Herbs and Immunity

There are lots of ways to support a healthy immune system through the winter months. One easy way is through the daily intake of herbs known as tonics. Tonics increase the tone and vitality of skin, organs and body systems. By increasing the vitality of the immune system you are able to defend off bacterial and viral invaders at a more efficient rate enabling you to either arrest a cold/flu or shorten its duration drastically.

Below are 2 recipes for you to enjoy:

Immunity-T:
This yummy herbal brew is a great way to nourish the body from the inside out. It can be made by the cup, or in a larger quantity. If you want to make it by the cup put 2 tsp. in 1 ½ cup water and simmer, with a lid, for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for another 5 minutes. For a larger quantity put 3-4 tablespoons in a quart jar, fill with almost boiling water and let steep overnight. In the morning strain off the herbs and you have 3 cups of medicinal strength tea ready for the day.

Astragulus 2 parts
Ashwaganda 2 parts
Hibiscus 1 part
Rosehips 1 part
Licorice ½ part
Orange peel ½ part
Cinnamon ¼ part

You can drink it hot or cold, divide it into 3 servings, or put it into your water bottle and sip off of it all day long.

Elderberry Syrup
What you need:
1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried elderberries
3 cups water
1 cup raw local honey
Glass jar with lid

Steps:
1. Heat the berries and water to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 30-45 minutes.
2. Mash the berries, strain, and add 1 cup of honey. I add a half cup of the purple liquid to a measuring cup, then pour in honey until the total volume is 1 1/2 cups. Then stir to mix well, and add to the rest of the reserved liquid.
3. Bottle and store. Keeps in the refrigerator for 2-3 months.
4. Enjoy a tablespoon daily to keep the immune system strong. If sick, take more often at first signs of the flu. If you drink peppermint tea along with it, you increase the fighting punch!

Dr. JJ Pursell ND, LAc is a practicing physician at Nature Cures Clinic. She is also the owner of The Herb Shoppe,a natural pharmacy at 3327 SE Hawthorne Blvd in Portland.

Related articles from Nature Cures Clinic:
Naturopathic Prevention of Flu
Boosting your immunity

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