Massage Therapy for Skiers

Whether you are a local with a season pass, or in town for a winter vacation, after the first few days hitting the slopes the inevitable soreness and achiness in the muscles and body begin to set in. Skiing, no matter your skill level, is an extreme sport. Hard falls, high speeds, and rough terrain all combine to make skiing and snowboarding a highly intense winter activity. Skiing engages your full body and all of its muscle groups, and while it’s a great workout, there’s a lot of opportunity for injury as well.

Much of the injury that may occur from skiing is due to wear and tear on the body. Most injuries will be bruises, as well as sore and pulled muscles. The joints are usually in the most danger of being injured more seriously. According to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) knee injuries alone account for about 45% of all serious skiing injuries, with hips being the next for the highest chance of injury. Moguls, sharp inclines, and turns can wreak havoc on the joints of a skier over time.

The best way to avoid injury during the ski season is through preventative measures. Along with having properly fitted gear (and of course, always a helmet), it’s important your body and mind are prepared as well. Keeping up with a healthy, athletic lifestyle in the offseason will ensure your body is ready for ski season. Be sure to get some good stretching in before and after a day on the slopes. In addition to keeping your body in shape, keeping a relaxed and focused mind will also benefit your performance on the slopes. In the event of injury, acting quickly is key. Being sure to rest, ice injuries, keep injuries elevated, and seek professional medical help when needed will help protect against further damage and injury.

Massage Therapy for Skiers

In addition to leading an active healthy lifestyle, purchasing the best equipment, and taking care of an injury in a timely manner, all skiers beginner to professional should consider adding massage therapy to their arsenal of injury prevention and treatment methods. Massage therapy both before and after skiing will help ensure you shred the slopes, not your body.

Massage therapy plays a vital role in sports medicine. Massage therapy benefits the body by helping to increase blood flow, oxygenate the muscles, and improve lymphatic drainage, and aid in the removal of toxins from the body. Massage therapy can greatly assist full-body recovery as well as strengthening the muscles for future physical activity.

Using massage as a preventative measure before skiing can help reduce your risk of injury this ski season. Getting a massage before hitting the mountain will release tension in the body, relax and elongate the muscles and improve flexibility, taking stress off the joints. A relaxing massage will also help promote a clear, relaxed mind, keeping you focused and aware of your surroundings during your runs.

Scheduling an après ski massage will help aid your body’s recovery process and prevent future injury. Working out muscles kinks, improving circulation, and draining toxins will reduce inflammation, shorten muscle recovery time, and ease soreness. A post-ski massage will help you unwind after a long day skiing, and promote deeper relaxation and better sleep so you’ll be ready to go again the following day.

“Massage Therapy for Skiers”
Resouce Post:


“KENRA PROFESSIONAL PROUDLY PETA CERTIFIED” – Kenra Professional is proud to be PETA certified! You may have seen the term “PETA certified” on other cruelty-free brands in the market, but what does this actually mean?

This certification by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) indicates that we do not conduct or commission any animal testing for our ingredients, formulations, or finished products and that we at Kenra Professional, pledge not to ever do so in the future.
PETA blog pic1
“I’m excited that Kenra Professional is PETA certified and does not do any animal testing so that I can recommend Kenra Professional products to my friends and family and feel good about the brand’s values!
-Lauren At Kenra

“Kenra Professional’s PETA certification is important to me because I want the brands that I use to feel the same way that I do about the importance of kindness towards animals. I’m proud to support a company that cares for the well-being of ALL animals, including my furry best friend.”
-Heather At Kenra

You can find Kenra Professional on PETA’s Beauty without Bunnies database here.



Trends come and go, but glossy, shiny hair is eternal. While there are a number of factors that influence your hair’s overall luster—genetic, dietary, environmental, and more—some of them are easier to control than others. With that in mind, we decided to cover a few tips and tricks you can take immediate action on—and that will hopefully bring you closer to your glossy goals. (Sorry, Marcia Brady, but none of them involve 100 daily strokes with a hairbrush.)

Try a Sulfate-Free Shampoo
While sulfates certainly help with that squeaky-clean feeling some people seek after shampooing, they sometimes do their job a little too well—stripping your hair of beneficial natural oils. While sulfate-free shampoos don’t foam as much as their sulfate-laden counterparts, they also provide a gentler clean that can help with your shiny hair quest. Pro Tip: If you want to get more lather when you’re washing your air, resist adding more shampoo—and add more water instead. It also can’t hurt to use Clarifying Shampoo once a week or so—it should help keep your hair buildup-free and shining bright. As luck would have it, all of our shampoos are sulfate-free!

