Keep your immune system going strong, one drop at a time, with this bitters.

Consume this healthy tonic for an immune system boost. It’s crafted from ingredients proven to support immune system function:

  • astragalus root
  • angelica root
  • honey
  • ginger

Astragalus, a prominent herb in Chinese medicine, has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Research suggests that the root can boost resistance to infection. Studies performed on animals indicate that it can regulate the body’s immune responses.

A March 2020 study even revealed that taking astragalus to prevent infection with the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is now common in China. However, there’s no evidence yet that herbs can help combat SARS-CoV-2 or the disease COVID-19.

Angelica is native to Russia and many parts of Scandinavia. The root has been used in Chinese medicine to modulate the immune system and treat respiratory ailments and cold symptoms.

Both honey and ginger are powerful antioxidants that also have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Honey activates the immune system’s response to infection and prevents cell proliferation. Controlling cell proliferation is key to stopping pesky viruses.

Ginger has anti-inflammatory effects as well and may be able to help with muscle pain.

This recipe contains only small amounts of:

Here’s a fun fact to keep in mind, though. Pound for pound, the peel of an orange contains almost three times as much vitamin C as the fruit itself.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 oz. dried astragalus root
  • 1 oz. dried angelica root
  • 1/2 oz. dried chamomile
  • 1 tsp. dried ginger
  • 1 tsp. dried orange peel
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp. cardamom seeds
  • 10 oz. alcohol (recommended: 100 proof vodka)

Directions

  1. Dissolve the honey in 2 teaspoons of boiling water. Let cool.
  2. Combine the honey and the next 7 ingredients in a Mason jar and pour alcohol on top.
  3. Seal tightly and store the bitters in a cool, dark place.
  4. Let the bitters infuse until the desired strength is reached. It’ll take about 2–4 weeks. Shake the jars regularly (about once per day).
  5. When ready, strain the bitters through a muslin cheesecloth or coffee filter. Store the strained bitters in an airtight container at room temperature.

How to use it: Mix this bitters into hot tea or take a few drops first thing when you wake up for protection during cold and flu season.

Q:

Are there any concerns or health reasons someone shouldn’t be taking this bitters?

A:

This bitters should be avoided by people who are looking to prevent or cure COVID-19. There is no scientific evidence that it has any effect on this particular virus. Go to your closest appropriate clinic for testing and medical treatment. Also, children and pregnant or lactating people should avoid, and people who have any preexisting medical condition should consult a medical professional before initiating.

– Katherine Marengo, LDN, RD

Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.

Healthline

Tiffany La Forge is a professional chef, recipe developer, and food writer who runs the blog Parsnips and Pastries. Her blog focuses on real food for a balanced life, seasonal recipes, and approachable health advice. When she’s not in the kitchen, Tiffany enjoys yoga, hiking, traveling, organic gardening, and hanging out with her corgi, Cocoa. Visit her at her blog or on Instagram.