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I’ve been creating and drinking elixirs for years now. I live by them.

I began creating and drinking elixirs regularly because I began teaching and wanted something natural to combat all the germs and illness that people contract and then ultimately pass around. Of course I was washing my hands after each class but I wanted something on a deeper level to maximize my resistance to germs. This is how my Illness Fighter elixir was born. I began researching more about the herbs and spices I was already using in my kitchen, to amp up the health factor of my food, to find out just which ones would be best to combine for some real germ fighting power. After a few test recipes and a few contracted colds, I ended on my top five organic germ-busting ingredients. Turmeric, Black pepper, cayenne pepper, fresh lemon juice and unfiltered apple cider vinegar. I add all of the ingredients into a mug and top it off with hot water, allowing the spices and juice to infuse into a tea. Once it’s just cooled enough to drink, I sip my way to continued health. I recommend drinking this anytime you begin to feel, even slightly, under the weather. Or even as a preventative measure when your best friend, co-worker or family member is coming down with something and you want to get out in front of it. As with all of my elixir recipes, adding a green tea bag to your mug with the elixir is a great way to get some added antioxidant power into your day.

Why did I choose these ingredients? I’ve listed them each below.

Turmeric: This legendary spice is a rockstar. It contains a compound called curcumin which is what gives turmeric its fighting power. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory, it aids in improved digestion of fats and sugars and helps to alleviate inflammation in the digestive system, it has brain boosting power, has loads of antioxidants and has been promoted to encourage heart health. The icing on the cake is its bright yellow color, it adds a touch of gold beauty to any recipe.

Black Pepper: There are two reasons why I use this spice. This first and most important reason is that it is a conduit for the turmeric. Our bodies have trouble absorbing turmeric but when it’s ingested alongside black pepper, problem solved. This is due to the piperine, a natural substance in black pepper that enhances absorption of curcumin by over 1000%. The second reason is simple, I like the taste of it.

Cayenne pepper: As you probably remember, I love all things spicy, however, this is not why I include this spice in this elixir; as the amount I use adds hardly a spark of heat. Cayenne has long been heralded as a healing spice because it helps to stimulate circulation and neutralize acidity. I use it here because it also clears congestion, has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-irritant properties.

Lemon Juice: Lemon juice packs a punch when it comes to health. There are too many benefits than I could ever hope to list here. The bottom line is I use it in this elixir because of its vitamin content. This humble fruit has vitamin C, A, B6, E, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Zinc and Protein.

Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar: Using unfiltered vinegar is of upmost importance as the “mother” within the vinegar is the real health hero here. It’s full of the raw enzymes and gut friendly bacteria that promote healing internally. Loaded with vitamins and minerals, apple cider vinegar aids in almost all areas and functions of your body. My two favorites are regulating blood sugar and helping you maintain a good alkaline ph; both of which help your body fight and prevent illness.