The peak of cold and flu season is now here – many of us can’t seem to get away from all the coughing and sneezing and hand washing still remains our best line of defense. People undergoing treatment for cancer however are at an increased risk of infection due to the effects of treatment on their immune system. Cancer patients may have abnormally low levels of neutrophils in the blood (called neutropenia) and neutrophils are a kind of white blood cell that helps prevent and fight infections.
If you are undergoing treatment for cancer and come down with the common cold or mild flu*, this infection fighting tea could help reduce the severity and duration of your symptoms.
1-inch fresh ginger root, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons raw honey if you have a sore throat
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground turmeric, and a pinch of cayenne pepper, or to taste
Add all ingredients to 3 cups of water in a small saucepan. Stir until the honey is dissolved and bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low and let mixture simmer for at least 30 minutes. Strain into a mug and enjoy warm or cold all day long.
*Consult a health-care provider if you have: fever higher than 390C (380C if you are undergoing chemotherapy), unexplained skin rash, change in consciousness, weight change or if your symptoms do not improve after 10 days.