Squeeze, Don’t Rub
When you step out of the shower, resist the urge to rough up your hair with a towel. Though it’s admittedly satisfying, doing so can cause breakage and frizz. Instead, wrap sections of hair in a towel and gently squeeze to remove moisture. Bonus points if you use a microfiber towel—the finer threads are gentler on your strands!

Choose Your Tools Wisely
As a general rule, it’s a good idea to avoid excess heat styling if shiny hair is your goal. That said, sometimes it’s unavoidable—or you’re just craving a good blowout! To maintain maximum shine when blow-drying, make sure you’re starting on mostly-dry hair, holding the blow-dryer a few inches away from your head, and using the lowest heat setting possible. You can also tools that have been thoughtfully designed with new technologies and high-quality materials to help promote healthier-looking hair. For instance, the our Power Performance Ionic Hair Dryer has a 99.9% Nano Silver grill to enhance shine. And the Ceramic Heated Brush—perfect for touching up already-dry hair—features advanced ionic technology for shiny, frizz-free results. (P.S. Non-heated ceramic brushes share these properties, too! Try them for a glossy blowout.)

Upgrade to Shine-Boosting Stylers
There are a whole lot of things we love about argan oil—obviously. Chief among them? Its shine-restoring powers! Because it’s included in all of our styling products, you get an extra boost of glossy alongside the hold, definition, or frizz-fighting benefits you’re after. When it comes to gold-star shine saviors, Moroccanoil Treatment is the obvious place to start. This multitasking treatment conditions, detangles, smooths frizz, and increases shine by up to 118%.* But you can even go for extra gleam with products like Luminous Hairspray, which includes just a touch of argan oil for a reflective finishing touch.

Sleep on a Silk Pillowcase
It doesn’t just feel luxurious—it can also have major shiny hair benefits! Sleeping on a silk pillowcase helps reduce friction (compared to cotton), which ups your odds of waking up tangle-free, frizz-free, and sans bedhead. Silk is also less absorbent than cotton, which means any nourishing hair products you apply before bed will stay on your hair, where they belong—instead of soaking into your pillowcase.

Step Up Your Scalp Care
Healthy hair starts at the root! That’s why correcting scalp imbalances can help give your hair a mega-dose of vitality in shine. If you’re experiencing a dry, flaky scalp, try Dry Scalp Treatment. It contains salicylic acid to gently exfoliate and prevent buildup, plus soothing essential oils. For an oily scalp, reach for Oily Scalp Treatment to detoxify and rebalance. Bonus it contains a biotin peptide complex known to provide anti-aging benefits and promote scalp micro-circulation.

Get Glossy
Next time you’re at the salon, ask your stylist about gloss treatments. Generally used to tone or refresh color between color treatments or as a finishing step after color application, these temporary treatments are created to help dial up your hair’s shine factor. They essentially work by coating the hair and sealing the cuticle, creating a smoother surface that will reflect more light. (Read: more shine.) Some are clear and just add shine, while others contain slight pigment to help tone or enhance your hair color. Note: Because they only deposit color on the surface of the hair—like our Color Depositing Masks, also excellent shine-boosters—they are non-damaging. Results are temporary and wash out over time! If you need help finding a salon near you, check out our Salon Locator.

Up Your Omegas
Just like your skin, your hair loves a healthy diet! Particularly crucial to the formation of hair are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. (Fun fact: Argan oil is actually a great source of both.) Certain kinds of fish, like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies, are good sources of omega-3s, as are chia seeds and flax seeds. For omega-6 fats, you can try eating more nuts—think walnuts, almonds, and cashews. Of course, we should note that your doctor is always the best person to turn to for nutritional advice.


*According to an independent study.

Massage measurably reduces stress

A study finds that 10 minutes of massage or relaxation can activate the body’s system for overcoming stress.

Massage measurably reduces stress – The damaging effects of stress are well-known, but fortunately, our bodies have a built-in system for managing and recovering from it. This system is called the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS).

While there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that taking time to relax — especially when it involves massage — can activate the PSNS, the new study by psychologists at the University of Konstanz in Germany has scientifically measured and confirmed this effect.

In their paper, the researchers conclude that short periods of relaxation may be psychologically and physiologically regenerative and that the effect is even more pronounced with a massage.

