honey lemon ginger tea – easy remedy for colds, coughs and sore throats

Well, we have completed two weeks of school now and already the cold season has started in our house. We used to think that a childhood spent rolling in the dirt and cleaning horse stalls would give the kids a little extra immunity boost (and maybe it does), but jamming them into a school packed with germy kids seems to undo the good of what the kids like to think of as their “protective layer of dirt”.

I keep honey and lemon at work all year and offer it whenever someone complains of a sore throat (and it just dawned on me why I was voluntold that I am the first aider on site and am now needing recertification again). Lemon, of course, has Vitamin C and immune boosting properties. Honey coats your throat, is a natural antibacterial and acts as a cough supressant. And if you add the warming properties and tummy soothing help of ginger, you have a home remedy for colds, coughs and sore throats. I’m not saying this will cure what ails you, but it will make your throat feel better, warm you up nicely and boost your immune system.

You can make yourself a mug of honey lemon ginger tea, or you can keep a jar of the ingredients pre-mixed in the fridge like I have on hand. I made a jar of it up last night after making a cup of tea for the small squeaky kid, who was squeakier than usual.

You can find a similar product to the pre-mix that I made in Asian or Korean markets, called Yuja Cha. It’s like a citrus marmelade, but is used for hot teas or mixed with cold water for a summer drink. You can easily make some up yourself and because honey never goes bad, is antibacterial and a natural preservative, this will keep for months in the fridge. The components will break down over time and become more marmelade-like. I’ve read that some Korean households keep topping up the honey and lemon and keep the jar going continuously.

Honey Ginger Lemon Tea Mix

  • 1/4 to 1/2 of an organic lemon
  • fresh ginger
  • honey (raw)

Thinly slice the lemon and peel and thinly slice or mince the ginger (I used between 1-2 tsp of minced ginger, you can use your judgement about how much you’d like). I cut the slices into quarters to help them break down faster in the honey. Arrange the lemons (take out the seeds first) and ginger in layers in a clean, sterile jar and cover with honey. Refrigerate until needed. Use a large tbsp of the mixture in a mug of hot water to make tea.

Or if you just want to make yourself a quick mug of tea, you can use these measurements:

Honey Lemon Ginger Tea (1 mug)

  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey

Put ginger in a small bowl and pour 1 cup boiling water over it. Allow it to steep for 5 minutes. Strain into a mug and add in lemon juice and honey. Add more honey, to taste, if needed.

To further kick it up a notch, add a shot of whisky and a pinch of cayenne. If it doesn’t cure what ails you, it might at least help you go to sleep. And no, I didn’t put whisky in squeaky kid’s tea.

And don’t forget that you can make your own homemade version of Vapour Rub, minus the dead dinosaurs (petroleum).

Linked to Frugally Sustainable, Growing Home, We are That Family, Mind Body and Sole, Foy Update, White Wolf Summit Farmgirl, GNOWFGLINS, Gastronomical Sovereignty, Wildcrafting Wednesday

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72 thoughts on “honey lemon ginger tea – easy remedy for colds, coughs and sore throats

  1. Jennifer says:

    Aha! My husband LOVES tea and he gets sick twice as often as I do. Granted, he works around a bunch of germy co-workers and I’m stuck in the house all day. I’m always trying to find some “natural” way of pushing him through a cold rather than give him medicine, poor guy. This is PERFECT! And sounds delicious too. Down with therma-flu! ha! ha!

  2. I will keep this recipe close, you never know when you will need it, thanks :)

  3. You’ve changed –I like it and I like the adult version of your remedy

  4. Somer says:

    Perfect timing, my littlest has the crud right now, protective dirt is all gone and preschool is full of germs. I love that you can just keep topping it off. (and yes, we’re still finishing off a bucket of beautiful organic raw honey my parents got me from Mexico) don’t tell the other vegans, they may come after me with pitchforks ;)

    I love coining of “voluntold”!

  5. Alia says:

    I always turn to lemon and ginger when I’m not feeling well. I love your idea of preparing everything ahead of time so it’s ready to go!

