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When it comes to immune-supporting foods, there are tons and tons of options to choose from—after all, each fruit and veggie boasts its own impressive list of antioxidants and nutrients, which is why most experts recommend a diverse, vitamin-rich diet at large to really punch up the immune-supporting benefits.
Celebrity chef, certified nutritionist, and reiki master Serena Poon, C.N., CHC, CHN, would agree: “You don’t have to do all of them, but they all function in a way to really help support your immune system,” she says on the mindbodygreen podcast.
But, like other professionals, Poon does have her favorite selects, one of which happens to be thyme—she steeps the powerful herb with a few other top-notch ingredients (you’ll see below) to make a soothing, herbal tea. “It’s something so simple, but it [helps] so much,” she adds.
How to make Poon’s thyme tea.
Of course, you’ll need the star ingredient—some fresh thyme. Thyme’s immune-supporting powers are well-documented, with its load of antioxidants and flavonoids. In particular, the herb’s essential oils (extracted from its leaves) have been touted as a cold and cough remedy—one double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial even found that a combination of thyme and ivy leaves alleviated coughing fits, as well as other symptoms of acute bronchitis.
Poon also uses “a little bit of citrus,” like lemon, in her concoction. As you may know, lemons are packed with vitamin C, an antioxidant that plays a key role in immune health and tempers inflammation by fending off free radicals.
Finally, she stirs a bit of manuka honey: The golden goop is also a well-known immune system stalwart, as it contains tons of anti-inflammatory flavonoids. One study even showed that manuka honey could stimulate immune cells, while another revealed that it may help inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Plus, sipping on a honey elixir just feels good: The viscous texture has been shown to help coat and soothe the throat.
Now that you have the recipe breakdown, here’s exactly how to replicate Poon’s thyme tea:Print
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp. manuka honey
- Place 3 sprigs of fresh thyme in 1 cup of boiled water. Let it steep and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Strain the mixture into a teacup, then squeeze in half of a lemon and stir in 1 tbsp. of manuka honey.
- Sip and enjoy!