The senior author of the study is Prof. Jens Pruessner of the university’s Neuropsychology lab, who is a member of the Cluster of Excellence “Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour.” He explains the importance of the new research:

“To get a better handle on the negative effects of stress, we need to understand its opposite — relaxation. Relaxation therapies show great promise as a holistic way to treat stress, but the more systematic scientific appraisal of these methods is needed.”

The study appears in the September 2020 issue of Scientific Reports.

The study

For their study, the team divided the participants into three groups.

The first group received 10-minute head-and-neck massages with a moderate pressure intended to stimulate the PSNS’s vagus nerve. This nerve contains some 75% of the PSNS nerve fibers, branching out to the many organs in the body with which the system interacts.

The second group of individuals received much softer 10-minute neck-and-shoulder massages as a means of determining the PSNS-activating effect of simple tactile contact.

A third control group simply sat at a table relaxing for 10 minutes.

The researchers used both physiological and psychological measurements to evaluate the degree to which each intervention, or lack of, had activated the participants’ PSNS.

Neuropsychology doctoral student Maria Meier led the team, who assessed the tests’ physiological effect by measuring the participants’ heart rate, as well as their heart rate variability (HRV). HRV is a measurement of variations in the time intervals between heartbeats.

For example, when the body is in fight-or-flight mode, there is a very little variation because the heart beats quickly at a steady rate. This will provide a low HRV value. When the body is relaxed, a greater degree of variation occurs, resulting in a higher HRV.

All of the participants had significantly higher HRV levels afterward. However, the most dramatic increases in HRV belonged to those who had received massages. The type of massage did not matter.

Simple tactile contact proved just as effective for helping an individual relax as a massage designed specifically to activate the PSNS.

Psychologically, all participants reported feeling less stressed and more relaxed after the tests.

Overall, the experiments confirmed that simply taking a few moments to relax can help a person manage stress. Adding a relaxing massage does, even more, to activate the PSNS and alleviate the physical and mental effects of stress.

Stress management

Meier concludes: “We are very encouraged by the findings that short periods of disengagement are enough to relax not just the mind but also the body. You don’t need professional treatment in order to relax. Having somebody gently stroke your shoulders, or even just resting your head on the table for 10 minutes, is an effective way to boost your body’s physiological engine of relaxation.”

Equally important as the study’s finding is the development of a system for objectively evaluating relaxation therapies. With experts often citing stress as the driver of diseases such as depression, a reliable means of validating relaxation techniques clearly has value.

Says Meier, “Massage, being such a commonly used relaxation therapy, was our first study. Our next step is to test if other short interventions, like breathing exercises and meditation, show similar psychological and physiological relaxation results.”’



Natural Ways to Relieve Stress

Constant worry over money, job security, family, and health keeps your stress system on high alert all the time

Stress comes at you all day, from every angle, now more than ever. Constant worry over money, job security, family, and health keeps your stress system on high alert all the time — and it feels like you can never calm down. That can lock you in a never-ending stress cycle and likely search for natural ways to relieve stress.

Chronic stress makes you feel awful — mentally, emotionally, and physically. It can even change the way your body manages stress, making it much harder to break the stress cycle.

Plus, long-term stress adds an extra strain on your body.

It takes an enormous toll on your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to any infection that’s going around. And when you’re already feeling anxious and worried, the last thing you need is a stressed-out immune system.

Unfortunately, you can’t avoid stress completely. But you can take specific steps to help your mind and body calm down — even in the face of non-stop stressors.

Constant Stress Derails Good Health

Stress isn’t just a feeling — it’s a whole system of physical reactions that are supposed to keep you safe from imminent danger. Those reactions protect you when you’re facing immediate, temporary threats like avoiding a car crash. Their sole purpose is to help you survive by stimulating “fight or flight” action. When the danger passes, the system turns off and resets.

But when you face stressors all the time — work deadlines, traffic jams, bad news — the system can’t turn off. It stays on ready alert around the clock and never gets to stand down. That’s when “survival mode” transforms into a threat on its own. Constant stress knocks your whole body off-track, causing physical, mental, and emotional distress.

Physical Effects of Stress

Chronic stress takes a huge toll on your physical health. That’s why you probably feel sick when you’re stressed out. Maybe you get stress headaches, maybe stress hits you in the gut, or maybe it just makes you tired. Those symptoms you feel come from the physical effects of stress, which include:

The way stress affects your immune system can be especially troubling. When alarm protein galectin-3 gets activated in response to stress, it kicks off a series of inflammatory reactions.

