Boost Your Immunity with Honey!
We have entered the spring season which is a harbinger of all things bright and beautiful – skies are brighter, flowers are blooming and birds are chirping. But this change of season also brings with it cold, flu and other respiratory infections.
It is a proven fact that viruses survive better in cold, dry climate. The change of seasons also means different pollens and other allergens tend to spike. In the spring there are lots of trees, grasses and weeds dishing out pollens. Later flowers add to the mix and potential misery. Allergies can irritate your lungs and nasal passages leaving you more susceptible to cold or flu viruses.
Last few weeks, we have been hearing about Coronavirus scare as well. There have been various advisories concerning travel, non-vegetarian food, wearing masks and maintaining distance with anyone who might have flu-like symptoms. Basically, Coronaviruses are a family of viruses known for containing strains that cause potentially deadly diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, they're typically spread via airborne droplets of fluid produced by infected individuals.
Some rare but notable strains, including Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV), and those responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), can cause death in humans.
Mostly viral infections affect those with poor immune systems. They do not respond to antibiotics and the best defense against these infections is to boost your immunity.
So how does one prevent getting viral infections?
Most cold and flu viruses (including coronavirus) are spread through the respiratory vapor, such as when someone sneezes or coughs into the air around you.
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. However, it is recommended to take preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Try including healthy micronutrients to your diet to boost immunity.
These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses.
On top of basic illness prevention, the best (and only real) defense against disease is a strong immune system. Your body is better able to fight off illnesses when your immune system is really humming and everyone should put in an effort to get theirs into tip-top shape. To do so, get enough quality sleep at night, stay hydrated, minimize overly processed foods and get enough micronutrients in your diet.
How does honey boost immunity?
Raw honey (unpasteurized and unfiltered) boosts your immune system and provides natural energy. Eating raw honey and healthy living goes together like summer and sunshine. It contains a substance called mangiferin, an antiviral and anti-inflammatory, which helps in boosting immunity. It is also a powerhouse of antioxidants, which are very effective for the removal of free radicals from the body.
Two best kinds of honey which will help in boosting your immunity this season are:
- Tulsi Honey: Tulsi Honey produced from the nectar collected from the flowers of tulsi(holy basil) plants is believed to increase immunity and beneficial for people suffering from cold, cough, dry and itchy throat and sinus problems. It helps to soothe the throat from any discomfort. Tulsi (or holy basil) itself contains specific anti-asthmatic and anti-infective properties. This ayurvedic herb is also recommended for building respiratory resistance. Combined with honey, it is a powerhouse for fighting infections!
- Mustard Honey: Mustard honey is produced in lush yellow mustard fields in northern plains of India. It is produced during the winter season and its regular use offers an effective way to build immunity in children and adults. Packed with phytonutrients and high levels of niacin, this honey helps lower cholesterol levels and hypertension. It keeps the gastrointestinal tract healthy. It is a great immunity booster and liver detoxifier. Mustard seeds had anti-carcinogen substances that could increase your body's antioxidant immunity against carcinogens. Mustard has anti-inflammatory substances and combined with honey, it could be the boost you are looking for to be healthy this season.
These single-source honey can be combined with raw ginger juice (for children) or whiskey/brandy (for grown-ups) to provide rapid and effective relief from cold and flu symptoms. This can be had with warm water/milk in the early morning as soon as you wake up and just before hitting your bed at night.
So go ahead! What are you waiting for! Add a spoonful of honey to your early morning water to enhance your immunity!