It’s getting dark earlier, the wind is crisp and chilly, and you, and everyone around you, is coughing and sneezing with a runny nose. That right, it’s cold and flu season. You head to the pharmacy for cold medicine, when really, you should head to the produce aisle instead.
Lemons are high in vitamin C, which is great for fighting colds. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) found in lemons demonstrates anti-inflammatory effects, and is used as complementary support for asthma and other respiratory symptoms plus it enhances iron absorption in the body; iron plays an important role in immune function. Lemons also contain saponins, which show antimicrobial properties that may help keep cold and flu at bay. Lemons also reduce the amount of phlegm produced by the body.
Garlic has long been used by the Cherokee Indians as an expectorant for coughs. Its antibacterial properties make it great for treating infections, digestive disorders and fungal infections.
Cayenne pepper, by weight, is relatively high in vitamin A. It also contains vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium and manganese. The capsaicin in cayenne dilates the blood vessels and speeds metabolism. This increases circulation and blood flow to all major organs which facilitates oxygen and nutrient delivery.
Ginger contains chemicals called sesquiterpenes that specifically target rhinoviruses, the most common family of cold viruses, as well as substances that suppress coughing. It’s also a natural pain and fever reducer and a mild sedative, so it can help you rest when you’re sick.
This tea can be sweetened with either maple syrup or honey. They’re both not just sweeteners, they actually help ward off a cold, too!
Maple syrup contains essential nutrients like zinc, iron, calcium, and potassium. Zinc not only supports reproductive health, but it also helps to keep your white blood cells up, which assist in the protection against colds and viruses. If possible, buy locally made maple syrup.
Honey has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. If you have a sore throat, honey will help sooth and heal it.
All of these ingredients mixed together creates a powerhouse for knocking out colds. Add a little bit of green tea, yerba matte tea, or jasmine tea to add to the immune boosting power of this vitamin packed tea. Start drinking this tea before you start feeling sick to help prevent a cold from even happening!
What you will need:
1 lemon, cut in half
1 piece of ginger, about as long as your middle finger, cut into discs
1-2 cloves of garlic
About 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 spoonful of maple syrup or honey
loose leaf tea or tea bags
In a pot, combine all ingredients except the honey or maple syrup, and bring to a boil and let it steep for about 4-5 minutes. Use a fine mesh strainer to strain into a mug. Add honey or maple syrup and enjoy the immune boosting benefits of this all natural tea.
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