It confuses your immune system so much that it triggers immune overreactions and under-reactions. The overreactions can leave you struggling with autoimmune disease symptoms. At the same time, immune system under-reactions could leave you catching every cold, flu, or other bugs that’s going around. All of this makes it all the more important to explore natural ways to relieve stress. Read on for proven tactics…

Mental Effects of Stress

When you’re constantly stressed out, it feels much harder to think clearly. That’s because chronic stress keeps the brain flooded with high levels of cortisol — the stress hormone — and that can interfere with optimal brain function.

Chronic stress has been linked to:

  • Brain fog
  • Inability to focus
  • Difficulty learning and retaining new information
  • Trouble adapting to change
  • Memory lapses

Scientific research also shows a strong connection between chronic stress and Alzheimer’s disease. So learning how to manage your stress today may help protect you against that devastating loss of self in the future. Research shows that a number of healthy stress relief strategies, including those listed below, also offer protection against Alzheimer’s and other forms of cognitive decline.

Emotional effects of stress

Stress can have a whirlwind effect on your emotions. You may feel more worried, snap more easily, or have bigger emotional reactions than would normally match the situation you’re in.

And since stress triggers galectin-3, the alarm protein, it also sets off inflammation … even in your brain. That inflammation reaction is a key way that chronic stress leads to serious mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. In fact, eye-opening research shows a direct link between galectin-3 and depression, making this alarm protein a strong potential target in treating stress-related mental illness.

There are so many ways that chronic stress harms your body, mind, and mood. And while stress is unavoidable — now more than ever — you can take steps to help your body respond in a healthier way. The more effectively you cope with stress today, the healthier you’ll be for the rest of your life.

7 Natural Ways to Relieve Stress & Calm Down Your Anxiety

Coping with stress is a full-time job, and your body needs all the support it can get. That support comes from immediate actions that help you calm down at the moment, as well as longer-term solutions that increase your body’s resilience and coping abilities. Use a combination of these stress-reducing methods to calm down your mind and body no matter what life throws at you.

Meditation: If you’ve never tried meditation before, you might feel like you’re doing it wrong — but there is no wrong here. There are many different methods and techniques, so keep trying until you find a practice you feel good about. As you practice meditation over time, you’ll notice how much clearer and calmer your mind and emotions become. That helps your body better adapt to rapidly changing situations and shut down stress responses more easily. It’s one of the top stress relievers out there. And it’s free!

Nature: Spending time outdoors in nature helps your body and mind relax. Go for a walk in the woods, dip your feet in the ocean, or relax on a hammock in your backyard. Taking even 10 minutes in nature can lift your mood and reduce your stress level.

Yoga: Practicing yoga promotes relaxation for your mind and body. Yoga involves more than stretching your muscles. It involves focusing on mindful breathing and spiritual engagement. Regular yoga practice helps regulate your nervous system and reduces the harmful effects of stress.

Healthy eating: When you’re feeling stressed, your instinct may be to grab for sweet, salty, fatty foods — but those can add to your body’s stress load. Healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables, packed with nutrients and antioxidant compounds help your body cope with the damaging effects of stress.

Exercise: Physical activity helps your body blow off steam, but its benefits don’t stop there. Exercising leads to the release of endorphins, natural “feel-good” chemicals that combat the effects of stress. Exercise also helps regulate your body’s stress responses so you become less reactive when faced with stressors. So go for a walk, take a bike ride, or dance around the room and let those endorphins kick in.

Read More: 11 Surprising Life Extenders

Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP): When it comes to supplements that reduce the effects of stress, clinically researched modified citrus pectin (MCP) doesn’t usually make the list — but it should. Along with increasing your overall resilience, MCP blocks galectin-3, the alarm protein that triggers inflammation and causes many of the harmful effects associated with chronic stress. MCP also helps clear out toxins that can stress your immune system. Those gentle detox abilities make it easier for your body to cope with other challenges, including chronic stress.

Honokiol: When stress and anxiety overwhelm your mind and your life, honokiol — a compound extracted from magnolia bark — offers quick, calming relief. Honokiol is a powerful antioxidant known to specifically improve brain health and function. It also helps reduce brain inflammation, which has been closely linked with depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. Honokiol acts like a natural antidepressant has also been shown to relieve anxiety, and demonstrates important benefits against Alzheimer’s. And when you pair honokiol with MCP, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of both increase significantly, offering more stress relief for you.

