tips & tricks

FIRE UP YOUR IMMUNITY
Wellness-boosting tonics for cold, wintery days.

WRITTEN BY TAMSIN EDWARDS
ILLUSTRATION BY JOLENE HARBACH

Immune Boost Illustration Final

Temperatures are chilly, and many of us may feel like we’re fighting the onset of cold or flu viruses relentlessly. Luckily, it’s easy to boost the immune system right from your home kitchen.

Antimicrobial, immune-stimulating, and antiviral foods are the key. If you can boost your immune system pre-emptively, you’ll stand a better chance of warding off any lingering bugs hanging around in the cooler air.*

Here are some key ingredients to look for:

Elderberry Anthocyanins and flavonoids abound in this antiviral superfood. Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, praised the plentiful immune-boosting benefits of this fruity powerhouse, while according to a study reported in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, researchers have verified its ability to treat the symptoms of the common cold and flu.

Ginger Various scientific studies reported by Heal Naturally have shown that this spice can work as a preventative and therapeutic measure against influenza. It warms the body to assist with joint pain and chills, soothes sore throats, and can help cleanse the lymphatic system. A potent anti-inflammatory, it has been used for thousands of years, relied on particularly by Ayurvedic practitioners to promote good health. The inner heat it creates in the body promotes detoxification to help burn off bad bacteria.

Curcumin According to The Journal of Food Science, the active ingredient in turmeric has been studied for its potent antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Add black pepper for optimal absorption.

Cinnamon This antimicrobial super spice helps slow the growth of bacteria while fighting inflammation to boost your overall immunity.

Honey Choose raw and unpasteurized for maximum benefits. The antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties make it an ideal ingredient to help ward off cold viruses.

Originally from Wales, Tamsin Edwards is a South Lake Tahoe transplant. She manages a wellness center specializing in traditional Chinese and herbal medicine. She is passionate about promoting good health through food and lifestyle, for the prevention of sickness as a result of battling her own chronic health condition.

*Note: This advice should not replace that of your medical practitioner or doctor. Those with compromised immune systems should always seek the advice of a medical professional prior to beginning any new diet, supplement, or herb. Pregnant women should seek professional advice. Children under 1 year old should not be given honey.

Here are two winter tonics to help keep viruses at bay.

Golden Turmeric Latte
(courtesy of Tamsin Edwards, Chinese and herbal medicine practitioner in South Lake Tahoe. Serves 1)

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

¼ to ½ teaspoon ground ginger

⅛ teaspoon ground star anise

10 to 12 ounces coconut milk

1 teaspoon coconut oil (Fats help assist the absorption of curcumin.)

Pinch of ground black pepper (for proper assimilation of curcumin)

1 teaspoon honey, or 1 date, to sweeten

1 teaspoon ghee

Cinnamon or nutmeg, to serve

Warm or steam coconut milk. Add all other ingredients, and blend to combine. Sprinkle with cinnamon and pinch of nutmeg before serving.

Elderberry Wellness Tonic
(courtesy of Tamsin Edwards, Chinese and herbal medicine practitioner in South Lake Tahoe. Serves 1)

1 to 2 teaspoon organic elderberry syrup

Juice of ½ lemon

1 teaspoon fresh root ginger, chopped

1 teaspoon honey, to sweeten

8 to 10 ounces hot water

Cayenne pepper, to serve

Add all ingredients to teapot. Brew 5 to 10 minutes. Strain into cup. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper before serving.

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