There are always lots of nasty bacteria and viruses around us but we have a very effective internal defense mechanism called the immune system. Special cells are spread throughout our bodies and when potentially harmful bacteria or viruses hit us, the cells send a warning signal to the other parts of our system to take care of it and prevent the sickness from spreading. So an immune system is practically a network and does an amazing job of protecting us. For that reason, we should be looking after it and taking better care of ourselves.
We at Bright Side want to be well prepared for cold season and have come up with this selection so we can all stay healthy this winter. Don’t miss the bonus tip with a very unexpected alternative suggestion at the end of the article.
1. Garlic and honey
Honey is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes. It also acts as an antioxidant to fight off free radicals.
Garlic contains compounds that boost the white blood cells’ ability to fight against some viruses. It is important to crush garlic instead of chop it because during the crushing, the main component, alliin, turns into its active form.
- 1 cup of raw honey
- 8-10 cloves of garlic
Place the garlic in the glass jar and fill the jar with honey. Let it rest at room temperature for 3-5 days and place it into the fridge afterward. It’s ready to use after that time. Take a teaspoon of honey with a piece of garlic once a day.
2. Turmeric and ginger tea
Curcuminoids, active components in turmeric, have many health benefits, anti-viral properties — and its immune-boosting properties are only part of it.
Ginger has very strong anti-bacterial and anti-viral characteristics which help support the immune system.
Boil water and add turmeric and ginger. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Add honey or lemon to taste.
3. Lemon water
Lemons are exceptionally high in Vitamin C, which makes them an excellent booster for the immune system.
- 1 cup of warm water
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
Squeeze the juice from half a lemon into some water and enjoy. Because vitamin C is very unstable, it’s better to prepare the lemon drink just before use.
4. Ginger, lemon and cayenne pepper shot
As we already mentioned above, ginger is very effective as an anti-bacterial and anti-viral product and lemon is very high in Vitamin C.
Cayenne pepper is high in Vitamin C and also in beta-carotene and antioxidants, which help your body fight against nasty bacteria. Cayenne pepper is quite spicy and raises your body temperature activating the immune system.
- 2 cm of a piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
Mix all the ingredients and sip. You also can add a teaspoon of honey and a small piece of crushed garlic.
5. Echinacea, honey, ginger, and licorice syrup
Honey and ginger can also be used in combination with licorice and echinacea roots.
Echinacea can be called a superpower herb because the entire plant has a very effective immune-boosting property.
Licorice is not just a candy, it’s actually a root with very high anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant characteristics. This makes it a very effective immune-regulator. It’s not recommended to use all the time, just use it for 4 to 6 weeks.
- 4 cups of water
- 1/2 cup of licorice root, peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup of echinacea root, peeled and grated
- 1 cup of honey
- 2 tbsp or 5 cm of a piece of ginger
Boil water, add echinacea, licorice, and ginger and simmer for 45 minutes. Then let it cool and add honey.
6. Mushroom extract
Mushroom extract has many health benefits and has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Mushrooms are believed to be a very unique immune-boosting food for its ability to prevent immune cells from sticking to the walls of the blood vessels. There are a few types of mushrooms with strong immune-boosting powers, such as shiitake, maitake, cordyceps, and tremella. Each type of mushroom can support the immune system differently and blending some of its extracts will give maximum benefit.
7. Green juice
This juice is not only full of vitamins and great for boosting the immune system, but it is also very yummy!
Spinach is called a superfood for a reason, it’s loaded with many vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C, and it’s also high in beta-carotene and antioxidants which helps our bodies fight infection and viruses.
Oranges are loaded with Vitamin C which is essential for fighting against the flu or a cold.
Celery is also high in Vitamin C and antioxidants, which helps make the immune system active and efficient.
Ginger is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
- 2 cups of spinach
- 2 oranges
- 2 stalks of celery
- 2 cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
Juice all ingredients and drink.
8. Echinacea tincture
Echinacea is a well-known immune stimulating herb. There are lots of echinacea varieties, but only 3 spices prove to have immune system boosting characteristics — Echinacea Angustifolia, Echinacea Pallida, and Echinacea Purpurea. So if you’re planning to make the tincture, make sure that you choose the right one.
Fill half of a glass jar with dried herbs and pour in vodka until the jar is nearly full, leaving a bit of room for the herb to swell a bit. Seal tightly and let it rest for 4-6 weeks at room temperature, shaking it every few days. After 4-6 weeks, strain the herb and store the tincture in an amber bottle. At the first sign of a cold take half a teaspoon 3 to 4 times daily.
Andrographis is an herb that has been used in Indian and Chinese natural medicine for centuries as a cold remedy and preventative supplement. It comes in capsules and tablets. For preventative purposes, it can be taken in low to moderate doses.
Bonus: Picking your nose
Yes, you have read this correctly. A few years ago, a Canadian professor came up with the idea that eating boogers might be good for your immune system because you’re just taking a small number of germs back into your own body, so it’s sort of like a no-cost vaccination.
Now, when you stop laughing, we should probably mention that the professor said later that there is no real study about the snot-eating treatment and he just wanted his students to think about if something like that was possible and be engaged in the conversation. “Get the student to think rather than just sit there taking down notes,” he said. Well, he certainly got our attention!
There are so many ways to give a bit of a boost to the immune system and we probably only mentioned a small part of it. Did you find the information useful? Tell us in the comments and share the article with your friends and family.