Cold and flu season is here! As we move into the coldest months of winter, I want to share my go-to immune boosting tea. Whether you are treating a cold or flu, trying to prevent one all together or simply looking for a healthy warm beverage, this tea is delicious and is packed full of nutrients that will keep your immune system strong during the winter months and all year round.
- 1 organic lemon, rind intact and cut into wedges
- 1 fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 cups of water
- Unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- Raw honey or Manuka honey
Add the lemon, ginger, cinnamon sticks and water to a pot. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey per cup of tea and Enjoy!
Lemon is rich in vitamin C, an essential nutrient for optimal immune system functioning. Lemon also has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Ensure you use an organic lemon as conventional lemons have wax and other chemicals on the outside that should not be ingested, especially if your immune system is already weakened by infection. If you do not have access to organic lemons, peel the lemon prior to adding it.
Ginger has long been classified as a super food due to the many medicinal properties it exhibits. Gingerol is the main natural oil found in ginger that is responsible for most of the medicinal properties found in ginger. Gingerol is a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. The antioxidant effect of ginger helps to increase immune function by reducing the amount of oxidative damage to the body. The anti-inflammatory effect of ginger can help to soothe a sore throat during a cold and reduce body aches experienced during a flu.
Ginger also has antibacterial and antiviral effects to help prevent, as well as reduce the severity of a cold and flu.
The delicious aroma and taste of cinnamon is only a fraction of what this super food has to offer. Cinnamon has significant antioxidant benefits-superior to most super foods. Antioxidants are important because they help the body reduce oxidative stress, which damages cells, reduces immune function and contributes to nearly all chronic diseases. In addition, cinnamon is an anti-inflammatory. Cinnamon has traditionally been used to treat sore throats as it reduces the associated inflammation and aids in repairing tissue damage. The antimicrobial benefits of cinnamon also make it a nice addition to any infection fighting tea.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains the “mother”, which is a mix of yeast and bacteria that work as probiotics. Probiotics have immune-boosting properties that can effectively help to fight influenza-like respiratory infections and the common cold.
Raw honey and Manuka honey are very nutrient dense and exhibit the most antimicrobial action of all honey. Honey has a very low concentration of water and high concentration of sugar. This combination creates an environment that is difficult for bacteria to survive in. Honey naturally contains hydrogen peroxide, which increases in concentration when honey is added to water. Both properties contribute to the antimicrobial property of honey and is the reason honey is such an effective antibacterial agent.