Remember I mentioned I was sick? I had a chest cold with hard heavy mucus, a super sore throat and I could barely speak. I was exhausted and frustrated I couldn’t cough anything up. Of course, my beloved Fernando went to the store and got me all kinds of Nyquil and other cough syrup expectorants. Guess what? Other than putting me to sleep, none of them worked. Why in my time of need, did I forget I was a medicine woman?
Being as sick as I was, I knew I wouldn’t be able to drive around looking for any fancy herbs. I went back to my herbal class notes and Kami’s new book The Herbal Kitchen (which I HIGHLY recommend) to remember which ingredients I had at home to help me get over this cold.
What did I pick?
Here’s a rundown of my selections.
Honey: It helps stuff taste better and it helps with sore throats. Plus, being anti-bacterial, I needed all the help I could get with killing germs.
Cinnamon: To help break down the mucus and as an expectorant. Also it just tastes and smells good.
Garlic: In Kami’s book, The Herbal Garden, she mentions some thing about garlic that I didn’t remember from class. Garlic boosts the production of white blood cells. If that’s not reason to eat it, drink it, slather yourself in it, I don’t know what is. But beyond that, garlic just helps get rid of colds. And it tastes good.
Cayenne Pepper: Now I know that it’s also like cinnamon, as it helps break down mucus and an expectorant. Plus it just gets your blood moving!
Ginger: My family believes in the medicinal properties of ginger. If I felt naseaus, my grandpa would give me preserved ginger to suck/chew on. If I had a stomach ache, here came more ginger. Plus, he cooked a lot with it. For me, I don’t care that I don’t know how it works. All I know is that this is a staple in our house. Oh yeah and it tastes good too.
Did you notice a theme about stuff tasting good here?
What I love about this tea, is not only did it kick my cold’s a$$, but really, it’s stuff we all have in our house. And this tea was insanely easy to make. For the most part, I don’t use measurements, but I’ll try and give you approximates.
First, cut off a small piece of ginger and grab a clove of garlic. Dump them both in a pot of water and bring to a boil. I usually let the water boil down a little bit, but you can decide how strong you want this mixture.
While this is boiling, get your other ingredients in the cup.
Generally, I put in enough cinnamon to thickly coat the bottom of my mug.
Then add a dash of cayenne. (Or more if you like)
And lastly, a little honey. In this picture, it’s probably about a teaspoon, but you can add more to your taste.
After you’re done boiling your garlic/ginger water, add it to the cinnamon/cayenne/honey mix.
Now stir, stir, stir! And there you have it. Swampy, murky looking water that tastes almost like real Mexican hot chocolate. This stuff had me up and moving again within a day of drinking it. I started coughing things up, sweating like crazy and within 3 days, I was able to go back to work. I still sounded like crap, and not everything had come out, but I was able to finish a whole day at work without being overly exhausted.
I don’t know why I forgot to make my own medicinal teas at the onset of my cold, but believe you me, it won’t happen again.
P.S. As always, I’m not a doctor and use your own judgement when it comes to your health. But let me know if you try this tea and if it works for you too.