I have a trusted immune system booster recipe that really works! I tell all my friends and family (and even random people on the street) to try this because I’m just so impressed with it. If I feel like I’m getting sick, about to get on a plane, or if someone close to me is sick, I use this cold remedy recipe. I’m literally drinking it while I write this article!
I used to get sick all the time! I still get sick every now and then, but this has really helped. The best proof for me is when my fiance gets sick and I don’t catch it (seriously I used to catch everything!). Even if you’re not fighting off a cold or flu, this little cocktail has a lot of health benefits. One of the biggest ones is digestion. You can also use manuka honey topically, but I’m getting ahead of myself here…
So first things first – get some high grade manuka honey, hot tea of your choice (you can get an immune system herbal blend, or just use something that you like), and Cat’s Claw herb tincture. I’ve been using this cold remedy for many years, but my mom recently told me about a way to make it even better. Instead of regular Cat’s Claw, I have been buying Samento (which is a Cat’s Claw extract that is even stronger).
What is manuka honey? Manuka honey is honey from New Zealand that has added anti-bacterial benefits because the bees that make it harvest nectar from the flowers of the manuka tree. This honey contains more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids than other types of honey, making it an incredibly valuable resource. Some of the health benefits of regular honey have been thought to come from the peroxide content (it kills the bad stuff). But manuka honey has even more benefits.
From PRI:Manuka Honey is the only honey found so far that exhibits non-peroxide activity. This is thought to be due to Methylglyoxal, a unique compound found within Manuka Honey.This makes the honey a powerful digestive aid, assisting with allergies and immune defense. It is a potent anti-bacterial agent when used topically for minor wounds and burns. It is also heat tolerant, enabling it to reach your digestive system without losing any of its beneficial properties.
You can also use manuka honey topically for cuts, burns and even acne. Try it as a face mask for clear skin!
Where to get manuka honey? Honey producers have developed a scale for rating the potency of manuka honey. The rating is called UMF, which stands for Unique Manuka Factor. I usually use 15+, but it’s very expensive, so occasionally I’ll go with 5+. PRI sells manuka honey at lower and higher ends of the scale. Their manuka honey 5+ is cool processed (raw) and independently tested so it is guaranteed to have a MG (methylglyoxal) rating of 60mg/kg. PRI sells honey that is cool processed; this means the honey is filtered to extract bits of honey comb that have fallen in the honey. The honey is 100% raw and kosher. When you shop at PRI, get 15% off with code Love15!
What is Cat’s Claw? Don’t worry – Cat’s Claw doesn’t come from cats! It’s actually a vine from the Amazon rainforest. Its thorns resemble a cat’s claws. The extract has many antioxidant, immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. Want to know more? There’s a really great article on Cat’s Claw here.
The reputed health benefits of this indigenous herb have led scientists in the United States and other countries to closely examine its effects in the body. Their findings suggest that this little-known botanical agent exerts powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that support DNA repair, joint health, immune function, and normal cell division.¹
So then what is Samento? It’s a Cat’s Claw extract without TOAs. Do I think you HAVE to buy Samento instead of good old Cat’s Claw? No. It maybe be more effective and potentially safer for those with auto-immune issues. Here’s what NutraMedix (the company that makes it) had to say:
Samento does not contain the tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids (TOAs) that are found in traditional Cat’s Claw. TOAs disrupt central nervous system function and greatly inhibit the effects of the POAs. Some researchers believe that Samento may be as much as 1,000 times more effective than Cat’s Claw. One difference between Samento and Cat’s Claw is that Cat’s Claw is an immune system stimulant and Samento is an immune system modulator. Also, Samento can be used to treat all autoimmune disorders.
Where to get Cat’s Claw (or Samento)? You should be able to find regular Cat’s Claw at Whole Foods or any good health food store. I have been shopping at iherb.com for MANY years because they have great prices and a huge selection. I have been buying my Samento from iherb (1 oz – $33.57) and sometimes from Amazon (1 oz – $42.57 or (2) 1 oz bottles – $67.55 ). If you want to try iherb, you can use my code for 10% off: LIQ007. The bottles are small but they will last you a long time (I use one dropper-full per cup of tea), unless you’re currently fighting something off and taking it several times a day.
Although there aren’t many clinical studies on herbs (no one wants to pay for studies on plants or other natural products because you can’t patent them and get rich!), I can tell you that I’ve tried many herbs and supplements over the years. Some do NOTHING, some have bad side effects, and some are amazing. Everyone is different, and everyone reacts in their own way. My mom, my fiance, my friends and I have all been using this combo to fight colds and flu, and it WORKS for us! I highly recommend giving it a shot (assuming you have no health issues that would make using Cat’s Claw and manuka honey an issue).
The immune system booster recipe:
So easy! Just make a cup of hot tea (again – you can use a cold remedy tea or any tea that tastes good!), add 1-2 teaspoons manuka honey and 1 dropper-full of Samento. That’s it! I will make a cup every now and then, or if my fiance is sick, or I’m feeling like I’m fighting something off, I’ll take it 3-4x a day. You really can’t go wrong here – just don’t take this (or any herb) every single day – your immune system can’t stay in revved up mode ALL of the time.
You really want to be careful and do your research before taking any supplement daily. If you’re pregnant or nursing, I would avoid taking this combo. I would check with a doctor before giving this to kids – from what I’ve read honey shouldn’t be given to children under a year old, and I would be cautious with any herbs.
PRI also has manuka honey lip balm (YES kill those lip germs – haha!) with calendula and coconut oil, and manuka OIL (actually extracted from the manuka tree – no honey involved so it is vegan). The manuka oil is like a lighter form of tea tree oil but with the same antibacterial properties. It smells so much better than tea tree oil (not as strong) but it does have a slightly medicinal scent. I am currently testing it out on my very acne-prone skin, so I’ll let you know how that works out. Note: Pacific Resources only uses the high quality “East Cape Chemotype” manuka oil.
Disclaimer – I’m not a doctor, and this is not medical advice. Check with your doctor before trying any new supplements.
- Williams JE. Review of antiviral and immunomodulating properties of plants of the Peruvian rainforest with a particular emphasis on Una de Gato and Sangre de Grado. Altern Med Rev. 2001 Dec;6(6):567-79.