  6. One tablespoon of fresh ginger per cup! That sounds like my kind of recipe (says this ginger fiend)

  7. The cold bug has hit me as well, but for me I think it’s less about who I’ve been in contact with than the hourly change in temperatures that I’m not used to. Honey, tea and lemon has been a staple since I was a teen and just what I’m drinking right now.

  8. naimavanswol says:

    When I had a cold or sore throat, as a kid, my mom always gave me some honey and lemon on a spoon.

  9. Lauren says:

    Love this! Preparing the mix ahead is a great idea.

  10. Allison says:

    Yum! This reminds me of Japanese/Korean citron tea. I’ve had trouble finding fresh citrons in the U.S., but this made me realize I could just make my own version with lemons!

  11. PJ Girl says:

    It’s obviously that time of year as I’ve been thinking of cold remedies this weekend. I would definitely have whiskey with mine… and probably not wait until I am ill :-)

  12. balancedwesomeness says:

    I actually have this every day!!! I am a nurse and swear by this…it also settles upset tummy, gets sick kids to go to school instead of staying home and drinking it all day to avoid an example lol…and gets my metabolism going first thing…love this post! !!

  13. I remember being given a teaspoon of honey for a cold…this would probably work great. I’m not sure I could do it every day, though….

  14. Your jar of honey and lemons looks really inviting – I could drink Honey, lemon and ginger anytime and as I haven’t had a cold for years I need a different excuse to make some. I always take Tissue Salts and Vitamin C at the first sign of anything, and as a precautionary measure I have a quick Dettox swipe of all door handles, key board and telephone in my office every Monday morning (probably the opposite of your theory – but not sure my co-workers would be tolerant of me rolling around in dirt!)

  15. Erin says:

    Hello! I just found you from Foy Update/Eat Make Grow. My little one had a horrible night sleep last night and super runny nose today. This post and recipe was just what I was looking for:)

  16. i’m sick all the time. or at least often enough that i wonder if i don’t have some sort of immune disorder. i’m so going to adopt your tea – hopefully it will help. ack!

    thanks for sharing with us at the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link-up! I hope to see you again this week with more seasonal & whole/real food posts! xo, kristy.

  17. [...] wrote about trying a kohlrabi slaw and a honey lemon ginger tea mix that is nice for colds and sore throats (or even just mixed into a normal cup of tea for a pleasant [...]

  18. Sarah says:

    I had this bookmarked I see, but didn’t print it. See? I NEED to slow down even more….I LOVE THIS! Thank you for sharing Heidi!

  19. Thanks for this recipe! I’m bookmarking this to use the next time I feel a cold coming on.

  20. kathythechickenchick says:

    Bookmarking this one! Thank you.
    Hello, new follower here! I would love to have you link up with my Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!

    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/09/clever-chicks-blog-hop-2-featured-post.html

    I hope to see you there!
    Cheers!
    Kathy
    The Chicken Chick

  21. Sophie33 says:

    I make a similar tea at home!
    Your tea looks so good, so tasty & so comforting too! Yum!

  22. Amber says:

    I think I need some help with this… ( i know that it’s so simple that I should be able to make it work)… but I made this up ahead of time and put into a clean canning jar in the fridge. I thinly sliced my lemon and layered lemon, grated ginger and honey until jar was full. My confusion is I thought that it was supposed to ‘gel up’ a bit. Instead of thickening the honey has turned very runny. My jar is not much thicker than juice. Any advise or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
    P.S. I Love your blog :)

    • Thanks! And I’m sorry, I’ve edited it now to say use only 1/4 to 1/2 lemon – to save yours, take out some of the lemon slices, pour off some juice if you are able, and add more honey. I found that too, after a while in the fridge and meant to change the post.

      • Amber says:

        OK, great. Thank you for such a quick reply. I’ll give that a try. Maybe I’ll divide the jar I have into 2 or 3 batches and make more :)

    • I should add that it will still be slightly thinner than the honey originally was, just because of the lemon juice, but taking out some of the lemons should help.

