As part of my ‘Immune System Booster’ tips I thought it’d be wrong not to include one of the primary sources of comfort when feeling a little blue. Tea. Many of us find that sipping a cuppa’ tea is somewhat therapeutic and a good way to unwind, so why not load it with fresh ingredients like ginger, sage and lemon and reap the benefits? Whether you’ve got a scratchy sore throat, the sniffles or you feel that nasty sickness creeping up and you want to nip it in the bud, a simple tea can go a long way. I’ve also added my (now not so) secret concoction for a sore throat which my dear nanny Jane shared with me a while back.
When illness comes knocking at my door I try my very best to treat whatever I have as naturally as possible.I was brought up using Homeopathy, which is a practice based on the principles that, with the gentle aid of alternative medication, the body has the ability to heal itself. So unless I’m in a drastic state, with the help of lots of vegetables, fruit, teas and a few alternative methods, I slowly get better. However the issue nowadays is time. Time is everything and many of us are racing against it. So sitting around sipping tea and waiting for our flu to pass just doesn’t cut it. Answer: pop painkillers, cough syrup, maybe even antibiotics- whatever gets us a speedy recovery. But does this heal us long term? Doesn’t this quick fix system slowly ruin our immune system? I’m no doctor of course but I’ll wrap up and say; do try the natural way and let your body fix itself, even if it takes a little longer. Your body will thank you later 🙂
As a rastaman said to me whilst visiting Jamaica last December, “let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food”.
Here are my top tea ingredients and a few of their health benefits, along with my little miracle solution for soar throats and possible infection.
Containing more than a whopping 25 different antioxidants, ginger is well-known as a potent anti-inflammatory. This Chinese stem helps boost your immune system and soothes sore throats due to its super antiviral properties. New studies are showing that the regular consumption of fresh ginger can result in a reduction of blood sugar levels. Ginger is also a popular solution for indigestion as it reduces abdominal discomfort and aids in bowel movement…a.k.a your loo visits will be more frequent.
This herb has one of the longest histories in culinary and medicinal use. Some of the key benefits when ingesting sage are that it treats sore throats, coughs as well as inflammation through gargling. This is thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. As with ginger, ingesting sage regularly also aids in removing indigestion and is known to ease headaches away.
Whether applied topically to a wound or ingested, lemons are a simple yet very effective and healthy fruit. High in vitamin C they keep your immune system strong and neutralise free radicals in your body. And if you’re looking for more of a vanity-based reason to drink this beverage of lemon and ginger, think of all the antioxidants and vitamins that your skin and hair can benefit from. Super stuff!
When we talk about honey, the type that’s super good for you, we mean a honey that has not been pasteurised and treated with heat. This means that none of its beneficial compounds have been destroyed. If you don’t have something like Manuka honey (a potent antibacterial honey coming from Manuka trees) then look for a raw honey (most health and organic shops in Malta have these by now). There are countless benefits to applying high quality honey to your face, as seen in my DIY recipe for a face mask . But with regards to feeling a little ill, this beautiful ingredient really does sooth an itchy throat and if you can handle it, eat a whole teaspoon of raw honey before going to bed on those sick days so its antibacterial properties do their magic and heal you from the inside out.
When combining these ingredients together or using them separately you will get some wonderful results and your body and mind will reap the benefits.
Ginger, Lemon & Honey Tea
Everyone makes their tea a little different, some chop up ginger and lemon, put it in a jar with honey and leave it to marinate before adding a few spoonfuls to hot water. I do it this way:
You will need:
1 large mug
1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger (I use a handheld cheese grater)
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
a chunk of lemon
1 teaspoon honey
Add all the ingredients into a large mug and fill the mug with the water and stir. Leave all the ingredients in and enjoy. When you get to the bits of grated ginger, make sure you eat them.
Sage, lemon & Honey Tea
A soothing tea with many health benefits thanks to that beautiful mediterranean herb; sage. This tea can be made using dried sage leaves but when I’m feeling ill I try to use fresh ones.
You will need:
1 large mug
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon of fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon honey
Wash the sage leaves and pat dry. Press them down on the tablespoon, should be about 6 leaves and place in your mug. Add the rest of the ingredients and the water to the mug. Stir and leave the sage in while you sip and enjoy.
A DIY ‘Cough Syrup’
Manuka Honey in Sage Leaf
This powerful little miracle is a super easy and effective way of healing a sore throat. Putting sage, which is an astringent, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial herb, together with honey, which possesses similar health benefits, creates an instant homemade cough syrup!
You will need:
A bit less than 1 teaspoon of honey (preferably a potent high quality one)
1 sage leaf (washed and dried)
With clean hands place the sage leaf in the palm of your hand and slowly add the honey to the leaf . Now close it slightly and eat it.
The texture is a little funky and it takes some getting used to, but I promise it works wonders.
I hope you’ve found this post helpful and get to try out some of these tips. To those who are ill, I wish you a speedy healthy recovery 🙂