Come up to the front of the stage – yes you! I have a cure for the common cold that will drive you wild!
OK, so I haven’t actually found a cure for the common cold, and I’m not charismatic enough to be a snake oil salesman. I have, however, come up with a sweet and spicy concoction that can help to soothe sore throats, loosen chest congestion a little… and all without chemicals or drugs.
Let me back this up a bit.
For a while now, I’ve been trying to slowly change parts of my life that are wasteful and I’ve been trying to weed out foods that aren’t healthy, or are full of chemicals or… just aren’t food. Here in Canada, many of us reach for a packet of Neo Citran when we feel the effects of a cold (yes, fellow Canadians, you will get strange looks if you ask for it in the USA). I’ve always liked it, but it’s also creeped me out. It’s a weirdly lemon-pledgey powdered mixture that tastes like there’s a ground up aspirin in it (because there kind of IS one).
Add to that, the fact that the acetaminophen in it doesn’t mix with other cold medications I may take.
I decided to make my own hot lemony drink. I know I’m not the only one, and I’m sure many others have magically come up with the same concoction that I use. I know this must be true, because of its simplicity — there are but four ingredients: water, grated fresh ginger, honey and freshly squeezed lemon.
The result is a sweet, spicy and lemony hot drink that is very soothing.
Get yourself a really big piece of fresh ginger – the chubbier the better, and look for a smooth skin with some shine to it — if it is wrinkly and dull, it is old and not as useful.
- 1/2 c of grated fresh ginger
- 2tbsp honey (this is a good way to use up any honey that has started to crystallize)
- 1-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 c water
I’ve made this a couple of different ways now, and we’ve found a method that seems to work well, except that I’m not sure if boiling the crap out of ginger will kill some of the good-for-you properties of it. I need to figure this out, but am not a scientician.
Here’s how I’ve been making it up lately:
- Grate the ginger into a bowl, trying to keep as much of the liquid as possible.
- Put the ginger and water into a pot on the stove, and simmer it for about 1/2 hour.
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh colander/strainer, pressing on the pulp of the ginger to get more liquid out. Get as much of the liquid out as you can.
- Put the strained mixture back on the stove. The liquid should be opaque and a brownish colour. If the mixture is too transparent or light in colour, put the stove on high and boil off some of the water. Taste it – it should be a very very strong, bitter, gingery taste. It should taste terrible.
- Once you have the perfect awful ginger juice, turn the stove down to a low-med temperature. Add the honey, and make sure it dissolves completely.
- Add the lemon juice, stir it in. Take the mixture off of the stove now, and let it cool. Put it in a container in the fridge, where you can access it as needed.
To drink: Put 3 tbsp of the ginger mixture into a mug, top with hot/boiling water (doesn’t need to be boiling, as it doesn’t need to steep). Ejoy!