Read on to find out more about these immune-boosting ingredients, and whip up a batch of the special recipe below to keep you healthy throughout the holidays and beyond.
This is a commonly used natural remedy for a number of ailments, as it contains a number of vitamins and minerals, amino acids, and mineral salts. It is thought to have antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, plus it makes a great base for a number of natural tonics and tinctures.
Garlic has been used as a natural remedy for literally thousands of years, and with good reason! Garlic has been shown to be antiviral and antibacterial, and a recent study found that that taking high doses of allicin (the chemical that gives garlic its strong smell) for 12 weeks reduced the chances of catching a cold by 64%, and for those who did catch a cold, the symptoms were 70% milder.
Onions are another age-old remedy for infections and inflammation. They contain antioxidant properties, improve absorption of certain vitamins, and some of their compounds may even play a role in preventing cancer.
Fresh ginger contains compounds that many people have found to sooth the stomach, and relieve pain and inflammation - plus it has antibacterial properties.
Laboratory studies have found horseradish root to be antibacterial against a wide range of bacteria. It also kills parasites, contains antioxidants, and has been shown to increase white blood cell count, making it an excellent immune system booster.
These are some of the spiciest peppers in existence, meaning they contain large quantities of the compound capsaicin, which stimulates blood flow, reduces inflammation, and relieves congestion. They also contain even more vitamin C than citrus fruits.
Turmeric root has been widely studied for its healing properties, as it contains a high concentration of curcumin - a strong antioxidant often used as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It's also quite tasty in many dishes!
Combining all of these ingredients together makes a great remedy for colds and flu, as well as an overall immune-boosting tonic. Here is a sample recipe from EarthieMama, but feel free to come up with your own variations as well!
Recipe: Natural Immune System Boosting Tonic
1 (30 oz.) bottle Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup chopped Garlic
1/4 cup Onions
2 Habanero peppers (or hottest peppers you can find)**
1/4 cup grated Ginger
2 T of grated Horseradish
2 T Turmeric or 2 Turmeric root chunks
- Blend ingredients together for a couple of minutes
- Pour liquid into a bottle with a cork or tight-fitting lid
- Compost the remains!
Storage & Use:
Store in a cool dark place for several months; it does not need to be refrigerated. To use as a regular immune booster, take 2 droppers full (1 TB) daily. You can also mix it with olive oil and use as a salad dressing, add to stir fry, sauces, and more.
For sore throats, mix a few drops into 1/4 water, gargle, and swallow or spit out. For an illness such as a cold or the flu, take about 1 TB every couple of hours until symptoms abate. As this is very potent, you may wish to take with food, or after eating, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. Eating a slice of citrus such as orange or lemon right after taking may help ease the heat in the mouth.
**It is always a good idea to wear gloves when handling hot peppers.
Benefits (As listed on EarthieMama website):
"The super cleansing tonic is an antibiotic, destroying both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. It is also a potent anti-viral and anti-fungal/yeast formula, and will increase blood and lymph circulation to every part of the body. It is so effective that it is said to be the cure for colds and the flu, and is the herbal preparation of choice against Candida. This basic formula dates back to medieval Europe and the plagues."
We wish you a very happy and healthy holiday season!