THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON MIND BODY GREEN.
Every year, without fail, I would get sick at the beginning of September. Kids are back to school; germs are everywhere. It would start as a tickle in my throat, which would quickly become red, swollen, and painful. When I would finally begin to feel better (normally after a round of antibiotics), it would migrate down to my vocal cords and lungs (goodbye, voice). It would take weeks for me to feel better!
But now, I haven’t had a cold, flu, or strep throat in over four years. Even when people around me are sneezing, coughing, vomiting, or blowing their nose I don’t get sick. So, what changed? Well, I discovered what I call my secret magic potion. And anytime I’m around someone who is sick, or when I feel that ominous tickle in my throat, I whip one up for myself.
I have to admit, the taste isn’t the greatest, but it really works. It works great to not only prevent colds and flu but will also kick that cold or flu to the curb if you are already sick. It has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties plus immune-boosting ingredients. Let’s take a look at the individual ingredients:
1. Raw honey.
The average American consumes a pound of honey a year. I go through a lot more. It’s my sweetener of choice not only because it’s super tasty but because it also has many great benefits. It’s packed with antioxidants that prevent damage from free radicals in the body, and when sourced from local bees, it can help reduce allergies to pollen. It contains trace minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and easy-to-use carbs for energy. It coats the throat, which provides relief from coughing and sore throat pain. The biggest benefit, though, is its antibacterial and antiviral effects, which is why it is in my go-to recipe for fighting colds, flu, and allergies.
2. Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a powerful immune booster. It supports the cell-mediated immune response and enhances lymphocyte, antibody, and natural killer cell production. It is a required nutrient in many cellular processes and is also a potent antioxidant. I prefer to use whole food sources of vitamin C like camu camu, freshly squeezed lemon, or acerola berry. If a person is sensitive to any of those, then a buffered ascorbic acid like magnesium ascorbate is a good option.
Processed fruit juices, though high in vitamin C, are full of preservatives. When I started juicing with my masticating juicer, I stopped drinking all juice from the store. When I make juice, it lasts for a maximum of four days, and after that it goes bad. Some juices are stored in vats for years before they make it to the shelf. That’s just sugar to me. If you want to use juice as your vitamin C source, make sure it is fresh, but I prefer organic camu camu powder or freshly squeezed lemon.
3. Oil of oregano.
The taste alone is a great hint at how powerful this ingredient is. It’s anti-everything, fighting parasites, viruses, bacteria, and fungus. It is best used only in the short-term unless directed otherwise by your health care practitioner. Long-term it can irritate the stomach lining and affect good bacteria. When buying oil of oregano, make sure to check the dilution. Getting it at a 1:1 ratio means you will only require three drops—it’s potent stuff! Use caution if you have high blood pressure. If you don’t tolerate oil of oregano, you can substitute with olive leaf.
4. Grapefruit seed extract.
Grapefruit seed extract (GFSE) has received a lot of attention for its Candida-fighting properties, but it also has great antibacterial effects. More often than not, a common cold is a simple viral infection that may or may not cause a secondary bacterial infection due to a weakened immune system. I like to add grapefruit seed extract in as a little extra kick to prevent that from happening. Make sure that you source grapefruit seed extract from a reputable company as additives are sometimes hiding inside.
5. Coconut oil.
This medium-chain fatty acid not only provides your cells with energy, but it also helps increase good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. It’s in my secret magic potion because of its antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal effects. It also tastes great. Since it’s an oil, it won’t dissolve in water, but it will melt when you warm the water. If the oily feeling bothers you in this recipe, you can always add the coconut oil to oatmeal or a smoothie.
Some people don’t tolerate coconut oil. Many people believe that the coconut oil is just causing die-off Candida, and they should push through the symptoms. I learned the hard way that this isn’t always the case. If it causes stomach pain or excess gas that doesn’t go away after a few tries, it is best to avoid. When buying, make sure the coconut oil is organic and cold-pressed.