Kick-A-Germ Juice: What Is It, Why Is It & How Do You Make It?
Getting a cold or flu can be a real pain. When life is busy and you have a million things to do, getting sick is the last thing you need. This is especially true right now, since cold and flu seasons have already begun. If you’ve caught a cold this year or know someone who has, you know just how easy it is for viruses to spread like wildfire once they’re out in the world during their season to shine.
The best way to beat the odds of catching a cold or the flu is to keep your immune system in tip-top shape. Why? Because your immune system is your first line of defense and acts as your personal army, fighting off the cold on your behalf. When you start to feel symptoms, chances are your immune system was already alerted to the threat and has begun making moves to rid it from your body.
Keeping the immune system running optimally is essential throughout the year, but there’s only so much a person can do to avoid a dreaded cold or flu. Even your immune system isn’t technically immune! So when symptoms start up and you can feel an illness coming on, it’s time to act. And one simple thing you can do is turn to some healthy and infection-fighting beverages.
What can I drink to boost my immune system?
There are several beverages available to you if you want to give your immune system a quick boost. Many people turn to orange and other citrus juices because of their high vitamin C content, which helps protect the body from damage and increases the body’s ability to fight off infection. The type of juice you choose matters, however. You should opt for freshly squeezed or other options that contain no added sugar, as sugar can sometimes have the opposite effect if you consume too much of it.
Citrus juices also contain other vital nutrients that can help with the action of your immune system, such as:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamins B6 and B9
Particular vegetables and fruits mixed with oranges, such as apples and carrots, also provide a double punch of immune-boosting activity.
Certain herbal teas are good for fighting infection, such as green tea, ginger tea, and peppermint tea. They contain specific properties that help the cells in your body become strong enough to fight off anything that invades.
Another great option is kick-a-germ juice. But what is kick-a-germ juice, exactly? And how does it help with a cold or flu?
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What is kick-a-germ juice?
As the name suggests, kick-a-germ juice is a type of herbal concoction you drink when you want to give the germs in your body a hefty kick! Its primary design is to help people recover from colds or flu faster than they would with typical over-the-counter remedies. It has been trending for quite some time after people stumbled upon it in Dorothy Hall’s cookbooks.
It’s hard to deduce who invented the juice, especially since many reports state that it comes from ancient Chinese medicine, and countless people simply heard about the recipe from their close friends. While its invention is its best-kept secret, its effects and ingredients are available to all.
Is kick-a-germ juice the best juice to drink when you have a cold?
Everything kick-a-germ juice can do for your body while fighting a cold is owed to its ingredients. Unfortunately, there are so many variations that it’s hard to track which one came first. Of all the types, a few common ingredients seem to be present in each. They are:
- Fresh lemon juice
- Cayenne pepper
To understand why this beverage is so good for the immune system, we must first understand why each ingredient stands out. First is the fresh lemon juice. Lemons fall into the citrus category and contain high levels of vitamin C. As mentioned above, vitamin C is one of your immune system’s best friends. The yellow fruit also contains antioxidants, which balance out harmful molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals can damage the body, including immune function. Finally, lemons have antibacterial and antiviral properties, allowing them to fight infection from various angles.
When people think of garlic, their thoughts don’t initially jump to medicine. However, it can do wonders for your body. That is because of a compound known as alliin, which turns into allicin after being chewed or crushed. When allicin is consumed, it converts yet again into compounds that contain sulfur. That transition changes garlic from a simple cooking ingredient into one that boosts the action and response of immune cells that fight infection. Garlic gives your white blood cells the strength they need to fight viruses and other illnesses.
Ginger is another wonder ingredient found in kick-a-germ juice. Aside from containing anti-cancer properties, ginger also can protect the body against the common cold or the flu virus because of its functional ingredients: gingerols, shogaol, and paradols. These compounds help to quell inflammation in the body, which can often get out of control during illness. Because of this, ginger strengthens the immune system by helping it function at its peak.
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Lastly, we have cayenne pepper. Its spice may scare off some, but it’s an essential ingredient because of what it can do for the system. Cayenne pepper contains a compound known as capsaicin, which can aid in regulating the immune system. When immunity is adequately controlled, it can fight off infections better. It also contains high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, further aiding in the overall function of your body’s defense system.
Combining these handy ingredients in kick-a-germ juice means you’ll get four times the fighting power when sick.
How to make your own kick-a-germ juice at home
Preparing kick-a-germ juice is so simple that you can still manage it while you’re sick. Take your favorite mug, and combine the following:
- The juice from one lemon
- 1–2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1–2 teaspoons of fresh ginger, grated (you can use powdered ginger if that’s all you have on hand)
- 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
Other ingredients you can add to the mix include chili powder for an extra dose of capsaicin, turmeric for added anti-inflammatory benefits, and Manuka honey to add a little sweetness.
Once everything is in your mug, top it off with boiling water and mix. When it’s just cool enough to drink, sip and enjoy the soothing benefits! Note that there will be some solid pieces of garlic and fresh ginger, and it’s best to consume those. If you don’t like the texture, you can blend it all in a hot-water-safe blender and enjoy it as a smoothly mixed drink.
Kick-a-germ juice is super easy to make, and it may just give your body the boost it needs to get over your pesky seasonal illness. Cheers!
Featured image by Debby Hudson on Unsplash
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