Let’s face it: Today’s stressors aren’t going away any time soon. But with proactive, natural stress management strategies, you can increase your resilience — and receive lasting benefits for every area of health.

“Ways to Relieve Stress”

Natural Ways to Relieve Stress, According to a Leading Integrative MD

By Isaac Eliaz, MD, MS, LAc

November 16, 2020

Which Massage Should You Choose?

Swedish massage is for relaxation, circulation, and detoxification.  Choose Swedish if you want the most relaxing massage without deep pressure or working on specific issues like sore muscles.

Deep Tissue, the therapist is penetrating into muscles in order to work-out soreness and remove lactic acid, which causes sore muscles.  Choose Deep Tissue if you have sore muscles from skiing or other activities.

Sports Massage incorporates stretching and movement into the massage in order to address specific issues you may be having.  Sports let our therapists use all their knowledge and training in order to alleviate pain, soreness, and stiffness, so you’re feeling better and ready for your next mountain activity.

Hot Stone is a relaxing massage where smooth river stones are heated, placed on the muscles, and incorporated into the massage.  The stones penetrate heat into the muscles, making for a soothing and relaxing massage.

Due to COVID-19 we have temporarily disabled our online booking in order to schedule services accordingly. Unable to take walk-in’s so please call for an appointment. Please call 970-453-2044 or email to schedule. Thank you for your understanding.

Swedish Massage
30 Minutes                                        $60
60 Minutes                                        $90
90 Minutes                                        $125

Hot Stone Massage
30 Minutes                                        $80
60 Minutes                                        $115
90 Minutes                                        $155

Sports Massage
30 Minutes                                        $70
60 Minutes                                        $105
90 Minutes                                        $145

Deep Tissue
30 Minutes                                        $70
60 Minutes                                        $105
90 Minutes                                        $145

Couples Massage
60 Minutes                                        $180
90 Minutes                                        $250

Pre-Natal Massage

60 Minutes                                        $105

Aroma Therapy
CBD Relief Cream                          $20

We offer 3 different Aroma Therapy Blends:  Relaxation, High Altitude Relief, and Sore Muscle

Which Massage Should You Choose?


Best essential oils for Winter

Best essential oils for Winter

With all of the viruses and ailments circulating this winter, it’s no wonder people are searching for the best essential oils for colds. And the flu. And dry skin and sore throats. Cooler months bring a unique set of health challenges. When this time of year sets in, I like to use essential oils as part of my first line of defense.

Whether you’re completely new to essential oils or looking to expand your comfort level with new oils, this list identifies some of the go-to oils for common winter and fall issues. As always, essential oil safety is important to understand, too. Not all oils are safe to ingest or apply to your skin. Your age, medications, and pets in the house will also play into which oils are best for your household.

Best Essential Oils for Colds 

Thyme oil may be best known for its antibacterial properties, but it packs a potent antiviral punch, too. In fact, its germ-killing qualities are so effective, you’ll find thyme oil as the active ingredient in many commercial green cleaning products.

Warming ginger essential oil also comes in handy during the cold season, thanks to its mucus-clearing properties.


Best Essential Oils for the Flu

When flu season is in full swing, you may be looking for more natural ways to ease symptoms. As always, if your symptoms become severe or do not improve, check in with your healthcare provider. But many people are able to support their bodies and use essential oils and other flu natural remedies to get through a flu episode.

Essential Oils for Dry Skin

Humidity levels typically drop in late fall and winter, leaving our skin parched, flaky, and sometimes even cracked. So many lotions and moisturizers on the market contain really harmful synthetic scents. I opt for natural oils to keep my skin feeling smooth and less damaged.

Essential Oils for Sore Throat 

If you find yourself searching for essential oils for sore throat issues this winter, you’re not alone. Viruses like the flu and common cold often cause irritating sore throats.


Essential Oils for Arthritis

If you’re living with arthritis, you know the transition to cold weather can be brutal. Add to that the wild fluctuations in temperature and humidity we’ve experienced this season, and it’s easy to see how people’s joints are feeling the effects.

Essential Oils for Sinusitis

Clogged sinuses can last for weeks or even months. In fact, about 35 million Americans suffer from sinus infections or sinusitis annually. These are the oils I turn to when I feel sinus issues starting to crop up.


