If you’re looking for a way to upgrade your daily immune support routine, we have some delicious herbal tonics that will provide you with the essential nutrients, antioxidants and benefits that your body needs.
GENERAL IMMUNE SUPPORT
In Ayurveda, spices are never taken alone. They are always first cooked in some type of oil or fat and then consumed. This helps to release the beneficial oils in the spices so the body can absorb them better. In addition, spices are often consumed with other spices, which help to balance any qualities that could be overly heating, cooling or drying.
Turmeric milk, (haldi doodh), or “golden milk,” is a popular tonic today among the health conscious community. However, it has been a staple in Indian households for thousands of years. It is important to note that milk is also never taken cold or alone in Ayurveda. To support the digestibility of the dairy, it is always heated with spices.
Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric has immense anti-inflammatory properties and is loaded with antioxidants that help to fight against free radical damage. This is why it is so popular with people suffering from joint pain. Ginger and cinnamon, two other spices common in turmeric milk, have also been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Curcumin, ginger and cinnamon have also been shown to have some anti-bacterial, antiviral and antifungal activity.
Spices are often prescribed in Ayurvedic medicine to support digestion as well. As we have discussed, digestion impacts immune health, so this can be extremely helpful in supporting overall health and well being.
Here is a basic recipe for 1 serving of Turmeric Milk:
- 1 cup of milk (dairy or unsweetened non-dairy milk)
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric
- ¼ tsp cardamom or 2 green cardamom pods, crushed
- 1/2 tsp of ginger powder or 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1/4 tsp of cinnamon powder or ½ inch cinnamon stick
- 1 pinch of ground black pepper or 3-4 whole black peppercorns
- 1 tsp of honey or maple syrup (optional)
- Heat milk to a saucepan for a minute or two over medium heat.
- Add in turmeric and give it a good stir with a whisk.
- Add in remaining spices and bring to a low simmer for minutes, stirring every so often.
- Turn off heat and stir in sweetener if using.
- Strain mixture into a cup and enjoy!
This wonderful immune boosting detox tea was contributed by Resident Ayurveda Expert at Atmananda Yoga in New York City, Amita Banerjee. She has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Ayurveda, so make sure to check out her site here.
- 3 cups of water.
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric
- 3 crushed cardamom
- 3 cloves
- ½ teaspoon of crushed black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
- Bring all ingredients to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Pour this over two slices of lemon and a bag of green tea and store in a flask.
- Drink half a cup every hour. Make a second batch in the evening to last until after dinner.
IMMUNE BOOSTERS WHEN SYMPTOMS PRESENT
Lotus Blooming Herbs Kashayam
This is one of our favorite recipes for building immune strength. Kashayam refers to a water decoction of herbs that is used for a variety of different ailments. This recipe is a bit more time intensive but well worth it. It is especially good for when you are feeling something coming on or just want to keep your immune system strong.
- 12 oz filtered water
- 1 tsp jaggery* (unrefined cane sugar)
- ½ tsp fresh lime juice
- ¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- ¼ tsp whole cloves
- 5 whole cardamom pods
- Bring water to a boil.
- Add jaggery and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add lime juice and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add Himalayan pink salt and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add peppercorns and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add ¼ teaspoon of cloves and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Crush and add cardamom and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Stir the mixture and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Strain it into a cup and drink hot. Make this fresh every time! Drink 2-3 times a day.
*You can find jaggery in most Indian grocery stores or online.
Throat Soothing Tea
This mixture was recommended by one of our Ayurvedic teachers, Dr. Paul Dugliss M.D., founder of New World Ayurveda. This is ideal to take if you you feel a sore throat coming on. We also highly recommend this course for anyone that is interested in learning more about Ayurveda.
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp licorice root powder
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder
Dissolve all powders in a cup of boiled water. Drink.
Next week we will be sharing some easy, healthy meals you can make at home!
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