• Laura Warren

Flu Fighter Oxymel


Preparing your own herbal concoctions at home is easy, satisfying, wallet friendly and will be really effective!

I recommend preparing a little natural remedies cabinet in autumn so that when the virus season hits you’ll be well and truly ready and won’t have to resort to immune-suppressing, artificial-flavouring laden, over-the-counter medication.

This is one of my favourite homemade remedies that's always sitting in the pantry ready for that 'oh no' moment.

It’s called a Flu Fighter Oxymel and it’s very easy to make.

If you have never heard the fancy word ‘oxymel’, it is just a traditional preparation that mixes honey and vinegar with medicinal plants.

Historically, honey was used as a preservative and a flavouring agent to mask some of the stronger tasting herbs while vinegar also acts as a preservative and a solvent to which the herbs were added.

The advantage of preparing your own oxymel is that it is very cheap and easy to make and it will last a year in the cupboard as garlic is a strong antibacterial agent.

Some fast facts on Garlic

  • Its medicinal properties were well known to the Egyptians as well as the Romans

  • Garlic is an antibacterial super food

  • Modern technology has enabled herbal manufacturers to analyse the amazing phytochemical composition of garlic confirming its undisputed antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and immune enhancing properties, making it an all-round winner winter remedy.

  • Garlic has strong anticoagulant properties, making it a good herb for high blood pressure and cardiovascular health.

  • Garlic is that it’s very high in inulin, a type of fructan that beneficial gut bacteria such as Bifido and Lactobacilli like to consume. Up to 16% of a garlic clove is inulin, so when consuming garlic, you’re getting a great dose of both the anti-bacterial compounds and prebiotic effect at the same time.

  • Garlic is that it is rich in minerals. As well as sulfur, mentioned above, it also contains calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium.

Preparing Garlic

To get the most out of the garlic you have to consume it raw. Garlic’s amazing antibacterial properties come from a sulfur compound called allicin, which is only formed when garlic is freshly chopped or crushed.

The crushing releases the enzyme alliinase, which then produces allicin. Unfortunately alliinase is heat sensitive and is lost in the cooking process, so if you chop then fry your garlic straight away you won’t get any allicin and therefore the health benefits aren't as awesome.

One trick to avoid losing the alliinase through heat is to chop up the garlic finely and letting it rest for ten minutes before cooking as this has been shown to be the time needed for alliinase to work its magic.


Flu Fighter Oxymel

Ingredients

  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced

  • 1 red or white onion, peeled and finely sliced

  • 3 tbsp fresh ginger, finely sliced

  • 3 tbsp fresh turmeric, finely sliced

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or one finely sliced cayenne pepper

  • Roughly 20 leaves fresh oregano or thyme finely sliced

  • 1 cup raw apple cider vinegar (with the mother)

  • 1/3 cup raw local manuka honey.

Method

  • Place the garlic, onion ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper and oregano leaves glass jar with a plastic lid. Do not use a metal lid as the vinegar will corrode it.

  • Pour the vinegar into the jar. Replace the lid and shake to stir.

  • Shake the mixture 1-2 daily for 1-2 weeks.

  • After 2 weeks, strain all the herbs using a muslin cloth or sieve.

  • Add the honey and mix well.

  • Place in a clean jar and replace the lid. Add a label with date and name of preparation.

  • Store in a dark cupboard until needed.

For coughs, colds, sore-throats and flu-like symptoms take:

Adults: 2 tsp every 1-2 hours depending on severity of symptoms.

Children: 1/2 tsp every 2 hours.

This in combination with mineral water, broths and essential oils has proven time and time again to be a winner against colds, tonsillitis and even strep throat in our house. Hope it can work its magic in yours too!!