Recipe for strengthening Immunity

I’ve been ask to write an article about how people could win this battle against Coronavirus Disease. I am not a medical doctor but my knowledge on Philippine Traditional Medicine could help.

Let us remember what our Grand Mother and Mother does when we are sick. They clean us and keep us warm. They put socks on our feet and cover us with thick blanket so that we get sweat. And lastly they prepare us a meal so that we could recover fast from our illness. Proper Hygiene, Hydration and Diet help us recover quickly from any ailments. And our recovery process within our body is caused by our Immune System.

Lugaw is one of the cheapest but a powerful meal that we could have to strengthen our Immunity. It is made from rice, ginger, onion, garlic, pepper and water to solute. The health benefits of these ingredients are listed down below.


When i was in Brgy. Kinakin, Banaue, Ifugao- Apung Mamerto told us that before our rice been served into the table as food, it passed through numerous rituals. So technically, the rice that we are eating are already ritually blessed.

Rice are the gift of the Gods to humanity specially for the Filipino. I remember that i compare the rice to other grains that when you soaked it into water it will not sprout unlike others. But this grain of rice has a power to boost your energy and sustain life.

It is said that rice can provide you instant energy as well as it can regulate and improve bowel movement and manage blood sugar level. It also plays a role in providing Vitamin B1 to the Human Body.

Vitamin B1 fights against many nervous disorder and helps to improve memory. That is why i remember when i was still at school, my mother told me not to skip my breakfast (which consist of fried rice, egg and tuyo) as it will not make my mind work if i come to school hungry.

Other benefit of rice include its ability to aid skin care, boost metabolism, regulate digestion, reduce blood pressure, boost the immune system and provide protection against chronic disease.

When i was at Mamerto’s place at Kinakin, Banaue- the rice spirit have talked to me that said that they can be used as poultice to mend the broken bones. So i get one table spoon of cooked rice and pound it together with tiger and carabao grass and applied it to the broken leg wrapping it with a banana leaf.


Salabat or Ginger Tea is a popular recipe of our grandfather during the cold weather season. It is also the secret formula of the old singer/ artist to obtain a good voice. But aside from keeping us warm and to have a good voice, Salabat or Ginger Tea is also used to relieve cough.

The active component of Ginger is called Gingerol which has a powerful anti-inflamatory and antioxidant effect. It is said that Ginger is used to help digestion, reduce nausea, and help fight flu and common cold.

According to, Gingerol can help to lower the risk of infection. Fresh ginger may also be effective against the RSV Virus, a common cause of respiratory infection.


Onion or Allium Cepa

Onions contain various vitamins and minerals as it grow underground. I personally eat onion as blood purifier. But in ancient times it is used to cure headaches, heart disease, and mouth sores.

As we have mentioned that Onion are nutrient dense, it highly contains vitamins C that involved in regulating immune system, collagen production, tissue repair and iron absorption.

Vitamins C acts as a powerful antioxidant in our body, protecting our cells against damage caused by Free Radicals.

Onions are also rich in B Vitamins which are folate (b9) and pyrodoxine (b6) which play key roles in metabolism, red blood cell production and nerve function.

Onions are a rich source of fiber and prebiotics, which are necessary for optimal gut health.

prebiotics, which are necessary for optimal gut health.

Prebiotics are nondigestible types of fiber that are broken down by beneficial gut bacteria.

Gut bacteria feed on prebiotics and create short-chain fatty acids — including acetate, propionate and butyrate.

Research has shown that these short-chain fatty acids strengthen gut health, boost immunity, reduce inflammation and enhance digestion.

Additionally, consuming food rich in prebiotics helps increase probiotics, such as Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria strains, which benefit digestive health.

A diet rich in prebiotics may help improve the absorption of important minerals like calcium, which may improve bone health.

Onions are particularly rich in the prebiotics inulin and fructooligosaccharides. These help increase the number of friendly bacteria in your gut and improve immune function.


Allium Sativium aka Garlic

In Philippine folklore and mythology, garlic is known among Filipino as weapon to drive away the Aswang and Manananggal which as form of demon that hunts people at night. Most Filipino foods has garlic on it such as the morning Fried Rice or the Adobo or better yet the Pares meal.

One clove of garlic contains the following:

  • Manganese
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Selenium
  • Fiber
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Potassium
  • Phosporus
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B1

Garlic is also known to boost Immune System.


Piper Nigrum or Black Pepper

Black pepper is rich in plant compound known as piperine, which is found to have a potent antioxidant properties which help prevent and delay the damaging effects of free radicals.

Chronic inflamation may be an underlying factor in many conditions, such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and cancer on which Black Pepper may effectively fight inflamation. I remember that my father also use black pepper feeding to our chicken that has illness and for giving bath when sick.

So with every spoonful of Lugaw coming into your mouth, you are also welcoming these healing agents to be within you to work and strengthen your immune system. By having a daily dose of these food medicine, together with proper hygiene and exercise, we are confident enough that we can overcome this Pandemic situation that we have by protecting our bodies from getting infected.

So stay healthy everyone!


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