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).