Spring is here, trees and wildflowers are blooming, and the hills surrounding our homes are finally turning green once more. But as much as we love this time of year, the occasional wild weather swings can leave us vulnerable to picking up colds, flu and other bugs as we go about our lives.
One solution is to make a simple but effective immune boosting elixir, using raw, unfiltered organic local honey, organic unpasteurized cider vinegar, and raw organic garlic, and use it daily to ward off colds, flu and other potential illnesses. It can also be used to lessen the severity and/or duration if you are already ill.
All three ingredients have long been used on their own, by cultures all across the globe, for their antibiotic, antiviral and health-protecting constituents, and combined they seem to have even greater effectiveness than any of the three do on their own.
Honey and apple cider vinegar have been combined by people for generations to improve their health. I was introduced to the combination by a friend in the 1970s, who used it while traveling to Mexico frequently, and never became ill, despite drinking the local water regularly – after adding the cider vinegar and honey.
With the added garlic, it is likely to be even more effective.
1 cup raw, local honey, preferably organic;
1 cup apple cider vinegar, organic and unpasteurized (Braggs is a good brand and commonly available); 16 cloves of organic garlic, peeled.
Place all ingredients into a blender, and process until the garlic is minced so finely as to almost be indiscernible. Pour into a glass bottle, cap tightly, and shake vigorously a few times a day for the next five days. In a pinch, especially if already feeling as though you may be getting ill, you can begin using it right away.
To use, place two teaspoons of this elixir into a glass, fill with room temperature pure water, and drink it all, swirling it in the glass or stirring it to make certain that you drink all the garlic. Please note that this elixir is meant to be taken diluted in water or juice, and not full strength, as most people will find the taste too strong.
If desired, add the juice of 1/2 an organic lemon for an even stronger immune boost, along with delicious taste, but it isn’t necessary. The elixir is effective without the lemon. Some people prefer to add it to fruit or vegetable juice, rather than water, which works as well.
This is a great way to start your digestive juices flowing first thing in the morning, and also makes a great nightcap shortly before bedtime, though remember to brush your teeth afterward, due to the honey.
This elixir can also be added to vinaigrette salads for a tasty boost, or it can be added to soups or other dishes right before serving. Too hot a temperature will kill the beneficial bacteria and enzymes, and reduce its immune-boosting effectiveness, so allow the food to cool a bit first, and do not add to food that is still cooking.
Good Shepherd Health Foods, on Willow Avenue in Cookeville, is the only location near us, to my knowledge, that carries all three ingredients in Certified Organic form. Various vendors at the Cookeville Farmers Market often have organic raw local honey and/or organic garlic, Walmart frequently carries organic garlic, and recently started carrying organic non-pasteurized apple cider vinegar, and they are all available elsewhere in the area for those willing to look.
Warning: Although this elixir is perfectly fine for use with young children, including toddlers, because it contains honey, it is NOT appropriate for use in infants under 1 year in age. Always err on the side of caution when it comes to the health of your children. Please see your health practitioner if you have any questions.