It’s that time of year when everyone or someone is not quite feeling well with colds, sore throats, body aches, and headaches. As much as we try to avoid becoming ill, eventually the cold catches us at least once per year, and it’s usually when we’re most stressed. Medications to temporarily offer relief from annoying dry coughs, nasal drippings, and pounding headaches; vitamins promising over night cures; and a wise visit to a doctor for practical treatment are one of the many ways to seek relief from minor colds. Occasionally, I patiently wait for a soothing cup of Ginger Lemon Tea, a classic homestyle treat.
As pretty as the name sounds, this is actually a bittersweet tea that goes down mighty spicy as it soothes a sore throat and breaks up mucus along the way. It’s a classic home remedy I prefer over store-brought cold medicines. The astringent lemon juice helps reduce mucus, the honey soothes a sore throat and the spiciness of the ginger acts as a decongestant. Easily increase the ingredients to make a larger pot of tea when everyone in your household is not feeling well or to store the excess in the refrigerator and reheat as needed.
Every household has their own version of this tea. Some people add fresh rosemary. Someone once suggested including garlic, which is a powerhouse cold fighter. The addition of cayenne pepper is said to reduce body aches. Of course, Southern lore has a version of this with rum, whiskey, or moonshine to supposedly chase the cold demons away (Any doctors want to verify this alcohol version as myth or fact?).
Most of my colds are caught while being under stress. It’s the point, in which I have no choice, but to relax, slow down, and be still. In truth, most cold treatments offer relief from the symptoms, for the cold naturally leaves the body after a few days. If not, schedule an appointment with your family doctor. When feeling under the weather, all I want is this Lemon Ginger Tea, a few echinacea pills, a steaming hot shower, and an extremely early bedtime. It’s my body on spa vacation at home.
How do you fight or prevent a cold?
Lemon Ginger Tea
- 3 lemons; quartered, more as needed
- 3 to 4 inch long fresh ginger; roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup honey; more or less, depending on a personal taste
- Filter Water; as needed
(Note: Ingredients can be easily doubled or tripled; adjust quantities for a personal taste)
- Place first 3 ingredients (squeeze the lemon quarters) into a medium saucepan. Fill with filtered water until it’s about one inch away from the rim.
- Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and reduce heat to a rapid simmer for about 40 minutes to 1 hour, or when the liquid is reduced to half. Strain contents over a bowl. Discard lemons and ginger.
- Pour into a cup, squeeze a fresh quarter lemon and be well.