How over sanitising can actually weaken your immune system- we need some bugs to stay healthy!
There is no question that we need to be focusing on hand washing and hygeine (and in reality always should be!) but with sanitiser required to enter every shop (and I'm not suggesting that it shouldn't be a requirement for entry at the moment) we are potentially negatively influencing our innate immunity in our quest to stay virus free.
Where possible opt for thorough hand washing with soap and water rather than a quick spray of sanitiser and save the sanitiser for times where hand washing isn't an option.
Over sanitising can reduce our own populations of bacteria which are required to keep our immune system functioning optimally. The alcohol and other chemicals found in common instant sanitisers, whilst effective against bacteria and viruses that we don't want to spread or catch, also kill off our good protective flora.
Because our immune systems are designed to encounter and respond to external 'threats' such as foreign (to us individually) bacteria and viruses when we drastically reduce exposure, immune function is actually also affected.
Because of the recent social isolation, we have all been in our own bubbles and therefore our exposure to foreign bugs has been minimal. This means that our immune activity will have actually reduced.
As we begin to venture out a bit more, mixing with more people and therefore naturally encountering more bacteria (remember that we are all actually a mass of unique bacteria- we each contain/host more bacteria than we do actual cells!) it is super important to be supporting our immune systems which haven't had to work as hard whilst we've been hibernating at home.
So this means all usual immune supports apply!
Eat well, sleep well and enough, get regular daily fresh air, sunlight and exercise and have regular stress reduction strategies in place.
For extra support Vitamin C, Vitamin D and zinc are key nutrients and if you're feeling run down or are prone to frequent infections of any kind, individually tailored immune support herbs can really help.
Because regular use of sanitisers are going to be with us for quite some time, it's really important to be supporting your body's gut flora through prebiotic foods- here is a list:
along with probiotic foods suchas fermented foods or drinks if you can tolerate them or a quality probiotic supplement.
With kids soon returning to school and beginning to mix with large amounts of other kids and winter just around the corner, it's a great time to be refocusing on gut and immune health for the whole family.
If you would like to book a review appointment (all appts are currently by phone or online through zoom) as we move in to winter or to discuss the best immune support options for you and your family you can book appointments here:
If you have children starting back at school this week I hope that the transition goes well for all.
P.S- My Immune tea blend is great to gently support your immune system and circulation over the winter months. It can be enjoyed daily and then increased at the first sign of a sore throat or other cold type symptoms. My kids enjoy it sweetened with some local honey!
You can order it directly with me or in my online tea shop here: