We all know that sitting back with a nice, hot cup of tea can be good for the soul. But made with the right ingredients, your ‘cuppa’ can also look after your health, providing an incredible array of benefits that will help protect your immune system and your general health.
Here are two easy-to-make drinks (they’re decoctions, but we’ll cheat a little and call them teas), made with herbs and other ingredients that we can all get our hands on, and which will provide a real boost to your immune system.
1. Healing Herbs:
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, ¼ cup fresh sage leaves, ½ onion, 3 cloves of garlic, salt.
Thyme: Packed with vit C and vit A, thyme is a wonderful immunity booster, as well as helping lower blood pressure, ease coughs, and boost our mood.
Sage: Loaded with antioxidants, sage can help reduce blood sugar levels, lower bad LDL cholesterol levels, support oral health and brain health, and – thanks to its high levels of vit K – maintain bone health.
Onion: High in vit C and vit B, onions also contain potassium to help regulate cellular function, kidney function, and fluid levels. They’re also loaded with antioxidants, contain cancer-fighting compounds, help control blood sugar, boost bone density and digestive health, and have strong anti-bacterial properties.
Garlic: Garlic is a acknowledged natural remedy to help combat colds and flu. It’s also a great detoxifier, and can play a role in heart health, helping reduce blood pressure and lowering bad LDL cholesterol levels, as well as helping prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia thanks to its high level of antioxidants.
Add thyme, sage, onion, garlic cloves and salt to 2 cups of boiling water.
Leave to simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Cool prior to drinking. (Note – this is not only a wonderfully healthy ‘tea’ to drink, it can also be gargled whilst still warm, to support throat health).
2. Cinnamon Spring
Small piece of cinnamon stick (or 1/8th teaspoon ground cinnamon), 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger root, ½ lemon including zest, 1 teaspoon manuka honey (or other honey if you don’t have manuka to hand).
Cinnamon: Rich in antioxidants and a potent anti-inflammatory, cinnamon can help reduce blood sugar and bad LDL cholesterol levels, has cancer fighting compounds, and protects against fungal infections.
Ginger: Ginger contains gingerol, which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains compounds which promote hearth health and it provides excellent support for the digestive tract.
Lemon: A great immunity booster thanks to high levels of vit C, lemons also help prevent kidney stones, assist digestion and – because they improve the absorption of iron – can even help protect against anemia.
Manuka Honey: Manuka Honey has incredible antibacterial and antioxidant properties (so much so, the US FDA has approved it as an option for treating wounds!). It is also great for oral health, soothing sore throats, and helping fight inflammation, especially in the digestive tract.
Add the cinnamon and ginger to a pot containing 2 cups of water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes, until approximately 1 cup is remaining.
Remove from heat, squeeze in the juice of ½ lemon (or more, if you like!) plus lemon zest, and strain through a sieve into a cup or mug.
Stir in teaspoon of honey and enjoy while hot.