Boost Your Body's Defenses

Turbocharge your body’s natural ability to fight off the common cold, flu and other bugs – and spend pennies instead of hard-earned dollars!
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Turbocharge your body’s natural ability to fight off the common cold, flu and other bugs – and spend pennies instead of hard-earned dollars!

Drink your way to good health! Discover 5 Immune-Boosting Hot Drinks!

I attend many expos as a part of the exciting things I do to stay in touch with my readers and fans. I adore this aspect of my job. I can’t imagine not attending the Arnold Sports Festival, for example, because the experience leaves me feeling enriched with stories and fan love for the rest of the year. But I know I will be standing on my feet eight hours a day for three days straight, not eating properly, shaking thousands of hands and not getting nearly enough sleep. I need to prepare for this as though I am going to battle. My immune system needs weapons to help me stay healthy and happy.

When I pack my bag for this fan-love marathon, I fill a small zip-top bag with top immune-boosting players. Meet some of the cast: ginger root,garlic, Pneuma-Zyme, vitamin C, turmeric/curcumin gels, colloidal silver and iodine (as my cancer shield), hydrochloric acid (HCL) tablets, raw honey and coconut oil.

See also5 Supplements to Start Taking Now.

Treat Your Immune System Gingerly

Taking center stage is ginger root. This odd-looking rhizome looks more like a Halloween prop, but holds natural medicinal compounds perfect for shoring up immunity in the face of cold and flu season. You may have reached for ginger primarily to deal with stomach upset as it has spectacular results in that department, but its strength lies in its immune-boosting superpowers. Ginger stimulates all aspects of immune function by firing up the circulatory system, warming the body and bringing on a sweat, thus boosting the body’s ability to detoxify itself of harmful agents. At the root of it, ginger is a stimulant with anti-inflammatory properties.

Ginger also increases white blood cell activity by phagocytosis, which is the process of chewing up white blood cell debris (can you picture Pac-Man here?). The knobby root also activates T cells, according to a 2008 article in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. A critical piece of our immune system, T cells are a group of white blood cells that devour foreign cells as well as tumor cells. Therefore, ginger supports the body's own natural defense mechanisms.

When your immune system is compromised, as I often feel it is when I sit on a plane even for a few hours, ginger is ideal for resetting the immune system. This rebalancing lends power to the entire set of mechanisms we are programmed with, moving us back to a place of health. When I travel, I swallow a few ginger gels to keep my tummy happy and my immune system on high alert.

Strangers In The House

Your personal “house” – the human body – needs daily cleaning. The body is equipped with spectacularly efficient systems that push out toxins, recycle necessary and precious materials and cleanse and rebuild itself. But today, we are exposed to foreign chemicals like never before. These strangers in your house are called xenobiotics. Xenobiotics are foreign substances that are neither produced by the body nor part of your daily diet. You could classify xenobiotics with pharmaceuticals, cigarettes, recreational drugs and in my opinion, processed sugars and foods. All of these cause untold human suffering and damage in the forms of cancer, addiction, disease and death. According to research studies conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research in New Delhi, ginger may be effective in eliminating such unwanted chemicals from the body, while scientists at Georgia State University have discovered that whole ginger extract shows promising effects in stopping the growth of prostate cancer cells.

See also Get Proactive: How to Eat to Prevent Cancer.

Ginger Facts

  • Enhancer: Ginger is well known as a carrier herb, meaning it can enhance the effect of many other herbs. It is often found in combination with herbs like echinacea for this very reason. Together, these herbs work more effectively to deliver optimal health.
  • Fat Burner: Ginger is an excellent warming food, meaning it stimulates blood flow, boosts your metabolism and increases fat burning! Ginger also seems to blunt the appetite. So, the spicier your food, the less you want to eat.
  • Antiemetic: Ginger’s natural oils work to reduce nausea, vomiting and other symptoms often caused by motion sickness, pregnancy and other stomach upset conditions.
tosca ginger

Stay warm and fend off the flu with this simple ginger tea and ginger syrup.

Ginger Tea


  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1-inch piece raw ginger root
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1/4 fresh organic lemon


Place ginger, honey, and lemon in one 8-oz mug. Pour water over all ingredients and let stand for 5 minutes. Drink and repeat as necessary throughout the day.

Ginger Syrup

This Ginger Syrup can be used in tea, in hot water with lemon for soothing a sore throat and in baking for a spicy-sweet alternative! Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of this immune-boosting ginger syrup to 1 cup of hot water.


  • 1 cup grated fresh ginger root, peel removed
  • 1 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 fresh organic lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1 1/2 cups water


  1. Bring water to a boil in medium saucepan. Meanwhile, grate ginger and set aside. Zest lemons and set aside; squeeze juice from lemons and set aside.
  2. Place grated ginger and zest in boiling water. Let mixture return to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Let mixture boil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and add honey and lemon juice. Stir well and pour through a fine mesh sieve into a glass mason jar. Seal jar tightly.

Note: :Keep mixture in fridge for up to two weeks.

When nutritional therapy practitioner Tosca Reno was raising five children under one roof she still managed to write numerous books. Her New York Times best seller is Your Best Body Now (Harlequin, 2010), and Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Cookbook (Robert Kennedy Publishing, 2009) was nominated for the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Award. Order copies of her books at