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Ask the Pharmacist: How to make an herbal immunity tea


Suzy Cohen  |  Columnist

Upper respiratory tract infections often necessitate the need for time off work, and various non-prescription medications to help relieve symptoms. But how would you like to make a tea that helps?

Teas are very easy to make at home. Everything in my recipe below can be purchased at a health food store, or online apothecary. My video for this recipe is on my website by the way, you can search it by the title, “Make Your Own Immune Tea.”

Ingredients

  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon elderberry
  • 1 tablespoon echinacea
  • 1 tablespoon orange peel
  • 2 teaspoon licorice root
  • Optional: Honey to sweeten

Directions: Pour five cups of water into a pot and stir the herbs in. Over medium-low heat bring the water to a soft boil and then reduce heat to a very gentle simmer. Continue simmering for about 20 - 30 minutes. Strain the herbs and pour the tea into a glass jar to store. Sweeten if desired. Store in refrigerator for three days. Drink one cup daily.

Here are the benefits of each herb in the tea …

Elderberry

Elderberries (Sambucus nigra) have been used as a natural defense against virus and bacteria for centuries. Studies prove that it can even help inhibit growth of certain influenza strains. Furthermore, studies suggest that this herb can help with obesity, insulin signaling and various other biomarkers of endocrine dysfunction. 

Echinacea

This herb has been used for centuries to help control symptoms of the common cold, influenza and other pathogens. Most consumers and physicians are not aware that commercially available products containing “echinacea” differ appreciably depending on what species, and part of the plant is used. Echinacea inhibits hemagglutinin, and neuraminidase, controlling spread, and severity of influenza. 

Orange peel

This is dried orange rind, and it imparts vitamin C which is useful as a strong antioxidant. A lot of research has been conducted on C because it is known to help shorten duration of misery. As a side note, you cannot synthesize collagen without vitamin C, and it’s not made in the human body either! Wrinkles are more profound when you run low on collagen, and it starts to slowly decline after age 20 or 25 in most people.

Licorice root

This contains an active compound called glycyrrhizic acid, which is known to slow down the growth of many viruses. It can also directly kill certain viral particles. What I am talking about here is not candy, it’s an herbal extract from the plant called, Glycyrrhiza glabra.

Honey

Unprocessed (raw) honey has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that can serve to improve immune system function, and so don’t feel guilty if you want to sweeten your tea. Just use a good brand such as Manuka, or similar.

More: Ask the Pharmacist: Save your skin with probiotics

And: Ask the Pharmacist: How BPC 157 helps tendons and your tummy

Also: Ask the Pharmacist: Autoimmune disorders and infection risk

Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit SuzyCohen.com.