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Our bodies become susceptible to common infections as temperatures drop. It is not unheard of that a neighbour or an officemate caught the flu or at least has a runny nose because the low temperature naturally triggers our bodies to slow down to conserve more energy and heat. But it likewise encourages the proliferation and growth of germs in the environment. The cold, germs, and slowdown of body processes combine for the perfect recipe for humans to get sick.
It is still more advisable that we go as natural as possible to help us get well, although we have modern medicine at our disposal, and as always, prevention is always better than looking for a cure. We need to stay healthy and keep our immune system in tip-top shape so we can fight these germs during the cold months, so here are 10 herbal mixtures to help your immune system get through the winter months.
We usually use this when we have colds or the flu, but these can also be drunk to help us improve our immune system. Honey and lemon are some of the herbal mixtures that are rich in natural antioxidants. They also have antibacterial and antiviral properties. The leaves and the whole lemon can be boiled or steeped in hot water to make an infusion type of tea. The honey is added later for flavour.
Ginger and lemon tea
This is one of the very simple herbal mixtures as you will just boil the ginger root for a good 10-15 minutes and add the lemon afterward. This mixture has great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects because of the ginger.
Warm lemongrass lemonade
This has a lot of vitamin C from the lemon juice and peels. Lemongrass also has vitamin C and a powerful compound called myrcene that can reduce fevers and inflammation. Steep the lemongrass and lemon peels in warm honey water, and you’ve got a super vitamin C drink boost.
Lavender and chamomile infusion
A lavender and chamomile infusion may not have a direct effect on our immune systems, but this concoction has a calming and relaxing effect. This helps ease stress which is not useful when we are stick, plus stress has been known to have a negative impact on our immune systems.
Ginger and cinnamon tea
This tea infusion can relieve a sore throat because of the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger. When you combine this with honey and lemon, it can boost your vitamin C intake and help decongest your sinuses.
This is a good combination for rejuvenation of the senses. The menthol that is released by the mint can help open your sinuses and this combination has a lot of antioxidants so it can act as a detoxifier as well.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has antioxidants that boost the health of the lymphatic system. Amazingly, you can drink this as a shot in its pure form or as an ingredient in a refreshingly fizzy mix of ginger, honey, mint, and seltzer water.
You can boil the turmeric as you would with ginger, but you can also combine it with beets, carrots, and ginger in a juicer to help your body respond to immune response attacks.
This is another relaxing tea that contains geranium, hibiscus, orange peels, and nutmeg. This helps alleviate stress and gives a boost to our digestion.
Chai or green tea infusions
Chai helps energise the cells in the body. Traditional chai is made of ginger, peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom, and of course, black or green tea. The added sugar helps bring the flavours together and adds a little sweetness to the mix. Again, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties from ginger and cinnamon make this a good base for whatever herb you may want to infuse with your chai.
Any way we can make ourselves naturally healthy should be explored! However, it is important to note that some of these natural ingredients may not be suitable for those on medication, pregnant, or breastfeeding so you should consult with a doctor or physician!
What is your favourite concoction to see you through the winter and keep you healthy?