With the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic now upon us, we should be more aware of personal hygiene as well as of ways to boost our immunity to reduce the risk of infection.
Here are some seasonal drinks that can enhance your immunity:
Ginger drink: Take a cup of warm to hot, but not boiling, water. Add a stick of cinnamon and let it simmer for a minute. Chop about an inch of freshly peeled ginger. Put the ginger in the water for two minutes. Splash in a dash of black pepper and drink.
Cinnamon is a great source of antioxidants. Ginger is used to naturally detoxify the digestive tract. It helps in the removal of toxins and the promotion of blood circulation and helps open up the sinuses. Black pepper contains Vitamin C and also enhances immunity.
Garlic drink: Add a pinch of cumin seeds to hot water and let it stand for two minutes. Peel a clove of garlic. Mince, crush, chop, press or slice the garlic into smaller pieces and then add the garlic to the mixture. Let the garlic rest for 10 to 15 minutes to activate the enzymes. Add half a tablespoon of raw honey. Stir and drink.
Garlic is a powerful immunity booster that is used as a cure for everything from flu and colds to cancer. Honey has antibacterial, antifungal and anti-viral properties.
Hot chocolate: You can make your own delicious, immunity-boosting hot chocolate drink by warming a cup of full-fat coconut milk over medium heat. Add two to three tablespoons of raw cocoa, one teaspoon of cinnamon, one teaspoon of coconut sugar and half a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Stir well. Let it simmer for three to five minutes and drink while warm.
Raw cocoa is packed with antioxidants and can fight coughs. Cinnamon is also high in antioxidants and fights certain infections. Coconut milk is a rich source of healthy fats.
Thyme drink: Add one tablespoon of dried thyme to one cup of boiled water, stir, and then turn off the heat. Let it stand for eight to 10 minutes. Strain, and then drink while warm. Thyme contains medicinal properties that are great for treating a sore throat or cough. While it is popular in cooking, it can also be a perfect remedy for sickness or flu.
Immunity-boosting tonic: Add one cup of water, a quarter of a teaspoon of raw grated ginger and a quarter of a teaspoon of turmeric to a deep pan and bring to the boil. Once the mixture starts boiling, turn off the heat and let the mixture cool a little. Strain, and add one teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and drink.
This drink is loaded with antiviral, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. You can take it first thing in the morning to boost your immunity and keep viral and bacterial diseases at bay.
Hibiscus tea: Pour a cup and a half of boiling water over two bags of hibiscus tea and one cinnamon stick or half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Let the mixture rest for five minutes and stir and strain before serving. Though not as popular as green or black tea, hibiscus tea is a strong antiviral drink. It can help to prevent and treat the flu and is also rich in Vitamin C.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 4 February , 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly