I don’t remember where I first learned about this tea, but I can tell you that I have been making it and recommending it for years. If you make this tea at the first sign of sickness, your cold will run in the other direction. It is simple, fresh, and incredibly powerful.
I ran into a version of a recipe for this tea in Body into Balance, by Maria Noel Groves, and I have seen many other versions on lots of recipe websites over the years. However you decide to tweak it, the three basic ingredients are the same, and they are what conquer your cold.
Lemons are high in vitamin C, which supports the immune system and reduces the risk of complications from the cold or flu, and reduces inflammation. Lemons also naturally give you a boost of energy with electrolytes.
I use half a lemon, cut into slices, and squeezed before I drop them into my cup.
Ginger is best known for its ability to get rid of nausea, but it actually has even more abilities. It is an antimicrobial which means it can kill viruses and bacteria (aka kill that cold). Ginger can also fight respiratory infections, lower inflammation, boost detoxification, increase circulation, and eases pain.
The ginger used for this tea should always be fresh. I use a lot of ginger, usually half to one whole teaspoon of finely chopped or grated ginger. If that is too much for you, use a bit less.
Honey sweetens your tea and makes it more pleasant to drink. The main reason why we care about putting it in this tea is that honey can naturally ease your cough. Honey also has a lower glycemic index (meaning your blood sugar level does not rise and fall as fast), while at the same time being sweeter than sugar, so you don’t need as much. Depending on the honey you buy, there may be small amounts of vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants.
Add honey to taste, while making sure that you leave room for the lemon and the ginger flavors to come through.
Hot water is the last ingredient. There are two main reasons why it helps kill your cold. The first reason is that the heat and the steam can help break up congestion, whether it is in your face or your chest. The second reason is that it adds hydration to your body and helps the lymph system and immune system flush out your cold.
I’m not too careful about the amount of hot water that I use. I like to find a big mug (or an insulated tumbler if I’m going somewhere) and fill it up.
Some might prefer to strain the tea so that only liquid gets into the cup. Personally, I like to throw everything into a mug. I like to let the lemon and ginger continue to seep nutrients into the water, and I’m even okay with actually drinking some of the finely chopped or grated ginger, but don’t feel like you need to eat all of it out of your mug when you have finished the tea.
I used this tea to get me through college when it is so easy to be under the weather and I still use it whenever I feel a sore throat coming on.
Groves, M. N. (2016). Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care. https://www.amazon.com/Body-into-Balance-Holistic-Self-Care/dp/1612125352.
Hernandez, D. (2016, August 18). The health benefits of lemon. Vital Record. https://vitalrecord.tamhsc.edu/health-benefits-of-lemon/.
Lewin, J., Penny, J., Shaw, J., & Jones, C. B. (1970, July 23). Sugar substitutes – honey explained. BBC Good Food. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/sugar-substitutes-honey-explained.