Fighting Infection : Our Daily Immuni-tea:
As I'm sure you already know, Tyler recently tested positive for the Covid19 Coronavirus. Thankfully, his symptoms have been pretty mild, and my test came back negative, which is such a blessing!
The media has caused so much mass-hysteria over this virus so I decided to share more about our first-hand experience and what we have been doing to keep our bodies strong enough to fight this off. I will most likely do a separate post discussing his early symptoms and where we are today. But, for now, I wanted to share our daily immunity tea recipe! I posted about this on my Instagram story and several of you have asked for the recipe, so let's dive in!
First, I want to give credit to Organic Olivia. If you don't follow her, she is an herbalist and research extraordinaire who I have been following for years. She cared for both her parents who were diagnosed with Covid19, therefore, getting a touch of it herself. She definitely inspired me to start making this!
Second, I want to give a brief description of why this tea is so good for your immune system. Some of the ingredients might make you think, "Why would I ever drink this?" but I promise, there is a purpose behind this recipe!
Orange is a natural source of vitamin C, but you might not have known that the peel is highly antimicrobial. Studies have shown orange peel extract to be successful in fighting pneumonia.
Onion may sound like the craziest thing to put in a tea, I know. But red onion is one of the highest quercetin-containing foods. Quercetin is a polyphenol found in plants that works as a zinc ionophore. A zinc ionophore helps push zinc through the liposomal and plasma membrane layers of our cells. Why does that matter? If you take a zinc supplement, surprisingly, the majority of the supplement is not able to penetrate that outer membrane layer of the cell and only a small amount is absorbed by the body. With Covid19, studies have shown that a combination of zinc, azithromycin, and hydroxychloroquine are the key to fighting not only the coronavirus but the secondary bacterial infections like pneumonia that we are seeing develop in Covid patients. These additional medications serve as, you guessed it, zinc ionophores!
Tyler was not given hydroxychloroquine or azithromycin, so introducing quercetin rich, antimicrobial foods in both of our diets has been a top priority to me. From what I have read and researched, the coronavirus itself does not cause pneumonia. This virus seems to weaken the respiratory and immune system just enough for a secondary bacteria called Prevotella to take over. Prevotella is a naturally occurring bacteria in the gut, mouth, and vagina, but it's an opportunistic pathogen. This means that, if given the opportunity, Prevotella will take over. This overgrowth occurs primarily in the respiratory system and is seen in many pneumonia cases. Prevotella has also been found as an underlying factor in Cystic Fibrosis.
Tyler already has the virus and I have already been exposed. There isn't much we can do about that. But doing as much as we can to prevent a secondary infection like pneumonia is so important to me.
Onion is also great at supporting a balanced gut microbiome, and 80% of the immune system lies in the gut. So, we add onions to the tea.
Side note...I'm trying to give an understandable, high-level overview of all this, but I am linking several sources at the bottom of the page if you are interested in learning more about the science behind what I'm talking about! And as I said, Organic Olivia is a great resource!
Ginger is commonly used to help treat an upset stomach, which can be an early-onset symptom. But ginger also has anti-inflammatory and ant-microbial properties that fight infectious diseases.
Rosemary has been proven to contain flavonoid and phenolic acids that contribute to high antioxidant activity.
Fennel contains zinc, lutein, selenium, and choline. This makes fennel not only an anti-inflammatory but a form of kitchen medicine that actually improves the body's immune response to infection.
Clove is great for supporting gut health, the key to a healthy immune system. One study, (linked below) shows that antibodies were numerically higher in groups that received clove as supplementation.
Okay, now that you understand why this crazy mix of kitchen foods are essential for our bodies, it's time to get to the recipe! I make this and Tyler and I both drink three cups per day. I typically make this in the morning and let it simmer on the stove all day, but adjust the recipe to meet your needs.
IMMUNITY TEA RECIPE
Orange peel from 2 oranges
Approx.1/4 ginger root-peeled and chopped
2 sprigs rosemary
1/4-1/2 red onion
Handful fennel seeds
Approx. 1 tbsp. ground clove or small handful whole cloves
Green tea teabag
I bring about 7 cups of water with all ingredients to a boil.
Once boiling, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes before serving.
To serve, use a strainer and pour over a green tea teabag.
Let steep for five minutes before drinking.
That's it! It's super easy to make and you can drink on this all day long. I love that this tea is full of things you can buy at your local grocery store. No fancy powders, potions, or pills. Everyone can make this or even a modified version of it, and that's the point. Easy, affordable, immune-boosting, kitchen medicine. Of course, Tyler's symptoms could always change, and I could wind up testing positive myself. But I truly believe that we can support our bodies through this, and any other virus, from the inside out with kitchen medicine. That is NOT to say that prescription medicine should be disregarded because I believe in antibiotics 1000%. But we can keep our immune system strong, our gut microbiome balanced, and our bodies prepared to fight off this virus when the time does come.
Tyler and I live in an apartment, both work from home, and I'm an asthmatic with a history of respiratory illness. Despite him testing positive, neither of us have even had a fever.
I hope you are staying healthy and happy despite the times we are living in. I would encourage you to do your own research and strengthen your body from the inside out with the plants and food God gave us. Thanks for reading through all of this. Happy brewing!