Safeguarding Your Immune System with Natural Antibiotics
“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.” - Helen Keller
The purpose of reading this is to expose you to a wellness thought paradigm, a mental model that you can apply to virtually every area of your life.
Your immune system keeps you alive. It is your body’s army protecting you against all kinds of foreign invaders 24/7. Interestingly enough, research shows that the more invaders (pathogens) you are exposed to (and successfully defeat), the more resilient your immune system becomes. From the meta-level perspective of safeguarding your immune system, ironically exposure is the key.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, or in other words, exposure makes you anti-fragile. For example, kids born on farms (literally playing in poop) have stronger immune systems than sheltered kids living in sterile “bubble boy” environments and have less allergies, incidence of asthma, etc. Another example is the New York sewer rat which carries 3 different kinds of the plague at any given moment and can eat anything, it’s immune system has no kryptonite. Consumer products get field-tested in trials so that their weaknesses are bred out in successive iterations until the product is ready for market. Computer systems are the same, software teams build security resilience into their products by hiring hackers to repeatedly break into weak points of the code while another team wards off the attack so that the system is always one step ahead of the real virus hackers. The principle applies to vaccinations as well, by exposing your body to a small amount of a virus it can build up resistance to it. According to this theory, swimming in lakes, visits to a public restroom, and airports can improve your health in the right doses.
Now that I’ve said all that, go wash your hands.
The exposure maxim works as a “hormetic stress” response to build strength, and applies to anything that provides stress in the optimal amount to elicit a positive response from the body - not just germs - think exercise, test-taking, and overcoming your fears. Of course to prove your strength, you don’t need to drink jugs of poison on a regular basis unless you’re Shiva, so for most of us mere mortals, it’s about knowing how to put ourselves into environments that keep us fit and help us thrive with a healthy immune system to boot.
Enter three wellness practices:
Let’s start with three practices that play well to our evolutionary history which you can build into your life to improve wellness: 1. fasting, 2. contrast hydrotherapy, and 3. meditation when sick, under stress, or when you are looking to boost your immune system.
Fasting is like a reset button for your immune system (specifically 2-4 days). In addition, it can promote longevity, metabolism and brain health through a process of cell recycling called autophagy. When fasting, it’s helpful to reduce your activity and works as long as you feel “vital”, so as soon as you notice a marked drop in energy, you can begin to bring in light warm foods slowly. They key is to find your edge while being gentle on your body. Stick to water with Himalayan salt, lemon, ginger and a bit of honey - you can also add any herbs you feel comfortable with and I’ll share some here.
Contrast hydrotherapy breaks down into two parts, heat and cold exposure. Many traditions from the Norse to the Native Americans combine saunas and plunges into frigid waters to get this effect, but you can practice in your shower with a 5 minute exercise of 30 seconds hot then 30 seconds cold five times in succession. This stimulates the immune system to circulate lymph fluid which detoxifies the body and reduces inflammation.
For meditation, find a comfortable position to sit still for a period of time with your spine straight (and unsupported unless you have a condition that prohibits this, then you can use a chair or lay down), and focus on your breathing, allowing thoughts to come and go, always gently returning your focus back to the breath. You can focus on the sound OM if that’s your cup of tea. Imagine a warm white golden light radiating from within you that feels really good and find an affirmation or series of phrases to repeat like “I am healthy, I am love” this will reset your emotional body and keep your nervous system in its normal (healthy) state.
Now, here’s a brief explanation of why it’s important to know how synthetic Rx antibiotics work and how to replace them with Mother Nature’s antibiotics: Draxe.com/antibiotic-resistance. The gist of it is that we thrive on have probiotic bacteria in our gut and herbal antibiotic replacements keep those good bacteria alive while killing acute bacterial and viral illnesses. Two of the most valuable natural antibiotic herbs include Oregano Oil and Black Seed Oil (only take when you are sick for 2 weeks maximum). In addition, these three herb powders, Turmeric, Tulsi and Turkey Tail are useful for daily immune support:
These FIVE supplies (oregano oil included) should last at least 3-6 months.
Buy black seed oil: amazon.com/gp/product/B016NHTTBO
Buy oregano oil: amazon.com/Gaia-Herbs-Oregano-Liquid-Capsules/dp/B00F1J8HOQ
Buy turkey tail: amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00MY4OA6A/
Daily 3T Tea
The 3 T’s for everyday general immune strength (safe to take on a regular basis for energy/immunity): Turmeric (also an antibiotic), Tulsi and Turkey tail.
Instructions: In hot water, add 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp tulsi and 1 tsp turkey tail with 1 tsp of honey and lemon juice.
These herbal supplements work best in addition to self-care. What's more valuable is quality rest, eating warm & light foods, fresh air, clean filtered water and a good outlook. Tell yourself you are healthy and you will begin to see it and believe it!
Remember to use common sense! Disclaimer: This information is not a substitute for medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
About Peter Fettis
As a Registered Yoga Teacher and and Certified Personal Trainer, Peter practices optimizing human potential as a way of life. His latest book How to Eat Well and Love Yourself dives into the practical principles of mindfulness and plant-based nutrition to give you a taste of the abundant harvest from the mind's inner garden of awareness. Peter’s vision with FlowPrana is to make waves in the current culture by rallying the wider public to recognize their inner healing power using a proactive, gentle approach.