Mother Nature provides us with so many wonderful healing herbs and I am happy to see that the interest in herbal medicine is growing. In recent years, Elderberry and Echinaecia have been widely promoted as immune boosting remedies and there are enough “how to” videos open the internet that teach ways to make herbal remedies in your own kitchen.
Aside from these two highly advertised herbs, however, there are many others with equal or similar properties. Some of them you may even have in your spice cabinet or pantry.
- Astragalus – the root of this plant is an excellent herb for the immune system. It does double duty as an adaptogen as well, meaning that it helps the body adapt better to external stressors. (and we know there is a connection between stress and reduced immune function). Since it is an herb that builds slowly in the body, now is the time to incorporate Astragalus into your immune boosting regimen.
- Black Tea – While green tea is getting all the attention, it is black tea that supports your immune system and the adrenals! Studies have shown that alkyl amine in black tea in black tea fights viruses and boosts immune function. It also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that calms the nervous system. Why is black tea so different from green tea in terms of its health benefits when both come from the same plants? The answer is, the processing of the tea leaves after they have been picked, determines the type of tea and therefore its health benefits.
- Cardamom and Ginger – If you like Indian or Thai cooking, I bet you have these in your spice cabinet. Both have anti-oxidant properties and are anti-inflammatory. In addition, ginger is anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. It is used as a tea to stimulate digestion and to break up congestion.
- Cloves– Have you ever thought about cloves as a medicinal spice? It’s true! There is a lot of power in these tiny buds. They boost immunity, improve digestion, fight nausea and maintain respiratory health to name a few.
You can combine all of these immune-supporting herbs in a tasty tea and enjoy it every day of this season. The spices will warm you from the inside AND build up the defense you need to get healthy through fall and winter!
1 tbsp astragalus (cut)
1/2 tsp dried or fresh ginger
1tbsp cinnamon chips
1tsp cardamom podd
1tbsp black tea
Place all ingredients in a pan
Add 2 1/2 cups of water
Bring to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes
Strain, then add milk (milk of your choice) to taste
Sweeten with honey or stevia