The immune system has gotten more air time ever before in the past few months. Aside from Covid-19, cold and flu season is upon us. And as chillier days set in, people are spending less time outside – which means less fresh air, exercise, and Vitamin D. Suffice it to say, our systems need some extra TLC. Sometimes, supporting our health can feel overwhelming and like another thing on our already long to-do list (not to mention pricey.) However, it truly doesn’t have to be!
Enter this immunity boosting tea recipe… or as I like to call it, immuni-tea.
It uses “kitchen medicine,” aka ingredients you can find right in your fridge or pantry. It boosts your immune system, fights colds, eases a sore throat and can help calm a cough! It’s super simple to mix up and can be tweaked depending on what you happen to have on hand.
This particular recipe is based on one by one of my favorite health related accounts to follow on instagram: Organic Olivia. Olivia is an uber talented herbalist full of amazing information on supporting your health naturally, and has a shop full of her tinctures and supplements. Both her parents actually had covid and through their healing process, she gave a peek into how she supported their recovery with the help of herbs and this immunity boosting tea.
Read on for all you need to know about brewing up your own immuni-tea at home!
INGREDIENTS + BENEFITS
Lemon / Orange Peel
Citrus is one of nature’s best sources of Vitamin C, long known to be one of the greatest immune-boosters. Thankfully it’s in season during the winter, which makes oranges, and lemons a go-to flu and cold-fighting superstars. Orange peels in particular inhibit bacterial infections! Save them throughout the day as you use them for recipes or snacks. Keep the bowl or stasher bag in the fridge or freezer and pull out when you’re ready to brew your tea!
Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger and is responsible for much of ginger’s medicinal properties. Gingerol has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. For instance, it may help reduce oxidative stress, which is the result of having an excess amount of free radicals in the body. Ginger can inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria and viruses making it effective against respiratory viruses.
This ingredient might give you pause, but hear me out – it’s one of the most power packed home remedies out there! Onions are beneficial for the oral microbiome, high in quercetin (antioxidant properties combat free radicals, inflammation and allergy symptoms) and antimicrobial! It’s not even very noticeable in the tea!
Garlic is antiseptic, antibacterial, and an antifungal agent. It also contains a number of nutrients that have been shown to be great for your health — arginine, oligosaccharides, flavonoids, and selenium.
Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which are thought to help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation. It supports your GI tract and can inhibit infections.
In addition to containing several important vitamins and minerals, cloves are rich in antioxidants + antimicrobial properties, as well as support oral and GI health.
If you have some green tea bags on hand, feel free to throw in! Green tea boosts gut and oral health and contains ohytochemicals called catechins which impart antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.
Raw honey offers anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that can help to boost your immune system and fight sickness. Plus, it tastes delicious!
Gather your ingredients and fill a big pot with water. Tuck in as much of the herbs and fruit and veggies (save the green tea bags for later) as you’d like and turn the heat on high. Once it’s boiling, turn to low to simmer and simmer as long as possible. Try to let it simmer and brew for at least 20 minutes, but feel free to leave it on low and sip on it all day!
I like pouring myself a mug, adding a green tea bag and finishing with a swirl of raw honey. Drink up!