Essential Oils for Cool Weather Allergies

Thankfully, brutal ragweed and other pollen-related allergies aren’t in full swing in the winter. But that doesn’t mean a break from all allergies. If you’re irritated by cold-weather allergies, you may want to look into these essential oils for some relief.


January 29, 2018

Boost Your Immune System

How to Boost Your Immune System — Top 19 Boosters

By Christine Ruggeri, CHHC

We are continually exposed to organisms that are inhaled, swallowed, or inhabit our skin and mucous membranes. Whether or not these organisms lead to disease is decided by the integrity of our body’s defense mechanisms, or immune system.

When our immune system is working properly, we don’t even notice it. But when we have an under- or over-active immune system, we are at a greater risk of developing infections and other health conditions.

If you are wondering how to boost your immune system, be advised that it doesn’t necessarily happen overnight. It’s a matter of strengthening your immune response with lifestyle changes and the use of immune-boosting antimicrobial and antiviral herbs. But hopefully, you find comfort in knowing that your body is made to combat germs and protect your body from harm.

What Is the Immune System?

The immune system is an interactive network of organs, white blood cells, and proteins that protect the body from viruses and bacteria or any foreign substances.

The immune system works to neutralize and remove pathogens like bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi that enter the body, recognize and neutralize harmful substances from the environment, and fight against the body’s own cells that have changed due to an illness.

Our immune system works to protect us every day, and we don’t even notice it. But when the performance of our immune system is compromised, that’s when we face illness. Research indicates that under activity of the immune system can result in severe infections and tumors of immunodeficiency, while overactivity results in allergic and autoimmune diseases.

For our body’s natural defenses to run smoothly, the immune system must be able to differentiate between “self” and “non-self” cells, organisms, and substances. Here’s a breakdown of the differences:

  • “Non-self” substances are called antigens, which include the proteins on the surfaces of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Cells of the immune system detect the presence of antigens and work to defend themselves.
  • “Self” substances are proteins on the surface of our own cells. Normally, the immune system has already learned at an earlier stage to identify these cells proteins as “self,” but when it identifies its own body as “non-self,” and fights it, this is called an autoimmune reaction.

The amazing thing about the immune system is that it’s constantly adapting and learning so that the body can fight against bacteria or viruses that change over time. There are two parts of the immune system:

  • Our innate immune system works as a general defense against pathogens.
  • Our adaptive immune system targets very specific pathogens that the body has already has contact with.

These two immune systems complement each other in any reaction to a pathogen or harmful substance.

Immune System Diseases

Before learning exactly how to boost your immune system, first understand that most immune disorders result from either an excessive immune response or an autoimmune attack. Disorders of the immune system include:

  • Allergies and Asthma: Allergies are an immune-mediated inflammatory response to normally harmless environmental substances known as allergens. The body overreacts to an allergen, causing an immune reaction and allergy symptoms. This can result in one or more allergic diseases such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, and food allergies.
  • Immune Deficiency Diseases: An immune deficiency disease is when the immune system is missing one or more of its parts, and it reacts too slowly to a threat. Immune deficiency conditions, like HIV/AIDS and drug-induced immune deficiency, are due to severe impairment of the immune system, which leads to infections that are sometimes life-threatening.
  • Autoimmune Diseases: Autoimmune diseases cause your immune system to attack your own body’s cells and tissues in response to an unknown trigger. Examples of autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes.

Immune System Boosters

When searching for how to boost your immune system, look to these herbs, foods, supplements, essential oils, and lifestyle factors.


1. Echinacea

Many of echinacea’s chemical constituents are powerful immune system stimulants that can provide significant therapeutic value. Research shows that one of the most significant echinacea benefits is its effects when used on recurring infections.

A 2012 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that echinacea showed maximal effects on recurrent infections, and preventive effects increased when participants used echinacea to prevent the common cold.

A 2003 study conducted at the University of Wisconsin Medical School found that echinacea demonstrates significant immunomodulatory activities. After reviewing several dozen human experiments, including a number of blind randomized trials, researchers indicate that echinacea has several benefits, including immunostimulation, especially in the treatment of acute upper respiratory infection.

2. Elderberry

The berries and flowers of the elder plant have been used as medicine for thousands of years. Even Hippocrates, the “father of medicine,” understood that this plant was key for how to boost your immune system. He used elderberry because of its wide array of health benefits, including its ability to fight colds, the flu, allergies, and inflammation.

Several studies indicate that elderberry has the power to boost the immune system, especially because it has proven to help treat the symptoms of the common cold and flu.