  23. Princess says:

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over
    again. Anyways, just wanted to say excellent blog!

  24. Lindsay says:

    Thank you so much for the recipe. I’ve seen similar posted on other blogs, but it just said to mix the 3 in a jar, but nothing about what amounts. I just made some this evening, and am very excited to try it!

  25. flower tea says:

    wow, herbal tea, I really like it

  26. Neel says:

    All right, it’s high time I try it…i have a cold almost coming…and I trust your recipe will be delicious warm and small like home, because your recipes always are.

  27. Delicious and healthy. I always rolled my kids in the dirt too to give them immunity! Imagine how many more colds they might have had if not! But it’s the germy stuffy classrooms that get us all, all the time! Love to you all :)

  28. Bames says:

    Will be making this tonight as my Stepmother has a cough and she prefers natural remedies.

  29. Meggs says:

    My whole house is contaminated right now. My dad is coughing up a lung and my younger brother stayed home from school because mom thinks he might have strep throat. YIKES. Anywho, I bookmarked this for later since I don’t have the ingredients. But I DID manage to find a lemon ginger tea among my mother’s store of teas.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  30. biggsis says:

    Love the idea for having the syrup in the frig for a quick cup. Thanks for sharing!

  31. Just made some of this as I have the flu. I made a single cup for me to drink right away and it tastes great and I am not a big fan of anything that tastes strongly of ginger. Question, how long are you supposed to wait for the fridge version before you can use it? I am assuming at least a couple of days for the ginger to be infused in the honey/lemon mixture.

  32. susan says:

    can you put this in a cup of coffee

  33. Pamela C. says:

    Hi Heidi,

    I just discovered your site. Very nice, I will be visiting again. The honey recipe is nice, brings back memories of what my Grandmother gave us in the 50’s when we were sick with cold. She had all the ingredients you have listed but she also had a garlic clove in her jar. We would always feel much better the following morning after the hot tea and honey mixture.

  34. Sophie33 says:

    This is the type,of home-made tea that I love the most for the moment: so good, so tasty in these colder winter months!

  35. Maureen says:

    hi you say slice the lemon, put in a jar, do you remove the peel or with the peel?

  36. Alia says:

    Heidi – I finally made some of your lemon/ginger mix today. I just came back from South America and I managed to catch a cold right before the 15 hour plane ride! Argh! Needless to say, the plane ride didn’t help and I’m totally congested now. I added a few mint leaves I had hanging around. Whenever I get sick, my lungs seem to get the worst of it and mint seems to help me breathe better. Thank you!

  37. […] Honey Lemon Ginger Tea by Lightly Crunchy […]

  38. manish says:

    always get caught by cough when winter starts… and unfortunately it lasts long.. even this time after taking some extra precautions, its day 2 only., still caught by dry cough and hav mucus issue. is this ginger honey lemon too helpful in my case too.?

  39. Oana says:

    I don’t know if someone asked before, but I could use a bit of help. So, if I understood correctly, the honey will be ginger & lemon – infused for the tea. If i want to make another instant version, like put in a jar grated ginger, lemon juice & honey, what would you think the proportions would be ? Thank you !

    • If you want an instant version, I would make it one mug at a time, like the second recipe listed above. I’ve never tried making it with powdered ginger and lemon juice, so I couldnt guess at the measurements for you.

  40. melanie says:

    Just had a friend drop off some ginger honey lemon mix she made I’ve started coughing and been under the weather. This tastes great and I may add a pinch of cayenne pepper

  41. Carmelita says:

    Does it have to be local raw honey ? Will manuka honey work ? Can I just get honey from Walmart or Lucky’s?

    • No, it doesn’t have to be raw honey. However, raw is unpasteurized and retains all of its nutrients and anti-bacterial properties. It is the best option, but not the only one. Any honey will help the mixture taste good and soothe a sore throat.

      • anna says:

        i also have this recipe and i like to add 2 T of horseradish to the mix. it also helps to fight off the infection causing the cough,

  42. […] honey lemon ginger tea – easy remedy for colds, coughs … […]

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