Summer will soon give way to fall, and this change in seasons (and the sometimes accompanying abrupt weather shifts), tends to make us all a little more susceptible to colds and viruses... so... This is a good time to start strengthening your immune system! Here are a few tips on how to do just that:
Exercise regularly (but remember, overdoing it brings your immune system temporarily down a notch). At the least, take a 30-60 minute brisk walk a few times a week. Be sure to swing those arms as you walk! This helps to stimulate your digestion (where really most all disease starts). Be sure you get enough rest, also.
Eat healthy! Cut back on processed foods, caffeine, sugar, fried foods, meat, and all those things that tax your digestion or over-stimulate your nervous system.
Supplement! Be sure you are getting enough vitamin C, if not through your natural foods, through a good supplement.
And, there are some foods and spices that are known in yogic teachings to be excellent for strengthening the immune system, improving digestion, and for working to detox the liver. These include: onions, garlic, gingerroot, beets, radishes, black pepper, chilies, cardamom...
Here are some recipes that call upon the yogic tradition of cooking that are pretty simple to prepare, and full of fantastic flavor as well!
You have probably seen packaged Yogi Tea in its many delicious flavors on the shelf at your natural food store or grocery market. Here is how you can easily make it from scratch! The spices are known in Ayurveda to help improve digestion, purify the blood, improve immune fitness, ward off intestinal parasites, and increase vitality. As the saying goes, "A cup a day keeps disease away..."
I like to make at least a gallon at a time. When it’s done, strain it (you can freeze the spices and save to make another smaller batch another day) and pour into a jar or lidded pitcher. Then when you desire a cup, just add the milk of your choice, bring it to the boiling point, sweeten if desired, and enjoy.
Plain Yogi Tea keeps refrigerated for several weeks.
|4 qts ||water
|25 ||whole cloves
|6-8 3-4" ||cinnamon sticks
|25 ||green cardamom pods
|3-4" ||gingerroot (scrubbed clean, not peeled) thinly sliced
|1 tsp. ||black tea (or 1 tea bag), optional
Bring water to a fast boil in a stainless steel pot. Add whole cloves and let them dance for about 1 minute. Add peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom and gingerroot. Turn heat down so it is just simmering, cover, and let lightly boil for 45-60 minutes. Remove from heat, add black tea, and let sit for another hour (or overnight). This way it gets nice and strong so you can best enjoy this potent spice blend! Then strain and refrigerate.