Warming for Winter and Helping the Immune System
The Holiday season is upon us with the backdrop of Covid-19 influencing how our lives have changed. Stress and for some lack of sleep, anxiety, and an overall “not feeling so good” can take their toll on our immune systems. I was reminded of this with a nasty bout of flu I just finished up. With Covid taking center stage, it is easy to forget there are other players in the germ world that can do great harm as well. It’s about our immune systems and Mother Earth always has answers for us in her bountiful gifts to her children. While I am a big advocate for taking vitamins and minerals to complement our body’s resource’s there are many healthy herbal teas that can also give our immune system’s a boost. Here are a few of my favorite immune boosters.
Elderberry Syrup or Elderberry Elixir
- 1 Cup of elderberries
- 1 Cup of honey
- 4 cups of water
- A leveled teaspoon of Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of cayenne
Make sure there are no stems with the elderberries and rinse them in cold water. You want to put the elderberries into the water and bring them to a boil. Let boil for about 45 min. The liquid should be a dark purple. Don’t add water you want it to boil down a bit. Once you remove the pan from the heat pours the liquid through a strainer or cheesecloth into another pan. Put in your cup of Honey and powders. Mix well till honey is completely dissolved. Bottle up. The elixir can last up to three months in the refrigerator. I take a tablespoon in the morning if I am going to be around the public. If someone around me is sick I will do two Tablespoons a day. If I feel something trying to take hold, I will take Two tablespoons in the morning and then once every six hours. The honey not only adds sweetness but acts as a preservative and has natural antibiotics in it. The cayenne is a body and blood warmer and the cinnamon has antiviral properties, reduces blood sugar, and lowers blood pressure. Some people like to add ginger and if you want it more syrup-like use more honey to liquid ratio. As in all medicinals, if you’re mouth itches stop immediately. You are allergic to it. If you don’t like cinnamon or cayenne leave it out.
If you’re going for a super flu killer add Echinacea at the last minute of your boil down before straining.
Elderberries are the fruit of the Sambucus tree. The most common type is the Sambucus nigra and the elderberries that are indigenous to the Pacific North West is the Blue Elderberry (Sambucus nigra, ssp. caerulea). Often times the two species of elderberries are listed as the same but are actually from different areas. The Blue elderberry’s natural range is from PNW all the way to Baja. The black Elderberry was naturalized from Europe on this continent by settlers. The elderberry is high in Vitamin C, zinc, and flavonoids.
“Black elderberries have been studied most widely as a treatment for the viral flu. Scientists believe that the berry stimulates the immune system’s chemical responses, bringing relief from flu symptoms and possibly shortening its duration.”-WebMD
Many of us gather our plants from Spring to Fall. However, it has been difficult for many of us to get out these last few years to harvest. So, if you are in need of the plant materials I have mentioned; check your local natural grocer or order online from reputable sites that you believe in.
Vitamin C is always a plus for the immune system, 1 Cup of Rose Hip tea will give you 50% more vitamin C than one orange.
Turmeric Warming Tea
Another favorite recipe of mine for warming the body especially if you feel sick is a Turmeric tea recipe. This is an emergency tea for when you feel that the first sniffle or ick coming on.
Turmeric and black pepper plants are companion species from South Asia. They work well together. Turmeric cannot be processed by the human body without pepper. So, this is a very savory tea.
- ¼ tsp of Turmeric
- A pinch of pepper
- A couple of slices of ginger
- A tsp of lemon juice
- A pinch of cayenne
Boil water and pour over ingredients. Let steep for three to five min before removing ginger. (I personally leave it in the cup, but I like it strong) Sweeten with stevia or honey and enjoy.
This tea also works as an anti-inflammatory. Good for twice a day if you are coming down with something. Watch your blood pressure if you are on BP meds. You can lower your bp too low. If you are on bp meds try one cup and see how you do. This is just what I have noticed, I had to build up to it.
Wisdom does not offer medical advice but only observational sharing of knowledge, always check with your healthcare professional if you have concerns.