Anyone out there suffering a cold may well have made themselves a fresh squeezed lemon and honey drink as it is well
known and often used as a comforting cold remedy. The lemon, which can be substituted for lime (a flavour I prefer), alongside containing vitamin C, is a strong antibacterial and antimicrobial fruit, all good things when fighting a cold. Honey, of course, has a delicious sweet flavour and is soothing to the throat. Each honey is unique with slightly different qualities depending on which flower nectars the bees were gorging on before making it. Still, all honey has antibiotic, antiviral and immuno-stimulating properties, so clearly another good choice. In addition it has been found to help improve bronchial conditions and sinusitis, both of which can of course develop with a cold. But why stop there? Adding both ginger and cayenne to this common cold remedy can massively increase its healing potential.
Ginger helps break fevers by promoting perspiration, so is especially useful if you have flu. If you have a cough ginger can help move bronchial mucous up and out of your system. Use fresh ginger, organic if you can get it. Start with a piece about 1/2 the size of your thumb, building up to whole thumb size once you’re used to its spicy zing. You can either mince it or grate it, then leave to infuse in hot water for around 20 minutes or dice it and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
Finally the cayenne! Cayenne is a potent pain reliever and so a wonderful addition if you have an accompanying headache or the painful joints that come with flu. It is an antiseptic and will also help break up mucous in the respiratory tract, making it easier to expel.
So there you have it a more potent, spicy twist on an old favourite! Drink with caution if you are taking medication for blood thinning (as this is a natural action of ginger) or if you have a stomach ulcer. Do not continue drinking beyond 4 consecutive days if you are pregnant.
For each mug of hot water add:
1/4 fresh squeezed lemon/ lime juice
1 tablespoon organic wildflower honey
1/2-1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Drink 3-6 mugs daily until your cold has gone!
To discover many more simple remedies check out my book “The Medicine Garden”