Written by Tracy Gaibisso | Monday, 22 May 2023
With winter fast approaching, Tracy Gaibisso – a herbalist and naturopathy lecturer at Endeavour – shares some wisdom to keep your mind, body, and spirit in tip-top shape.
Gut health and good digestion
When it comes to keeping your immune system in shape, gut health and good digestion are where to start. Why? Because 60-70% of the immune system is situated in the digestive tract. You can support digestion with high-fibre and high-polyphenol foods like turmeric, green tea, grapes and red cabbage. This nutritional combo provides the gut microbiome with diversity, which makes it more capable and resilient.
Vitamin D is key
Increasing your vitamin D intake is another way to boost your immunity during cold and flu season. Vitamin D regulates the activity of immune cells that produce antiviral responses in the body, which help to fight off infection. Sunshine, supplements, and fortified foods are all great ways of getting healthy doses of vitamin D into your system!
If we’re talking vitamins – vitamin C is also key, but we shouldn’t rely only on low-dose vitamin C levels without considering supporting nutrients such as zinc and iron.
Stress has a detrimental effect on our immune system – it can change the microbial composition of the gut which, in turn, sends distress signals and can provoke inflammation. Lack of sleep can also impact our immunity, and you’ll often find stress and quality of sleep go hand in hand.
Create immune-boosting habits
They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Five tips for forming immune-boosting habits include:
Avoiding the flu
Keep germs at bay by keeping your hands clean and washing them regularly (with soap and water). This is especially important after you’ve been out in public.
Herbal teas containing echinacea, astragalus and licorice help to regulate the immune system.
You can also sip on an oxymel, a herbal remedy dating back to ancient times that’s easy to whip up at home. It’s a mixture of apple cider vinegar, honey and a selection of immune-enhancing herbs such as garlic, ginger and horseradish.
Interested in natural health?
Learn more about gut health and herbal remedies in our new short online courses at endeavourshortcourses.edu.au
Tracy has been in clinical practice as a herbalist and Naturopath since 2002 with a special interest in pre-conception, fertility, women's hormones and reproductive health. In addition to her naturopathic qualifications, she has completed post-graduate training in wellness and has a Masters in reproductive medicine. She also currently sits on the Clinical Advisory Committee for Endometriosis Australia.
She offers couples the BEYOND FERTILITY ™ program to assist in achieving optimal outcomes for a healthy pregnancy and birth and offers other practitioners mentoring in the program. She also has her own range of herbal teas in this space.
She is a well-respected industry speaker and established workshop facilitator, speaking both nationally and internationally. In addition, she both supervises in the Clinic and lectures at Endeavour College of Natural Health Perth.
In her downtime, she is a self-confessed foodie and animal lover and you will often find her concocting recipes with medicinal herbs into teas, elixirs, oxymels, smoothies, oils and poultices and researching ways of resurrecting ancient healing knowledge into modern practice.