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Oct 27, 2014


It's cold and flu season, I've dropped the over the counter chemicals and switched to this home made remedy.

A flu swept through our house last week. It's a frequent occurrence with a toddler around. I don't like any remedy that prevents the sickness from running it's natural course, or any that just mask the symptoms, but I do still want help feeling better. This hot drink can me made with or without alcohol so it can be used for the whole family. It's a combination of tea, ginger, fresh lemon and honey that I find very soothing.

Ginger helps to alleviate nausea and also the spiciness helps the sinuses to get moving. Lemon has antibacterial properties and honey is soothing. The hot tea is warming and while it should be black tea, decaffeinated will work at bedtime. This is also where you can insert a little personal taste, if you like Chai go for it, the spices in Chai tea like cinnamon, will act against your cold as well. Maybe you've lost your mind and prefer Earl Grey, I have no remedy for for that, but you are welcome to use whatever tea you like. Just be sure to double the bags, you'll want it to be strong.

Spirits have a long history as medicinal remedies and if you take a look at a bottle of cough syrup, many still contain alcohol. Plenty of bartenders like to use Jagermeister as a remedy for a long shift as well as a cold, and no one would disagree that it takes like medicine. A little goes a long way but a medicinal remedy was it's intended purpose. The herbs used to produce the flavour are meant to have health properties including some that will work as a cough suppressant, like licorice. Bitters were also meant to act as as digestive and health tonic, so this drink is packed with healthful properties to get you through cold and flu season.

Once I switched there was no going back for me, in particular at night. The popular over the counter hot lemon drinks contain a sleepy time drug that is just not for me. I always wanted to feel the relief and enjoyment that so many others seem to get from these little packets but for me they are a nightmare. I get trapped in a fit full state of twitching limbs (jimmy leg) that I can't wake up from. Not what I consider help to feel better. This recipe on the other hand provides the warmth and comfort of a hot drink, makes you just a little drowsy and contains natural remedies, winner.

The first recipe is the no alcohol version and the second will be a miniature cocktail that can be added to the tea for adults at bedtime.

Ultimate Cold and Flu Fighter
2 C water
2 black tea bags (caffeine optional)
1/2 fresh lemon
2 inches fresh ginger
1 tbsp honey (amber)

Nighttime Relief
(adults) to the above recipe add...
1 oz whisky
1/2 oz triple sec
1/4 oz Jagermeister
2-3 drops angostura bitters

In a large sauce pan add water, lemon and ginger, bring to boil over high heat. Remove from heat add tea bags, steep for 3-5 mins. Strain into large mug add honey and for Nighttime relief for adults add mini cocktail. 

Do you use over the counter or home remedies? Have a special family formula? Let us know in the comments.

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