#5 Elderberry Syrup

Whenever I am coming down with a virus, I start to get a tickle in the back of my throat. That tickle turns to pain and before I know it, that pain turns to into a full blown Upper Respiratory Illness (termed lovingly as a “URI” in the medical World.)

Here in the Northern US, we get viral colds and flu all the time. My children go to public school and I work in a hospital, so getting sick in the Winter time is very common in our home.

I keep Elderberry Syrup in our refrigerator for “Emergency Purposes.”

Emergency in this case means, whenever that suspicious feeling starts creeping into the back of my throat, I take 1 Tablespoon of Elderberry Syrup every 4-6 hours when I am awake (up to 3 times per day) and often I escape the full blown ‘knock you to your knees” illness.

Who has time to lay on the couch and be sick? We have great things to do with our lives and, if you are a parent like me, many people depending on me.

Elderberries have been used in traditional remedies for years and the research points to its “immune boosting” abilities especially with viruses causing colds and flu-as referenced in reviews on WebMD.

Although the research is still progressive, I have purchased organic Elderberry/Blueberry Syrup for over 3 years and have noticed a significant drop in days missed from school and work in my family. There is no need to purchase this exact syrup (some people even make there own), but I always make sure there is a least a half a bottle on my fridge shelf at all times.

#4 Fresh Ginger

I love everything about ginger-my husband however-only needs to smell it and instantly his intestines flop!

He and I have very different constitutions, but Ginger tends to sooth and aid my integestion.

Ginger was placed in my tea while I was at my first Chopra-Center event in Carlsbad California in 2007 and I haven’t made myself a cup of tea without it since!

About a teaspoon of fresh-finely chopped ginger turns a cup of plane tea into a pungent drink that settles my belly in times of queeziness and satisfies my sugar cravings.

Sometimes in the afternoon, all I can think about is having something sweet to satisfy and energize me. Tea with fresh ginger and honey in the winter, and cool water with ginger lemon and honey in the hot summer months, is my Go-To drink. It ranks way above what any carbonated soda or juice can do for me. Plus WebMd resources it as potential anti-inflammatory affects especially in the colon.

So if you were like me as a kid, and your mother gave your “ginger-ale” when you were feeling nauseous, or “ginger chews” when you were motion-sick, get excited! The anti-nausea properties in these tinctures from your Mum-are “ten-Xed”(multiplied by ten) when it is fresh ginger.

#3 Fresh Raw Local Honey

When I’m asked what is the difference between honey and cane sugar as a sweetener, I have to answer “its source.” If there is truth to “We are what we eat,” then let me be honey! I love that honey originates from wild flowers. These flowers were grown by Sun, Wind, Rain and Soil, then individually the busy bees gathered their pollen and brought it back to the hive to steep in the warm Sun to make amber goodness.

In today’s age of everything being automated and processed by machines before it hits our plate, it only makes sense that fresh local honey contains nutrients and information that have not been destroyed by man’s processing.

I purchase my honey fro a local bee keeper and I can taste its flowery contents in every bite. He tells me that his wife’s seasonal allergies and eczema are better since she eats their honey. If we look to the concept of “allergy shots,” where the patient goes into their Allergist’s Office for weekly shots which are tiny doses of the Allergen (the substance the person is allergic to) so that they can slowly build up a tolerance to the offending item. This too would make sense that if you slowly ingest tiny amounts of the flowers that are causing your immune system to react with seasonal allergy symptoms, maybe you can build a tolerance.(I have not seen this proven but it surely does make common sense.)

In Ayurveda, honey is said to have a sweetening affect on the tongue, but a warming affect to the body, and it is said to be one of the top most important foods for life.

I use local honey whenever I desire added sweetness (especially in my tea and on fresh fruit and nuts) and I love the thought of ingesting the knowledge and information from the wild flowers and bees in my surroundings.Yum!

#2 Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

The use of Coconut Oil has by far changed my baking AND my mornings. I grew up in a home where “Crisco Vegetable Oil” was used as the solid fat in all baked sweets and breads, as well as it was the thick white film that “greased” the pan of these baked items. Your home may have had animal fat or “lard” for this same use.

I don’t want to turn this is into a discussion about the studies showing reduction in belly fat or reduced hunger with coconut oil, my biggest point for using this is that I believe that as much plant based fat we can consume is important AND the Medium Chain Triglycerides (like those found in Coconut Oil) have many human digestion benefits over the Long Chain Triglycerides in most other common fats.

I am dairy sensitive and when I replaced my dairy creamer with this lovely tasty fat in my coffee…Oh happy day!!!

And I love greasing my brownies or Birthday cake pans with Coconut Oil and giving them just a hint of that tropical flavor. My friends swear by it to smooth their skin and as a mouth swish, and someday I may try that, but for now, I’m really satisfied just having it in my kitchen!

#1 Licorice Tea

My Go-To tea always contains licorice and, I must admit it is not my favorite taste, but many teas can mask it with other flavors that I love like cinnamon, and that makes it even more enjoyable.

I bring my own bags of licorice tea when I travel, and I ask the flight attended just for hot water. I often get bloated and even constipated with flying and this tea has cured me of birth those annoying symptoms so I can enjoy my travels (I mean who wants to sit by the pool on vacation bloated?) It also has a calming affect and this is another win-win when traveling in my book! No “airplane alcohol to relax” for me!

Licorice in large quantities can elevated blood pressure and therefore I alternate it with my other favorite teas to make sure I’m not having it every day. I love its effects when I REALLY need it and I make sure I have it in my carry-on bag for travel and in my cupboard for evenings when I really need to wind down before sleep.

I am absolutely thrilled to have shared this with you and feel free to email me with any questions you have regarding the above information.

Stay Healthy!!!!!! Dr.Ali