by Corrie Bradley
We wish that we could virtually give everyone a hug (or air hug from afar) and gentle reminder to take extra care right now.
While we are all trying our best to understand COVID-19, the implications of the virus, and how to best take care of ourselves and surrounding communities, the unrelenting onslaught of news, updates, and decisions to be made is an environment ripe for panic and anxiety.
During times of high stress, self care is extra crucial to maintain and strengthen a well-functioning immune system. Below are some recipes that we utilize during times of stress or sickness.
Garlic Ginger Lemonade
This tea hits the recipe trifecta: it is highly medicinal, quite tasty, and very easy to make. Drink it hot as a throat soother, or keep it refrigerated and enjoy throughout the day. This tea is a wonderful and easy way to sneak garlic into your kiddos diet.
Garlic is one of the best and easiest to find foods to help boost the immune system as well as shorten the duration of an illness. Garlic is both antibacterial and antiviral, and upping your intake is a great way to support your immune system to stave off illness or fight respiratory infections.
Lemons are high in vitamin C and bioflavonoids, both of which are essential to a healthy immune system.
Ginger stimulates circulation and improves digestive health and immune function. This can be added to taste or removed if you are pregnant or intolerant.
Raw honey is highly antimicrobial, supports digestive health, and packed with flavonoids, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Swap the honey for maple syrup if you’ll be giving this to babes under the age of one.
The addition of a stick of cinnamon is very helpful if you are experiencing a sore throat.
Scrub and half the lemon, then squeeze juice into a 1 quart jar. Slice and add the lemon, then add the garlic and ginger. Pour hot water over the mixture and cover, allowing it to steep for 20-30 minutes. Strain mixture, then add honey (waiting to add the honey ensures that the heat doesn’t destroy the valuable nutrients).
Immune Boosting and Detoxing Bath
During this unprecedented moment, you may have some extra time at home to fill. If you are able to, baths are an incredible way to soak, rest, and detox, while simultaneously boosting the immune system. Some gentle pulling additives such as salt and clay, or softening and detoxifying coconut oil are great additions. We’re also proponents of adding essential oils to the hot water, allowing the steam to rise into the respiratory tract and helps to soothe the muscles.
Mix all ingredients into a bowl. Don’t worry if you have some clumps or need to finesse the essential and coconut oils to integrate them. Pour half of the mixture into the bath, and store the leftovers in a glass jar for future use. Submerge yourself in the bath and try to stay in the tub for 45 minutes, allowing enough time for the body to absorb the full benefits. After, drink plenty of water to restore your system.
Soap and water are the absolute best way to kill germs, viruses, and bacteria. But, for times that we don’t have access to a sink, using a high-quality hand sanitizer is an effective solution for preventing further spread of this virus.
When purchasing alcohol to make your own hand sanitizer, it is essential to follow the CDC recommendation to use alcohol that is no less than 60%. While most vodka options are around 80-90 proof (equating to 40-45% alcohol), Everclear is 190 proof (95% alcohol), giving it a sufficient alcohol content to kill germs.
Recipe note: If you are unable to procure Everclear, you can substitute isopropyl alcohol and remove the aloe vera from this recipe to keep the alcohol content sufficiently high.
To make 1oz of hand sanitizing solution, add the following ingredients to a spray bottle:
Recommended essential oils: eucalyptus, lavender, thyme, rosemary, tea tree, geranium, bergamot.
*Essential oils are highly concentrated chemical compounds made from distilling fresh plants. This form of plant medicine is highly potent (and best used when diluted or mixed), smells incredible, and is extremely versatile. Essential oils contain a variety of chemical compounds, some of which are extremely anti-viral. In a time of scarcity fears, essential oils can serve as a reminder to only take what we need, and that more is not always better.
Slow Cooker Thyme
One of our absolute favorite at-home remedies for boosting the immune system, fighting respiratory illness, and opening the airways is thyme in a slow cooker. This method allows the volatile oils* in thyme that support the respiratory system to be released into the air, allowing the antiviral, antispasmodic, and antibacterial properties to shine. This remedy also helps to relax the bronchial, fight infection, and soothe coughing. This remedy is safe to use with kiddos.
*the smell factor in plants that contain highly medicinal constituents.
Fill the slow cooker ¾ of the way full with water. Add ½ to ¾ cup of dried thyme. Place on a flat surface near to the bed, and set on low. If able to, close the door to concentrate the effect.
We would love to hear your favorite tips - please share below!
“Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art”, Kathi Keville and Mindy Green 2009