With record-breaking wind chills nationwide ranging from -50 in Detroit, to -70 below zero in Chicago this past week, one can only imagine how one’s physical health can be affected. It’s important to bundle up and keep your body warm in abnormally low temperatures.
Moreover, eating foods to strengthen your immune system is vital, especially if you feel a cold kicking in. There are many foods known to strengthen your immunity and prevent the common cold or flu. Those include homemade broth, ginger, lemon, honey, extra virgin olive oil, citrus fruit, garlic, onions, turmeric, and many more.
One of the best recommendations I can give to clients is, in fact, a drink my beloved father made for us growing up. Whenever we’d catch a cold or get down with the flu, this drink would soon be handed to us in a warm mug instantaneously. It’s what I call Baba’s Incredible Lemon Tea Remedy, loaded with fresh ginger, peppermint tea, fresh lemons, and honey to make all the tartness tolerable to drink.
While it’s quite commonly known that honey and lemons are great foods to consume while sick, this peppermint tea remedy is full of powerful ingredients to tackle sickness, strengthen your immunity, and bring your body warmth in this week’s abnormally freezing temperatures.
However, you don’t have to be sick to drink this; why not prevent illness and strengthen your immunity instead? Organic peppermint tea has specifically used this remedy due to its extraordinary healing properties. It’s one of the best teas to consume in to aid in your cough, cold, or even sore throat. I share a similar tea recipe in my book, Sunnah Superfoods. However, it excludes the peppermint tea in this remedy, which specifically aims at combating coughs and sore throats.
Honey and ginger are both mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). There’s no doubt the benefits both honey and ginger carry are simply astonishing. While some people may claim that sugar is sugar, many holistic healers, including myself, put honey in its own category due to its unique beneficial enzymes, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral benefits. Of course, I’m talking about organic raw honey. Anything taken from the Sunnah of our Prophet (pbuh) should not be questioned, let alone the Qur’an! For, none knows what’s better for us than the One who created us to begin with.
“Then eat from all the fruits and follow the ways of your Lord laid down [for you]. There emerges from their bellies a drink, varying in colors, in which there is healing for people. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought.” [Quran 16:69]
The benefits of pure raw honey are quite outrageous. Put aside swallowing capsules of antibiotics and skip unnatural medicine that bandages our sicknesses instead of healing us from within. Honey has healing properties for ulcers, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, blood sugar control, cough suppressant, and it even boosts your immunity.
Honey soothes the intestinal linings of your stomach as well. I always advise my clients with allergies and food intolerance issues to take a spoon of organic raw honey, local if possible, every morning. Astonishingly, some studies prove that doctors who use honey as healing for cuts and wounds heal faster and cleaner than those treated with alcohol and iodine. Eating a spoon of organic raw honey every morning could do you wonders, and after a workout, it helps with glycogen restoration in your system too.
Essentially, the cute looking teddy bear honey, that’s on sale for 99 cents at the supermarket is not pure honey, and for that its recommended that you completely avoid eating it. Not only is this honey heavily processed, but it’s also unnatural. Believe it or not, they add sugar to the majority of brands. A recent study has found that 76% of supermarket honey goes through a process called ultrafiltration. The honey is over-heated, watered down, and forced at high pressure to be filtered.
This kills the benefits, removes the pollen, and then the honey can be filled with high fructose corn syrup, other sweeteners, and traces of antibiotics. Pollen contains enzymes, anti-bacterial properties, antioxidants, and many more benefits, and allows you to verify the origin of your honey. Even honey that does not come in a teddy bear container may not be 100% natural and have been tested in this study as well. Raw honey is unpasteurized and unfiltered, thus, contains optimum benefits for your overall health.
Take a moment to comprehend the countless diets, marketing tactics and food labels bombarding you with various foundations and advice. We see an emphasis on eating sugar-free, low-fat, and extremely low-calorie diets. So instead of aiming for natural sweeteners like organic honey or dates, many are filling their teacups with artificial sweeteners man-made in a lab. They weren’t produced by bees and plants, and they are very unnatural. Putting these chemicals into your body could be toxic and harmful in the long run. Not to mention, these sweeteners are not satisfying, they chemically turn on your brain to crave for more. So, enjoying that spoon of organic raw honey daily is much more satisfying and beneficial than pouring these sweeteners in your drinks. Wean down on your obsession with counting calories, but instead, start counting chemicals. Stocking up on “sugar-free” and “low-calorie” snacks full of a couple dozens of ingredients, hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup, and plenty of chemicals you can’t pronounce is not a healthy diet. The same goes for your cup of tea or coffee. The spoon of honey may contain sugar, but it is a natural sugar with jaw-dropping health benefits. With your enjoyment of eating it come numerous healing benefits, too. What more can you ask for?
The fresh ginger in this tea recipe is perhaps my favorite. Fresh ginger has a wonderful aroma, and an even greater pungent taste. I enjoy putting ginger in my salad, soup, and yes, my tea as well. It contains anti-cancer properties, aids in gastrointestinal relief, carries anti-inflammatory properties, heart health benefits, and builds immunity. Ginger is also great for nausea and vomiting; try that instead of hastening to the medicine cabinet. The key to this recipe is patience: give time for the tea to brew as that’s when the ginger seeps in. Lemons are extremely high in Vitamin C, contain unique antioxidants, and carry anti-cancer properties. Besides that, lemons contain unique healing properties, specifically for the immune system. For that, lemons are an essential ingredient in this recipe. Vitamin C is undoubtedly vital in your diet if you aspire to have a strong immune system. Consuming enough Vitamin C will aid in preventing colds or speed up your recovery time if you’ve happened to catch one already. Don’t worry about this tea remedy being too tart due to the lemon juice; the raw honey helps cover up the taste perfectly.
Give this heartwarming tea remedy a try, and you’ll find yourself with more energy and in the process of healing in no time. Feel free to swap the peppermint tea for ginger, green tea, or sage.
5-6 cups of water
1 tablespoon organic peppermint tea leaves, dried
½ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
½ cup fresh ginger, sliced
4 tablespoons organic raw honey
Place the peppermint tea and ginger in a teapot with about 5-6 cups of water.
Allow the tea to brew for approximately 10 minutes. This gives time for the ginger to seep in.
Remove from heat. Add the lemon juice and honey; stir.
Drink while it’s warm for optimum taste.
Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, SUNNAH SUPERFOODS, a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.