Immunity Recipes – 2 Quick Home Remedies for Immunity
From the tonsils and adenoids to the lymph nodes and even the appendix, the body has an amazing immune system in place to protect us from various sicknesses and diseases. But as effective as this versatile system can be, there are still times when pathogens can break through our natural defenses.
The good news is that when we get sick, there are a variety of things we can do to help the body recover more quickly. There are two quick and easy remedies I use and recommend often to clients when they have a bug or feel like they are coming down with a sickness. Let’s take a closer look at these recipes and why they are so effective for boosting immune health.
Honey & lemon drink
Combine the following ingredients in a small pot and heat over the stove:
- Juice of 2-3 lemons
- Raw local honey
- 3-4 slices fresh ginger
- 2-4 chopped garlic cloves
Why these ingredients?
Honey and lemon are two powerhouses for boosting immunity. I recommend using manuka or raw local honey because it has strong antimicrobial properties that help the body fight bacteria and viruses. 1 2 If you know anybody that has some beehives and produces it locally, that will be a much better option and nutritional content than buying something from the grocery store.
Lemons are also great for boosting the immune system. They not only contain potassium and vitamin B6, but are rich in vitamin C, which is known to reduce the length and severity of colds and flus.3
Another important ingredient in this recipe is ginger. Ginger has anti-inflammatory as well as antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. So it’s able to fight a wide range of ailments. Fresh ginger is best, and as a side note, it’s great to add to drinks, soups, smoothies, and other dishes as well.
Last we have the garlic, which has some of the same properties of ginger. Combining garlic and ginger adds a vibrant taste in addition to helping your body kill off bacteria, fungus, and yeast.
Cold n’ flu tea
Combine the following ingredients with your tea of choice (black, green, oolong, herbal, etc.)
- 3-4 slices of fresh ginger with skin
- One clove chopped garlic
- Cayenne powder
- Honey to taste
- Milk/milk alternative
Why these ingredients?
This cold and flu tea has garlic, ginger, and honey for the reasons mentioned above. Teas such as black and green tea are known to enhance immunity,4 and combining them with these ingredients can give your body an even bigger boost. In addition, cayenne pepper contains vitamins that are beneficial to the immune system such as vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin C, as well as several minerals.
Other immune-boosting tips
In addition to these foods and herbs, there are many other supplements as well as food & lifestyle choices that can benefit the immune system. The following are some additional things I recommend whether you’re looking to prevent illness or get over a sickness more quickly.
- Reduce or eliminate sugar, alcohol, & caffeine
- Avoid smoking
- Don’t over-exercise (give your body a day to recover)
- Follow the 90/10 rule – 90% healthy food and 10% other foods
- Get 7-9 hours of solid, restorative sleep
- Get enough vitamin D every day (from the sun and/or a supplement)
- Take a probiotic supplement
About Betty O’Neill
Betty O’Neill is a nutritional therapist who specializes in gut and hormonal health, as well as sugar elimination. Through helping others and overcoming her own health challenges, Betty has realized the powerful effect that food can have on our health & wellness. To learn more about Betty and her practice, visit bettyoneillnutrition.com.
1. Watanabe, K., R. Rahmasari, et al. “Anti-Influenza Viral Effect of Honey in Vitro: Potent High Activity of Manuka Honey.” Archives of Medical Research 45, no. 5 (2014): 359-365.
2. Kwakman, P.H.S., & S.A.J. Zaat. “Antibacterial components of honey” IUBMB Life 64, no. 1 (2012): 48-55.
3. Lee, W.J. “Common Cold and Flu. In: Vitamin C in Human Health and Disease” (Springer, Dordrecht: 2003).
4. Wong, C.P., S.K. Noh, et al. “Induction of regulatory T cells by green tea polyphenol EGCG” Immunology Letters (2011).