Icky colds and flu are set to invade now that winter’s here. But you can beat back their assault with these three natural immune boosters that are as close as your kitchen.

1. Turmeric

The main spice in curry, turmeric is a potent antiviral and antibacterial agent. Considered one of the world’s healthiest foods, turmeric contains curcumin, the medicinal compound responsible for boosting your immune system. In fact, research has shown that curcumin can reduce viral replication by over 90 percent. This suggests that it can remedy a flu naturally. You can consume turmeric as a preventive or when you notice the first signs of illness. To reap the full benefits, you should take between 250 and 500 mg daily.

2. Cinnamon

Not only does cinnamon taste amazing on nearly everything sweet. It’s also an incredible immune booster. In fact, cinnamon is one of the most potent antioxidants in the world. And when you combine it with raw honey, it can help you get rid of a cold in a few days.

3. Cayenne Pepper

One of the most powerful medicinal herbs, cayenne pepper helps to knock out flu and colds in no time. Cayenne pepper not only boosts your immune system. It also helps to ease congestion. What’s more, cayenne pepper contains capsicum, which is a great source of vitamin C. Cayenne pepper is also loaded with beta carotene and antioxidants that further boost your immune system.

3 cold- and flu-fighting tea recipes

Check out these tea recipes that use the spices listed above to help you combat colds and flus.

1. Cayenne Pepper Tea

Prep time: 10 minutes

This tea works when you’re getting sick and when you’re already sick. It also helps to detoxify you.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 1 cup water
  • Half of a lemon
  • Dash of cayenne

Directions

Peel ginger and chop it into chunks. Heat the water until boiling, and then turn off the heat and allow the water to cool for a few seconds. Pour the hot water over the pieces of ginger and allow the ginger to steep for a few minutes. Squeeze the lemon juice into the water and ginger and add the cayenne pepper. Add stevia to sweeten.

2. Ginger Turmeric Tea

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Widely known for its ability to aid digestion, ginger also has very powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help to fend off cold and flu by raising your body temperature and boosting your immune system. Combined with turmeric, this tea is a potent cold and flu remedy.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1 teaspoon powdered turmeric
  • Juice of one lemon

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Directions

Boil the water in a pan, remove from the burner, and add to it one teaspoon each of powdered ginger and powdered turmeric. Then stir, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes. Juice one lemon and split between the two cups. When the tea is ready, pour in both cups.

3. Cinnamon Garlic Tea

Prep time: 15 minutes

Garlic has fierce antiviral and antibacterial properties. The tea also has ginger in it as well as lemon juice, which has lots of vitamin C. It also is sweetened with raw honey, which offers additional immune support.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • Ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups water
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey

Directions

Using a kettle, boil the ginger, cinnamon, and sliced garlic for 15 minutes. Then in your cups stir together the raw honey and lemon juice until the honey is dissolved. Pour one cup of the ginger, cinnamon, and garlic water into the mug containing raw honey and lemon juice. Drink immediately.

Spice up your immunity

Winter is here, and that means flu and cold season is upon us. But there’s a lot you can do to boost your immune system to help keep you from getting sick. Just look in your kitchen. It holds potent health boosters that you can find right on your spice rack.

References

  1. "5 Foods That Fight Colds and Flu," Fitness, February 11, 2017.
  2. "Cinnamon and Honey Fights off Colds, Flu, Acne, Weight Loss and More," The Hearty Soul, January 13, 2017.
  3. "Spices to Fight Colds and Flus," Whole Living, April 1, 2005.
  4. "Turmeric & the Flu," Livestrong, December 4, 2015.

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