have one and can tolerate them, it would be a really good idea to get in the fucker on a regular basis. The one I’m about to list below is a Firezone and it's high emf, which is not great at all. It’s the one I use and it does help, but I'm certain that the low emf ones are well worth the expense, if you can afford them.
Dry body brushing and kundalini/qi gong style tapping are wonderful qi circulators and immune boosters.
Yoga is wonderful for lymph flow, for grounding, for calming and for healing (I’m biased as fuck).
And meditation might just stop you from killing your currently working from home spouse or house mate (I’m not promising anything).
Use nasal rinses, preferably daily to clear anything lurking in the sinus cavities.
Use a natural toothpaste to detox your mouth.
Clean under your fingernails and then wash your hands. Bugs love under nail areas.
Keep your hair as clean as possible, and try not to keep touching it, tie it back if it’s long enough.
Don’t touch your face.
And do some fucking yoga, because that shits awesome. It's like dancing with the universe, it's the creation of energy, the embodiment of healing - and if nothing else, it'll distract from the distinct lack of toilet paper in the world.
Namaste beautiful souls xx