1. Black tea
Black tea is rich in a group of pathogen-fighting compounds that can protect against a variety of viral infections. Tea leaves contain naturally occurring compounds—including polyphenols, catechins, and alkaloids such as caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline—that defend the plants against invading bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Research shows that black tea can almost completely inhibit the infectivity of the influenza virus. And in one study, black tea extract rich in flavanol compounds called theaflavins inhibited herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) infection.
Try this: Purée strong-brewed black tea with grated ginger, frozen mango, and Greek yogurt for a flu-busting breakfast; steep black tea bags in hot water, then use as a broth to cook brown rice, garlic, and onions; finely grind loose black tea (try Earl Grey) and add to lemon or banana muffin batter before cooking.
2. Shiitake mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms are stacked with beta-glucans, antiviral aggravates that have been appeared to hinder viral replication and upgrade resistant capacity. In one examination, individuals who ate shiitake mushrooms for about a month demonstrated improved markers of insusceptibility, just as decreased aggravation. Different examinations have indicated that shiitake mushrooms have critical antibacterial and antifungal properties, and ensured against 85 percent of the yeasts, molds, and different living beings it was tried on.
Attempt this: Thinly cut shiitake mushroom tops, hurl with softened coconut oil and minced garlic, and meal until firm; sauté entire shiitake mushroom tops and leeks in olive oil, at that point finish with balsamic coating; pan sear shiitakes, fragmented carrots, broccoli, cut red peppers, and minced ginger in sesame oil and tamari, at that point hurl with cooked soba or rice noodles.
Garlic is food contains powerful compounds—including allicin, diallyl trisulfide, and ajoene—that fight viruses, including influenza, rhinovirus, cytomegalovirus (a type of herpes virus), herpes simplex, HIV, viral pneumonia, and rotavirus. In one study, people who took allicin extract over a 12-week period had significantly fewer colds than a placebo group, and those who did get a cold recovered faster.
Try this: Roast whole heads of garlic, skin-on, until cloves are soft, then let cool and peel off skins; finely mince raw garlic and add to a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and minced thyme; press or mash raw garlic cloves and mix with minced rosemary and coconut oil, then refrigerate until firm for a pungent vegan spread.
Ginger has long been used in traditional medicine to treat colds and flu, and modern studies show that it has measurable antiviral benefits. In one study, fresh ginger protected against HRSV (human respiratory syncytial virus, a major cause of lower respiratory tract infections), by blocking the virus’ ability to attach to cells and stimulating the release of compounds that help counteract viral infections.
Try this: Cut peeled ginger root into matchsticks, sauté in olive oil until crispy, and use as a topping for soups or salads; simmer ginger slices in milk or coconut milk, strain, then whisk in turmeric and honey for a creamy, soothing beverage; combine finely grated ginger, dates, walnuts, and coconut in a food processor, process to make a paste, then roll into balls for quick energy treats.
5. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another traditional antiviral, and a number of modern studies have established the antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against a variety of pathogens. Researchers suggest that apple cider vinegar may work by a variety of mechanisms, including the antiviral properties of apples and the presence of probiotics that occur during the fermentation process.
Try this: Steep dried elderberries and sliced ginger in apple cider vinegar, then strain and add honey for an easy oxymel (herbal tonic); whisk together apple cider vinegar, honey, mustard, and olive oil for a sweet, creamy dressing; stir apple cider vinegar and agave into hot water and pour over sliced onions and ginger for quick pickles.
Cinnamon has been used in herbal medicine for hundreds of years, and chemical profiling shows that its active compounds have antiviral, antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory effects. In one study, cinnamaldehyde, the compound that gives cinnamon its characteristic flavor and smell, inhibited the growth of the influenza virus. Cinnamaldehyde also inhibits Listeria and Escherichia coli in food and protects against a variety of yeasts and fungi, including Candida albicans.
Try this: Add cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla extract, and coconut milk to oatmeal for a chai-spiced breakfast; toss sliced apples and pears with cinnamon and honey, sauté in coconut oil, and top with toasted pecans; add cinnamon and cocoa powder to your morning coffee.
A form of oxymel—a centuries-old herbal immune-boosting tonic—this pungent antiviral blend is guaranteed to kill pathogens. Optional bug-busting additions: 1/4 cup dried elderberries, or a handful of rosemary or thyme sprigs. Do a shot three times a day if you feel a bug coming on.
1 large onion, chopped
1 large jalapeño pepper,
chopped (including seeds)
¼ cup grated ginger root
2 Tbs. crushed garlic cloves
Apple cider vinegar
(about 2 cups)
½ cup raw honey
1. Combine onion, jalapeño, ginger, garlic, and any optional additions in quart jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add apple cider vinegar to cover vegetables and herbs by one inch, and shake well to mix. Place small fermenting weight or ramekin filled with beans on top of mixture to keep vegetables and herbs submerged. Cover with lid, and let stand in cool, dark spot 2–3 days, or up to 2 weeks.
- When Fire Cider is ready, remove weight, re-cover jar with lid, and shake vigorously. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into the pint jar. Add honey, and shake to mix well. Pour 2 Tbs. into shot glass, and serve. Store remaining Fire Cider in a refrigerator with a tight-fitting lid.
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