A study published in the Journal of International Medical Research shows that when elderberry was used within the first 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, the extract reduced the duration of the flu, with symptoms being relieved on an average of four days earlier. Plus, the use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo.

3. Astragalus Root

Astragalus is a plant within the bean and legumes family that has a very long history as an immune system booster and disease fighter. Its root has been used as an adaptogen in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. Although astragalus is one of the least studied immune-boosting herbs, there are some preclinical trials that show intriguing immune activity.

A recent review published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine found that astragalus-based treatments have demonstrated significant improvement of the toxicity induced by drugs such as immunosuppressants and cancer chemotherapeutics.

Researchers concluded that astragalus extract has a beneficial effect on the immune system, and it protects the body from gastrointestinal inflammation and cancers.

4. Ginseng

The ginseng plant, belonging to the Panax genus, can help you to boost your immune system and fight infections. The roots, stems, and leaves of ginseng have been used for maintaining immune homeostasis and enhancing resistance to illness or infection.

Ginseng improves the performance of your immune system by regulating each type of immune cell, including macrophages, natural killer cells, dendritic cells, T cells, and B cells. It has also proven to possess antimicrobial compounds that work as a defense mechanism against bacterial and viral infections.

A study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine suggests that ginseng extract successfully induces antigen-specific antibody responses when it’s administered orally. Antibodies bind to antigens, such as toxins or viruses, and keep them from contacting and harming normal cells of the body.

Because of ginseng’s ability to play a role in antibody production, it helps the body to fight invading microorganisms or pathogenic antigens.


5. Bone Broth

Bone broth supports immune function by promoting the health of your gut and reducing inflammation caused by leaky gut syndrome. The collagen and amino acids (proline, glutamine, and arginine) found in bone broth help to seal openings in the gut lining and support its integrity.

We know that gut health plays a major role in immune function, so consuming bone broth works as an excellent immune system booster food.

6. Ginger

Ayurvedic medicine has relied on ginger’s ability for how to boost your immune system before recorded history. It’s believed that ginger helps to break down the accumulation of toxins in our organs due to its warming effects. It’s also known to cleanse the lymphatic system, our network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste, and other unwanted materials.

Ginger root and ginger essential oil can treat a wide range of diseases with its immunonutrition and anti-inflammatory responses. Research shows that ginger has antimicrobial potential, which helps in treating infectious diseases.

It’s also known for its ability to treat inflammatory disorders that are caused by infectious agents such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites, as well as physical and chemical agents like heat, acid and cigarette smoke.

7. Green Tea

Studies evaluating the efficacy of green tea show that it contains antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties. It works as an antifungal and antivirus agent and may be helpful for immunocompromised patients.

Strengthen your immune system by drinking good-quality green tea daily. The antioxidants and amino acids present in this tea will help your body to fight germs and get well.

8. Vitamin C Foods

Vitamin C foods, like citrus fruits and red bell peppers, improve the health of your immune system by providing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Studies display that getting enough vitamin C (along with zinc) in your diet may help to reduce the symptoms of respiratory infections and shorten the duration of illnesses like the common cold and bronchitis.

The best vitamin C foods to add for a strong immune system include:

  • citrus fruits, including orange, lemon, and grapefruit
  • black currant
  • guava
  • green and red bell pepper
  • pineapple
  • mango
  • honeydew
  • parsley

9. Beta-Carotene Foods

Beta-carotene has powerful antioxidant activity, allowing it to help reduce inflammation and fight oxidative stress. Instead of taking beta-carotene supplements, researchers propose that beta-carotene can promote health when taken at dietary levels, by eating foods rich in the carotenoid.

The richest sources of beta-carotene are yellow, orange, and red fruits and veggies, and leafy greens. Adding the following foods to your diet can help promote a strong immune system:

  • carrot juice
  • pumpkin
  • sweet potato
  • red bell peppers
  • apricot
  • kale
  • spinach
  • collard greens


10. Probiotics

Because leaky gut is a major cause of food sensitivities, autoimmune disease and immune imbalance or a weakened immune system, it’s important to consume probiotic foods and supplements.

Probiotics are good bacteria that help you digest nutrients that boost the detoxification of your colon and support your immune system.

Research published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition suggests that probiotic organisms may induce different cytokine responses. Supplementation of probiotics in infancy could help prevent immune-mediated diseases in childhood by improving the gut mucosal immune system and increasing the number of immunoglobulin cells and cytokine-producing cells in the intestines.

