With the arrival of autumn, cold and flu season is right around the corner. I'm not a huge proponent of the flu vaccine, as I don't believe that the benefits of the vaccination outweigh the risks. A nutrient-dense, real food diet, adequate sunshine, plenty of sleep and rest, and proper movement of the body are the most important lifestyle choices that you can make to support your immune system and prevent cold and flu infections. Proper handwashing and a healthy dose of common sense are pretty important as well. During cold and flu season, it's important to wash your hands frequently and not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. And please, please, please, if you are sick, I beg you to stay home and keep your germs to yourself!
Even though a Paleo lifestyle can go a long way in keeping cold and flu viruses at bay, sometimes it's inevitable to succumb to a viral infection. Before I was Paleo, I would always catch whatever virus was making its rounds. Now, I rarely become ill, but it does happen every once in a great while. When I am feeling under the weather, ginger lemon tea is one of my favorite, go-to remedies. I also drink this tea a few times a week as a preventative measure and because it has amazing anti-inflammatory effects that help to keep my autoimmune disease symptoms in check.
Ginger is a spice that has been used for over 5000 years for its medicinal properties. Modern science has confirmed that ginger is a potent anti-viral compound that strengthens the ability of the immune system to respond to a viral infection and can directly inhibit viral action. Ginger also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. A lot of the symptoms caused by a cold or flu virus are due to inflammation, such as chest and sinus congestion, and ginger can help to squelch those uncomfortable symptoms. (As a bonus, the anti-inflammatory effects of ginger can also help if you area dealing with autoimmune disease, cancer, and many other diseases that are due to inflammatory processes [which includes most modern diseases]). Ginger is probably best known for its effectiveness in treating nausea and vomiting. Ginger is safe for most people, but if you are taking anticoagulant medications or if you have gallbladder disease, you should avoid ginger.
Lemon is a good source of vitamin C, which is also known to boost the immune system. Similar to ginger, vitamin C has both anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. I also usually add raw honey to my ginger lemon tea. It is optional if you are avoiding any added sugars, but honey does have many healing properties, including anti-viral and anti-inflammatory effects. I use local honey to support my local food suppliers and for the added benefits in fighting allergens in the area in which I live. As a reminder, honey should never be given to children under one year of age.
1 1/2 Cups Filtered Water
1 Tbsp Freshly Grated Ginger (There is no need to peel the ginger.)
1/2 Lemon Squeezed
Honey to Taste (Optional)
Preparation Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 5 minutes | Total Time: 10 minutes
1.) Add the grated ginger to the filtered water and allow the water to come to a boil.
2.) Pour the water into a mug using a tea filter or other straining device.
3.) Squeeze the fresh lemon into the ginger tea. Add honey if desired.
I hope that this natural cold and flu remedy helps you as much as it has me! What are your favorite flu and cold remedies? Leave them in the comments below!