Welcome to the first of a new series, where Jean Creen and her handyman husband ‘DIY’ Don offer household tips and advice. This month Jean has some immune system-boosting drink recipes

With the coronavirus shutting down most of the country and causing lots of anxiety, particularly among older people, one of the few things you can actually do for yourself is to try and keep your immune system as strong as possible. I’ve got a couple of ideas here, for healthy drinks that I regularly make for myself and which should help to boost your immune system.

Lemon, honey, ginger
The first of these is a drink that many people already make when they have a cold or flu, and which is arguably better than most cough medicines, especially if you make it properly and use good quality ingredients. Fresh ginger root is a great source of vitamin C and other minerals, plus lemons or limes are also one of the best sources of vitamin C, while honey has a soothing and antiseptic quality which can help with sore throats. If you can get hold of it, use organic ginger root, which is much stronger than the usual stuff you find in supermarkets.

1) Peel the ginger root (the edge of a teaspoon is good for this) and then begin to grate it into a small dish (if you’ve got the right type of juice machine or blender/grinder you may also be able to use them instead), You can make it as strong as you want but perhaps a heaped teaspoon of grated material per cup is enough.

2) Squeeze a lemon or lime, ideally organic ones of you can find them. Again, use as much as you want but half a lemon might be enough for each cup. You’ll also need some good quality honey, and anywhere between one or two teaspoonfuls should be enough per cup, depending on your sweet tooth!

3) Put the grated ginger root, lemon juice and honey into a cup or mug then top up with hot water (also wash and remaining ginger juice off the grater into your cup with hot water). Then, stir until the honey is dissolved. At this stage you can either drink it as it is, with the bits of ginger root making it even healthier, or you can just pour it through a tea strainer to remove these pieces.

Garlic, lemon, olive oil
This next recipe is one which a friend of mine used when he was undergoing chemotherapy for bowel cancer, to help boost his immune system. It can also be helpful if you have a stomach bug, as the garlic is a natural antiseptic, killing bad bacteria in your gut, while the lemon provides vitamin C and the olive oil has antioxidant characteristics. Again, use the best quality organic ingredients if you can get them.

1) You can start by using one crushed garlic clove per serving and try to crush this as fine as possible, perhaps putting it twice through the crusher. You’ll also need the juice of half a squeezed lemon per serving, as well as at least a dessertspoon of olive oil

2) Mix the garlic pieces, lemon and olive oil together in the bottom of a cup. Now, this is actually quite a hard drink to gulp back, thanks to all the garlic pieces. So, I always drink it down quickly, like you would with a shot glass of alcohol, then quickly gulp a few sips of water to wash it down.

You’ll be ‘burping’ with garlic breath for a while afterwards, so don’t do this before a hot date! As you get used to this drink, you might even want to use more than one garlic clover per serving, adding more lemon and olive oil if needed.

My friend regularly took this drink, as well as several other natural health recipes, while undergoing chemotherapy. I am happy to report that he has now been free of cancer for over five years.

As featured in the June 2020 issue of Park Home & Holiday Caravan