The kitchen pharmacy is full of powerful and potent ingredients that support our immune systems and fights infection. We’ve pulled together a list of some of our favourites but the possibilities in the kitchen pharmacy are fairly endless.
Or Jewish penicillin as it is often called is one of the first stops in the kitchen pharmacy. Packed with minerals, proteins and healthy fats, bone broth has been found to be immune building and fortifying. Studies have found it inhibits the migration of white blood cells that triggers the onset of the common cold. Additionally, bone broth is gentle on the digestive system and helps improve gut health – meaning all those bacteria in our gut are better able to fight off any nasty infections.
This is probably the easiest (and cheapest) tool in the kitchen pharmacy but often forgotten about. Drinking enough water each day helps our body flush out toxins and keeps our cells nicely hydrated. Additionally, by boiling some water, adding a few drops of tea tree or eucalyptus oil and holding a towel over your head we have a DIY steam inhalation. This is great for clearing chests, soothing throats, unblocking noses and stopping bugs in their tracks.
The spice draw is basically a pharmacy in itself. Herbs and spices have the most incredible healing properties and can be used for a whole range of conditions from hypertension to osteoarthritis. But when it comes to cold and flu support there are some spices that reign supreme. Cinnamon has a warming effect as well as being antibacterial which is great for fighting off bugs. Garlic is also antibacterial and antiviral; it helps the immune system kick into gear. Other spices that are great to get into rotation are turmeric, nutmeg and cloves – all awesome for boosting immunity and fighting off infections. Some spicy chilli can also clear a blocked nose in a jiffy!
A classic combo that should not be forgotten. Adding the juice of a whole lemon and the peel, along with a spoon of grated ginger and a little honey to taste in hot water is great for boost the immune system. The ginger will help relieve some cold/flu symptoms including headache, sore throat, congestions and chills. Honey (especially raw honey and manuka honey) is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral – all the things you want on your side when fighting an infection. The lemon increases the intake of vitamin C and it is thought the acidity may loosen mucus. The feeling of a warm soothing drink on a sore throat is pretty darn amazing too.
Don’t forget about the huge benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables. Ensuring you’re eating a healthy diet (especially during cold and flu season) will boost the immune system and keep you fighting fit.