11. Vitamin D

Vitamin D can modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses and a vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as increased susceptibility to infection.

Research proves that vitamin D works to maintain tolerance and promote protective immunity. There have been multiple cross-sectional studies that associate lower levels of vitamin D with increased infection.

One study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital included 19,000 participants, and it showed that individuals with lower vitamin D levels were more likely to report a recent upper respiratory tract infection than those with sufficient levels, even after adjusting for variables such as season, age, gender, body mass and race. Sometimes addressing a nutritional deficiency is how to boost your immune system.

12. Zinc

Zinc supplements are often used as an over-the-counter remedy for fighting colds and other illnesses. It may help to reduce cold-related symptoms and shorten the duration of the common cold.

Research evaluating the efficacy of zinc shows that it can interfere with a molecular process that causes bacteria buildup in the nasal passages.

Essential Oils

13. Myrrh

Myrrh is a resin or sap-like substance, that is one of the most widely used essential oils in the world. Historically, myrrh was used to treat hay fever, clean and heal wounds, and stop bleeding. Studies conclude that myrrh strengthens the immune system with its antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.

A 2012 study validated myrrh’s enhanced antimicrobial efficacy when used in combination with frankincense oil against a selection of pathogens. Researchers expressed that myrrh oil has anti-infective properties and can help to boost your immune system.

14. Oregano

Oregano essential oil is known for its healing and immune-boosting properties. It fights infections naturally due to its antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-parasite compounds.

A 2016 study published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition found that the main compounds in oregano that are responsible for its antimicrobial activity include carvacrol and thymol.

Several scientific studies show that oregano oil exhibited antibacterial activity against a number of bacterial isolates and species, including B. laterosporus and S. saprophyticus. 


15. Exercise

Incorporating physical activity into your daily and weekly regimen is extremely important to strengthen your immune system.

A 2018 human study published in Aging Cell revealed that high levels of physical activity and exercise improve the immunosenescence (gradual deterioration of the immune system) in older adults aged 55 through 79, compared to those in the same age group who were physically inactive.

The study also highlights that physical activity doesn’t protect against all of the immunosenescence that occurs. However, the decrease in a person’s immune system function and activity can be influenced by decreased physical activity in addition to age.

16. Reduce Stress

Studies prove that chronic stress can suppress protective immune responses and exacerbate pathological immune responses.

In order to promote health and healing, you need to minimize your stress levels. This can be difficult today, especially when people are concerned about becoming ill, but it’s important.

17. Improve Sleep

When you aren’t getting enough sleep, your immune system won’t be able to function properly. In fact, research analyzing the vulnerability of sleep-deprived adults found that those who slept less than six hours a night were more than four times likely to get a cold than adults who slept more than seven hours.

To reduce your chances of catching colds and the flu, make sure you’re getting at least seven hours of sleep every night.

18. Limit Alcohol Consumption

Consuming too much alcohol can certainly impact immune function, which is why you’ll need to cut back on alcohol to fight infections and promote immune system health.

Alcohol negatively impacts gut health, decreasing immune function, and making you more susceptible to harmful pathogens. Stick to one or 2 alcohol drinks a week, or less, to boost your immune system.

19. Take Protective Measures

When there are germs and bugs going around, it’s important to protect yourself and those around you. This means:

  • frequent hand washing, for at least 20 seconds
  • minimize touching your face
  • staying home when sick
  • coughing or sneezing into your elbow
  • seeking medical attention and treatment when needed

Risk and Side Effects

In the quest for how to boost your immune system, proceed with some caution. If you are using these immune-boosting herbs, supplements, and essential oils, remember that the products are extremely potent and should not be taken for more than two weeks at a time. Giving yourself a break in between long doses is important.

Also, if you are pregnant, be cautious when using essential oils and reach out to your health care provider before doing so.

Any time you are using natural remedies like plant supplements, it’s a good idea to do it under the care of your doctor or nutritionist.

Final Thoughts

  • The immune system is an interactive network of organs, cells, and proteins that protect the body from viruses and bacteria or any foreign substances.
  • When the immune system is working properly, you don’t even notice it. It’s when the performance of the immune system is compromised that you face illness.
  • Plants, herbs, minerals, foods, and lifestyle changes can be used to prevent and fight infections due to their antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties.

“How to Boost Your Immune System — Top 19 Boosters

By Christine Ruggeri, CHHC”

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