5 Recipes to Boost Immune Health Naturally
The healing properties of culinary herbs and spices are often forgotten or replaced by over-the-counter medications. However, simple homemade remedies are just as effective and less invasive, especially when leaning toward early intervention and prevention of coughs and colds during the seasonal transitions.
There is a shift in how we look at health & wellbeing. Rather than seeking advice when illness appears, the smart choice is to prevent illness by implementing healthier lifestyle choices to maintain long term health. As a naturopath I have always been guided by Mother Natures prescriptions for healing. My fascination and training began a long time ago, watching my Gran, my mum create traditional poultices and remedies to heal my bones in our family kitchen - the aromatic spices would warm the air - such fond memories. Herbs, spices and food is the best medicine when prepared and consumed seasonally.
My study of naturopathy in the 90's provided a much deeper understanding of natural therapeutics,
Join me on my Natural Wellbeing Channel where I introduce simple effective homemade recipes that have served my friends and family for decades.
The magic is in the preparation, and timing. Each recipe is seasonally aligned, and provides a proactive holistic approach to maintaining and optimising wellbeing for the whole family.
Here are my top 5 recipes to serve your wellbeing through winter.
Traditional Ginger Soup
Dry Cough herbal tea
Wet Cough herbal tea
1. TURMERIC TEA
This is a traditional Indian homemade recipe, often used to clear early signs of cold or infection. Turmeric has been used as a medicine for centuries to treat wounds, infections, colds, and liver disease.
Turmeric active ingredient is curcumin, which provides antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant healing properties. My grandparents were farmers, and would grow fresh turmeric, ginger and spices in their backyard. Turmeric was (and still is) a staple ingredient in my cuisine, although the quality and potency is not as great as the homegrown variety.
Opt for organic source whenever you can.
I grew up using turmeric as a face mask, to heal broken bones, cuts and wounds and as a liver cleanse.
Authentic turmeric tea requires three ingredients;
1 spoon organic turmeric
1 spoon ghee
1 cup water
honey to taste (optional)
Boil the water.
Heat the ghee in a stainless steel or ceramic pan until melted.
Add turmeric, stir until aroma is released and it turns slightly golden brown.
Add hot water and simmer for a few mins.
Drink 1 small cup 3 times a day, for 3 days.
This tea is bitter! It has natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. Great for balancing blood sugar (pre-diabetes, diabetes), soothing irritated chesty colds, healing bruises or internal bleeding, and reduces inflammation.
2. Gee's homemade Ginger Soup Not for the faint hearted! - if you like vindaloo, try this recipe to turn on the heat!
We knew winter had arrived when mum made ginger (adharakh) soup or broth - this recipe really gets the internal fire going as well as soothing achy joints and muscles, and digestive issues. A traditional family favorite, ginger warms deep into the bones, restoring adrenal fatigue, replenishing, and protecting through the cold dark months. It stimulates circulation and takes care of digestion, it's a perfect way to turn on the internal heat in the midst of winter.
Ginger soup is a great recipe to alleviate addictive patterns such as smoking and alcohol. How? well, the energetic properties of this recipe create warmth and heat, a quality that most smokers and drinkers seek.
To make a generous bowl of soup, you will need
1 tablespoon of Ghee
A medium sized fresh ginger root (grated or finely chopped)
1 tablespoon dry ginger powder
salt (himalayan or seaweed)
1 teaspoon turmeric
500ml hot water
Steps: You Tube link to recipe
Boil the water
Melt the ghee in a stainless steel pot.
Add ginger powder, stir. Add fresh ginger, keep stirring the ingredients, add turmeric.
Mix until aromatic flavours are released, heat until golden.
Pour 500-600ml hot water and keep stirring.
Turn the gas low and simmer until the ingredients fuse together.
Add salt to taste.
Can be stored in the fridge when cool.
Avoid if you suffer with nosebleeds, varicose veins, fever, or are menopausal.
My mum and gran used to make this soup when we had sore throats growing up. It's beneficial for the entire family and children from as young as 9 months (that's when I started feeding my daughter, she's now 23 years old!)
Perfect remedy for early signs of coughs and colds, can be used all seasons. Great as a soup or hot drink anytime of day.
You will need
Fine roasted vermicelli (asian shops usually 3 packs for £1)
spoonful of Ghee
500-600ml Hot water
Directions: Youtube link to recipe Heat ghee in a medium size stainless steel pan.
Add a few cloves, and stir in vermicelli. Gently toast until golden.
Remove pan off the heat.
Pour 600ml hot water.
Return pan to heat and simmer for 5 mins or until prefered consistency achieved.
Add honey, maple syrup or jaggery to taste (optional)
Drink or slurrp from soup bowl, and enjoy the healing benefits of this soup.
Soothes sore throat & Clears runny nose
Cloves - rich source antioxidant, fight infection and May lower blood sugar
Ghee - rich source omega 3 and fat soluble vitamin A. Great for low cholesterol health and heart health. Enjoy this soothing recipe :)
4. Dry Cough Tea remedy
This is a recipe I have used for 22.5 years whilst exploring natural herbal preparations for my daughter, age 6 months. As most parents will know, the early years of life are important to get right and avoid using invasive chemicals on their sensitive gut.
These recipes are tried and tested, and effective at soothing common coughs.
Use equal parts licorice root, marshmallow root, anise seed and cinnamon bark. Add distilled water and simmer for 10-15 mins.
Strain and sweeten if desired.
5. Wet Cough remedy
Use equal parts mullein, thyme, aniseed and plantain leaves. Add boiling water over the herbs and steep for 5-10mins. Strain.
For infants dilute tea with equal amount of water and give in a bottle or cup by teaspoon doses every 2-3hours.
For children use 1 cup 3 times a day.
For adults, drink up to 4 times a day, or as necessary.
If cough persists after a few days please seek medical attention.
Recipe Source: Encyclopaedia of Natural Remedies.
For medicinal and herbal remedies I always use distilled water. My distiller is 24 years old and has travelled with me everywhere. It's definitely worth investing in for long term health benefits.
Here's wishing you vibrant health, through the natural healing power of food.
Useful read Winter Wellbeing
Working with Gee Gahir, a Pioneer of holistic wellbeing services within the NHS, Co-founder of Wellbeing Wizards, a podcast platform inspired through lockdown, Gee is an accredited EMCC intuitive lifestyle coach providing preventative naturopathic mind-body-space solutions to facilitate vibrant health and balanced lifestyles, as Mother Nature intended. Visit her Natural Wellbeing channel for seasonally inspired healing recipes.