Friday, 27 March 2020

Building up your immunity

As  regular readers would know we have cancelled our Simple Living Toowoomba workshops for the time being due to the current crisis caused by the Corona virus. We had planned to have a workshop on herbs in May which Joan from Budgee Garlic and Herbs was going to present but unfortunately it had to be postponed. 

However Joan has kindly put together some information on how to build up our immunity at this time which you might find helpful: 

Products traditionally used to improve immunity and fight disease
Marinated (pickled) Garlic

According to the spice guide, pickled garlic is great for reducing risk of colds. It states that anyone looking for a cure for colds, this really is as close as you can get. This us because colds and numerous other illnesses are caused by a weakening of the body’s immune system and f colds and you can strengthen your immune system with pickled garlic. So if you are prone to colds then garlic might be just what you need! Full of antioxidants, pickled garlic has been proven to lower the risk of colds and reduce the length of symptoms by up to 70%. Why not add pickled garlic to your diet and start building that immune system today.

The Spice guide also attributes pickled garlic with being low in kilojules, and having the ability to lower blood pressure, reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, Increase longevity, protect cognitive functions, and better athletic performance.

10 Health Benefits of Black Garlic: 
 It helps to fight cancer growth
It is loaded with antioxidants
Boosts immunity
Reduces bad cholesterol
Improves brain function
Boosts heart health
Reduces inflammation
Helps in digestion
Preserves cognitive function
Cure for allergies

Mother of Herbs
A new product in our range is “Mother of Herbs. It is a delicious herb that can be made into a tea or added to cooking for a lovely taste that similar to oregano and marjoram with hints of thyme, savory and sage. According to Herbs are Special you can make a Mother of Herbs tea for bronchitis, asthma, coughs, viral conditions, to relieve indigestion and stomach cramps, convulsions, as a liver tonic and for pain relief. A leaf can been rubbed or laid on the forehead, to relieve headaches.
Also known as  All Purpose Herb, Cuban Oregano and Fruit Salad Herb. It has aromatic leaves that can be used as a flavouring for meat, vegetables or chopped and toasted on bread and butter. A bedtime tea to induce sleep. The antiseptic leaves are also chewed to relieve a sore throat. 
Bay leaves
In her book “How Can I Use Herbs in my Daily Life", Isabell Shipard tells us that early Roman’s used Bay Leaves to fortify and safeguard them from contagious diseases. They would make a bay tea and sip it to ward off infectious diseases like measles, mumps and small pox. She states that Bay Leaves can be used to treat a variety of conditions including coughs, sore throats and shortness of breath (page 46).
Make a tea from one or two crushed leaves to a cup of hot water (you can also add lemon, lime or orange zest) and seep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and sip slowly. Also add Bay Leaves to your cooking.
Rosemary has been hailed since ancient times for its medicinal properties. It has been traditionally used to help alleviate muscle pain, improve memory, boost the immune and circulatory system, and promote hair growth. Rosemary has a range of possible health benefits including containing antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, improving digestion, enhancing memory and concentration. Add rosemary to your cooking or include it in your herb tea but don't overdo it as there can be side effects if taken in very high doses.

Other herbs that have traditionally been used to enhance immunity and assist with fighting disease include:
Aloe Vera
Green Tea
Lemon Balm
Olive Leaf

The above is not medical information, it describes traditional use and folk lore. Although all these foods are considered safe in small amount, If you have a pre-existing condition, are on medication, pregnant or breast feeding you should seek medical advise before consuming.

Many thanks to Joan for putting that information together for us and if you would like to order some herb and garlic products Budgee Garlic and Herbs have a webstore.  At the moment they are also selling at the Farmers' Market which has introduced strict protocols for those attending. It will be for food related stalls only. The way things are changing every day who knows how long the market will be allowed to open though.

I hope everyone is keeping well. Unfortunately one of our local families is grieving the loss of a loved one who contracted the virus on a cruise ship. I am sure we all send our condolences to them at this sad time.

Have a wonderful weekend and stay safe.


  1. Thank you for sharing this information. I have a honey/garlic syrup I just made up. Black garlic, interesting never even knew it existed. I'll have to read up on that. stay well.

    1. Faith, I was going to make some black garlic myself but it is a long process so bought a bottle instead.

  2. This is a really interesting and helpful post, Chel. I grow some of those herbs in my garden here. A friend gave me a cutting of Mother of Herbs and it's now growing lushly as the border plant in one of my garden beds. (I have to keep on top of it or it would swallow all the other plants up!) I have a Bay tree growing in a pot and always add it's leaves to soups and stews. I must try drying the leaves on day too.

    Keep well!

    1. Meg, perhaps that herb might be better in a pot 😀 I think I had some years ago but seem to have lost a lot of plants during the heat of summer when I wasn't diligent enough in keeping an eye on them. Glad the tips were useful.

  3. I am sticking to my usual diet, just making sure we keep eating fresh fruit and veg.

    1. Good idea. I just hope our Farmers' Market stays open so I can keep buying veggies there but I doubt that will happen seeing as we are not encouraged to go out much.

  4. Dear Nanna Chel, Anything to help our immunity is good! I am going to try the Bay leaf tea as I have fresh organic Bay Leaves on hand. Also I have access to plenty of rosemary. Thank you! Stay safe and well! With love

  5. Annabel, you must be so very happy you moved out of the city when you did. You are well set up to survive this crisis. Stay safe.

  6. Fantastic, Joan could share those articles through your blog, to get the word out for alternatives. I'm going to read the articles and see what I can procure from my pantry. I'm interested in what one can do with aloe vera too. Because it grows in abundance here! I may have to do my own research and experiment, with that.

    1. Chris, aloe vera grows well here too although I did find a big bunch under weeds the other day. Oops!

  7. Thank you for this information Nanna Chel. My immune system has been a bit low caused by stomach acid issues, so I will try some of your recommendations. I have some of those herbs growing in my garden, so that is a start!

    Stay safe and well,

    1. Tania, that's no good having tummy problems. I hope it is resolved soon.


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