8 Weird Remedies For A Weak Immune System That Actually Work

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Stress, colds, allergies — there are a lot of things that can weaken your immune system. And keeping your immune system healthy and strong is key to weathering the myriad maladies that are threatening to take you down. If you've been sick, or you have a compromised immune system, these weird remedies for a weak immune system are definitely worth trying. In fact, you may already be doing some of these without knowing that they're immune-system boosters.

According to Harvard Medical School, the best way to keep your immune system in tip-top shape is to commit to a healthy lifestyle. This means getting plenty of sleep, a moderate amount of exercise, choosing nutritious foods, and avoiding smoking and excessive drinking. You might imagine that a immune-system-promoting lifestyle also involves eating lots of salad and drinking lots of water on the regular.

However, research states that you can't literally boost your immune system by eating lots of kale. The trick is to do things that support your immune health to begin with. This includes adopting practices to reduce stress, getting outside to soak up vitamin D, staying hydrated, and keeping bad inflammation in check. You probably already know all of this. However, these lesser known remedies can also help you keep your immune system protecting you like a boss.

1. Embrace The Power Of Positive Thinking

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Too much positively can mean ignoring real problems (also known as spiritual bypassing), and being too negative can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. If you trend toward being a negative Nancy, research suggest that there is actually power in positive thinking. Yes, practicing being happy can keep your immune system strong, Scientific American reported. In some cases, positivity reduces stress, which is good for the immune system. Being positive doesn't mean ignoring things that need your attention but rather changing how you react to negative situations. For example, don't let little things get you worked up.

2. Get More Massages

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Massages don't just feel good; they're actually really good for you, too. According to a study conducted at the Cedars Sinai Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences in Los Angeles, people who received massages had an increase in the white blood cells that fight disease and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

3. Bring On The Garlic

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Sure, it stinks to high heaven, but garlic is really good for your immune system. According to a study published in the Journal of Immunology Research, "garlic appears to enhance the functioning of the immune system by stimulating certain cell types." I am a big believer in the powers of garlic. If you want to give it a try, but you don't want to smell like it, odorless garlic pills are a must.

4. Try Adaptogens

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Adaptogenic herbs and medicinal mushrooms (not to be confused with magic mushrooms) include maitake, shiitake, reishi, cordyceps, and more. A study published in Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal, reported that certain mushrooms can help keep your immune system healthy and strong. Use a little olive oil, season to your liking, and sauté away.

5. Thieves Oil

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Depending on who you talk to, essential oils are either essential for optimal health or a bunch of new-age mumbo jumbo. Personally, I find essential oils to be super beneficial to my wellness routine. One oil I use on the regular is thieves oil, which contains five essential oils: clove, rosemary, lemon, eucalyptus, and cinnamon bark oil. You can dab this oil on the bottom of your feet or wrists, or use it in an essential oil diffuser. One study published in the Journal of Essential Oil Research found that thieves oil "can significantly reduce the number of aerosol-borne bacteria and may have application in treating air for enclosed environments and preventing transmission of aerosol-borne bacterial pathogens."

6. Keep It Clean

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From your house to your hands, keeping it clean can help reduce exposure to bacterial, fungi, and allergens that can weaken your immune system. Right now it a good time to give your home a thorough spring cleaning. In addition, make sure you're washing your hands properly to avoid spreading germs.

7. Meditate, Rest, Relax

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If you've been resisting giving meditation a try, the time to hesitate is through. That's right, my friendlies, meditation can keep your immune system strong, according to a study published in the journal Translational Psychiatry. In addition, taking a relaxing vacation can have similar stress-reducing effects.

While some of these remedies to strengthen a weak immune system might seem odd, most of them have been practiced for thousands of years — well before the advent of modern medicine. In addition, the aforementioned remedies are super affordable and can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. Different things work for different people; try a few and see what resonates with you.