Feeling under the weather? Try these easy-to-make tonics, shots, hacks and nibbles that can help to boost your immune system and alleviate some typical cold and flu symptoms, as well as those associated with COVID-19.
There are some basic hacks to help overcome viruses like the flu which includes lots of rest, staying warm, inhaling steam, drinking plenty of fluids like water and herbal teas and enjoying a hearty chicken soup. Below, we offer some fantastic recipes for homemade tonics and treatments that can help soothe a sore throat, boost your immune system and ease a cough. Please note that these are not meant to replace medicines prescribed by a doctor, but work excellently as add-ons to your prescribed medical treatment.
Honey is one of the best remedies for a sore throat due to its natural antibacterial properties. It immediately offers relief for pain while simultaneously working to reduce inflammation. Honey can also kill bacteria and help fight off viral infections.
Lemons are great for sore throats because they can help break up mucus and provide pain relief. Lemons also have a high Vitamin C content, which can help to boost the immune system.
Fresh ginger has antiviral effects on respiratory viruses in human cells. Studies have indicated that fresh ginger is an effective tool in protecting the respiratory system.
Salt is a well-known antibacterial and when diluted with warm water, makes for a great gargling agent to reduce swelling and keep your throat “clean”. Try to gargle every 3 hours if possible and avoid swallowing any of the mixture.
Herbal teas like rooibos contain a huge dose of antioxidants and because it’s caffeine-free, it won’t dehydrate your body or give you headaches or heart palpitations. Other teas like peppermint (menthol helps thin mucus and calm sore throats and coughs) and chamomile have anti-inflammatory properties that can ease a sore, inflamed throat.
Elixirs and Mixes
- Basic Cough Syrup:
Place 125ml raw honey into a small pot with 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and the juice of 2 lemons. Gently heat and stir to combine. Allow to cool and then place in a sealed jar in the fridge for a week. Reheat a little at a time and swallow warm.
- Spicy Cough Syrup:
Combine 2 Tbsp each of apple cider vinegar, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, honey and hot water in a jar. Add ¼ tsp cayenne pepper and 1 tsp fresh ginger juice (squeeze grated ginger to get the juice). Shake well each time before using (this mixture will be watery). Place in a sealed jar in the fridge for a week.
- Throat Soothers
Make a saltwater solution with a half-teaspoon of salt in a full glass of warm water. Gargle every three hours as needed.
- Super Tea
In a teapot, place 2 bags of rooibos tea, 3 slices of lemon, 1 Tbsp of sliced/chopped fresh ginger, 1 Tbsp of honey and 500ml of boiling water. Allow to steep for 5-7 minutes before pouring and drinking.
- Ginger Nibble
Fresh ginger can be overpowering and burn when eaten raw, but is very good for you. Slice fresh ginger into little 5mm cubes. Place a drop of honey on top and snack on it.
- Super Juice Shot
In a juicer, place the following ingredients: 1 cup fresh pineapple pieces, 3cm knob of ginger, a pinch of cayenne pepper and a pinch of turmeric powder (or raw, fresh turmeric if possible).
For other ways to keep healthy and boost your immune system this winter, view our other blogs: