Essential flu fighters: Part two

Here are three more positively necessary natural ingredients you need in your kitchen “medicine” chest this winter to help keep you and your family healthy this winter.

And read to the end for tips on how to combine them (along with the three I talked about last week) into some delicious hot brews.

Lemon: How it can help

Who doesn’t love lemon? (Especially fellow-blogger Sabrina!) But lemons are a lot more valuable health-wise than they’re given credit for. Of course they contain a good amount of vitamin C, but they also have strong antibacterial properties, can help support your liver, and are strong immune boosters.

Turmeric: How it can help

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the good news about turmeric’s many health benefits. But what you may not know is how you can make a tea out of it. (See Aisleagh’s post here on how to make a lemon, ginger and turmeric tea). Turmeric is widely recognized as an anti-inflammatory and an amazing antioxidant. It’s good for your brain, heart and lots of other parts of you as well!

Ginger, both powdered and fresh: How it can help

Ginger is a healing herb that’s been used for centuries, especially in Chinese medicine. It’s even recommended by mainstream doctors as a cold and flu symptom fighter. Aside from helping nausea and motion sickness, ginger can help boost your immune system, counteract the aches and pains that come along with the flu and even work on headache pain! (Note: while ginger is a natural remedy, it’s a very powerful one, and shouldn’t be used by anyone taking blood thinners.)

Okay, so how can you combine these amazing ingredients?

Raw honey, of course, goes in just about any hot beverage, even “plain” old tea. If you’re simmering any of the herbs listed, add your honey at the end when you pour the tea into your cup.

Coconut milk makes a delicious hot drink mixed with turmeric and ginger. Take a cup of coconut milk and heat it slowly on the stove. While it’s warming add ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder, and a ¼ teaspoon of ginger powder. Mix the ingredients well as its heating and add a tablespoon of raw honey when the brew is in your cup.

Coconut oil goes great mixed into a hot cup of black tea. I know it sounds odd, but it’s quite delicious and a great way to get more coconut into your diet. Start out using a half a teaspoon and be sure to mix it up well.

Ginger, either fresh or powdered, makes a wonderful tea. You can blend ginger with turmeric and cinnamon, a combo that’s probably on the top of the list at the Healthy Hall of Fame. (There is a Healthy Hall of Fame, right?)

To make this tea out of fresh ginger, simply peel a few “stalks” and simmer with two cups of water, two cinnamon sticks and a ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder for about 20 minutes. Strain and enjoy with some raw honey. If you’re using powdered ginger, around a ½ a teaspoon will do.

And of course lemon – with the exception of the coconut milk drink, lemon is a welcome and healthful addition to just about every kind of tea you can make.

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