At this time of year everyone either has a cold or is recovering from a cold. These five superhero elixirs will give your body the power it needs to fight off infections and boost immunity. Selecting good quality, fresh, organic ingredients will enhance the effectiveness of these natural remedies.
Miso soup with ginger
Oh miso we salute you! This salubrious soup puts plain old chicken soup to shame. Miso is an ideal source of vegetarian protein and fibre, and is rich in manganese, copper and zinc. Unpasteurised miso also contains natural digestive enzymes which ward off harmful microorganisms. Ginger is wonderfully warming and stimulates blood circulation. This winning combination will kick colds to the curb. Add in fresh vegetables, buckwheat noodles or tofu as desired.
Lemon honey water with aloe vera
Stuck inside with flu and bored of drinking tea all the time? This zesty, refreshing drink is a cooler alternative. Lemons are bursting with immune boosting vitamin C whilst honey is highly antibacterial and soothing for the throat. Aloe Vera is full of vitamins and minerals and contains polysaccharides which strengthen the immune system. Aloe Vera is a source of the polysaccharide acemannan which is thought to inhibit the spread of viruses within the body. Use manuka honey if your pocket can stretch to it.
Mushroom soup with ginger
Mushrooms increase the production of cytokines, cells that help fight off infections. They also contain polysaccharides which support the immune system. In Chinese medicine mushrooms are highly regarded, with each type having specific therapeutic properties. Wood ear fungus (Hei Mu Erg) is recommended as a cure for throat inflammations and as an effective immune tonic. Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinus Edodes) are rich in amino acids, vitamins and minerals. They are antiviral and a strong immune stimulant, being prescribed for bronchial inflammations. Ceps and chanterelles are two other types of mushroom beneficial for strengthening the immune system.
Fennel is an expectorant and encourages the body to expel mucous. It is recommended for the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections and coughs. Make your own fennel tea by using 1.5 teaspoons of fennel seeds in a mug of boiling water. Leave for at least fifteen minutes, strain and add honey.
Cinnamon and anise tea
Anise is another natural expectorant, encouraging the body to rid itself of mucous and useful in infections of the upper respiratory tract. Both cinnamon and anise are naturally antibacterial, cinnamon is antiviral and anise is helpful in relieving a cough. Stay clear of this tea if you don’t like the taste of liquorice! Add one cup of crushed anise seeds to a mug of hot water, add cinnamon as desired.