Ah, the winter. A magical time of snow, festivities and afterward a time of never-ending runny noses. It’s tough to avoid getting hit by some type of cold or illness this time of year, so why not be armed with a tonic that not only helps you get over illnesses faster – but that can actually help prevent them?! We’re sharing our current obsession, our #fightthecold elixir that the entire Prescribe Nutrition team has been sipping on the past month. Shout out to the amazing Good Earth for inspiring this cold and flu tonic recipe.
It’s no exaggeration to say this lil’ witches brew has been on all of our stovetops on repeat the past month. Why? Well, take a look at these powerful, immune building, cold-busting ingredients why dontcha.
Oh, lemons. You little health savages. Lemons, while acidic, are actually extraordinarily alkaline, and an alkaline body is key to good health. They’re very high in vitamin C which is crucial for fighting colds. Lemons help detoxify toxins from the digestive tract and liver, also supporting your health and ability to fight colds. Bonus: lemons clear the skin and promote weight loss. FINE, we’ll have lemons.
This strong antioxidant (you’ll see a theme here) rhizome is known for its potent antimicrobial components. Ginger is such a bacterial killer it can be used both internally and topically as an antiseptic. Ginger is used to eliminate congestion, ease nausea, soothe throat pain, murder cold viruses, and combat fevers. Ginger! You nasty.
Woof. Where do we begin? This yellow spice that people have been using for thousands of years for its medicinal properties contains powerful compounds, known as curcuminoids. It’s anti-viral and anti-fungal. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is an extremely strong antioxidant. Turmeric is linked to improved brain function. It can help prevent and even treat cancer. When turmeric is consumed with a bit of black pepper it dramatically increases its absorption into the bloodstream (hence the black pepper in this tonic!). More here on this wonder spice.
This popular spice is actually an incredibly potent medicinal substance. It’s also loaded with polyphenol antioxidants, directly supporting your immune system. Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory and it can help your body fight bacterial and viral infections. A few fun facts: cinnamon lowers total cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar levels and can actually change blood markers in folks with Type II diabetes. Don’t underestimate this sexy little spice.
This chili pepper herb aids in breaking up and moving congested mucus. So hey you, with the gross cough, eat some cayenne. Joking. We feel for you, we do. Cayenne is also anti-fungal, detoxifying, anti-bacterial, supports digestion and weight loss. Zing!
This sweet stuff is powerful to boot. It’s antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties not only support your immune system, but it acts a demulcent, which means that it relieves irritation in your throat by forming a protective film. Honey is proven MORE effective than over the counter cough medicines to soothe coughs during the night. Hello? That’s incredible.
With all of this said, feeling your best isn’t about one secret drink or superfood, it’s the sum of all your efforts. It’s the way you treat your body on the regular that will define how healthy your immune system really is. Take out the foods that can wreak havoc and add in the foods that support you are the true game changers. Elixirs like this are the powerful tools that can help us in times of need.
Fight the Cold and Flu Tonic Recipe
- 1 whole lemon, sliced into rounds
- 1-2″ knob of ginger, sliced
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 cinnamon stick (or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (less if you’re sensitive to heat)
- Pinch of fresh ground black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons honey
- Place all items except for honey in a pot with 4-6 cups of water (whatever size pot you have is fine).
- Bring to a boil and simmer for ~ 10 minutes.
- Let cool slightly, mix in your honey according to taste. Sip….sip on this stuff all winter.