Kitchen Pharmacy Part 2 – Prevention, plus an immunity hotpot

Kitchen Pharmacy Part 2 – Prevention, plus an immunity hotpot

It’s better that cure! That is definitely the word on the street. And it certainly saves a lot of time (and money if you think it terms of time off work) to be avoiding illness. By keeping yourself as well as you can you are also in a better position to bounce back faster and more completely if you do get sick. 

So how do you stay well and avoid the dreaded lurgies?

There are certain key nutrients that help to maximise immune function, the big three being Vitamin C, Vitamin A/betacarotene and Zinc.

Vitamin C is widely recognised as being of assistance during colds / flu / infections for its ability to reduce the severity and duration of illness. Vitamin C supplements are one of the most widely consumed supplements on the market. They appear in varying quality, forms and strengths, and here is the basic lowdown. Powders are better absorbed than tablets. Smaller quantities taken more frequently is better than one huge dose. Don’t buy chewable vitamin C tablets as they are full of sugar/sweeteners which inhibit your immune system by up to 50%, and this is not what you want!

Having said this, nutrients work better, and are ultimately best absorbed if you have them as part of a whole food! Of course there are circumstances where we require higher doses, but for prevention and general wellness, wholefood is the go. 

We are so lucky to have such an amazing array of goodies packed with Vitamin C to choose from, with capsicum, kale, broccoli, thyme and parsley, kiwi fruit, strawberries, citrus fruit, raw cabbage, sweet potato and tomatoes being the high flyers. Be careful though, you can destroy up to 100% of the vitamin C content of these foods during the cooking process as it …

Kitchen Pharmacy Part 1: cure yourself from your own pantry

Kitchen Pharmacy Part 1: cure yourself from your own pantry

Illnesses such as colds, flu, coughs, sore throats, sinusitis, and other respiratory illnesses have a peak incidence in winter. Mostly these are fairly mild, and are reasonably easily treated if you catch them early. So, since winter is just around the corner, I thought I would prepare you with some self help strategies! There are loads of beautiful immune herbs (in particular Echinacea and Andrographis) which can be extremely useful in some situations, as can the big immune nutrients, which I will talk more about next week in Part 2.

However, you might be surprised to learn that we have a wonderful artillery at our disposal that can be found in our own kitchens and gardens!

Allow me to introduce the following superstars: 
Garlic, Sage, Thyme, Onion, Lemon, Ginger and Herbal Teas.
Garlic is natures answer to antibiotics, only better. Antimicrobial, immune enhancing, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic! Whoa. Even more exciting, it has been found to display antibacterial activity against various multi-drug resistant strains of bacteria 1. And all wrapped up in a tidy little clove! Go Mother Nature!

The catch? You need to eat it raw, or as close to raw as you can, and ensure that it’s crushed or bruised to release the powerful chemical constituents (allicin and ajoene). You need to be aiming for at least 2 grams a day for these potent antimicrobial effects.

Try adding garlic to meals towards the end of your cooking time (or even better raw) if you want these benefits.

I love raw garlic, but if you struggle with it, try slicing it thinly and placing between two slices of apple, like a sandwich.

Another great method is to make up a garlic oxymel. Oxymels are liquid medicines used to improve the flavour of herbs and have a soothing effect on …