The rain has really picked up here in the PNW now that that winter has officially begun. And I don’t have to tell you what damp cold weather means: cold and flu season.
However, cold damp weather is also the perfect reason to curl up with a book (side note, I just finished The Distant Hours by Kate Morton, and THAT is the perfect book for this time of year!) and a cup of tea. If you love tea as much as I do, I have the most delicious cold remedy tea you will ever taste. As if the spicy, sweet, aroma that fills your house while it’s brewing wasn’t reason enough, the flavor of this brew is like fall in cup. And although it’s now December, it’s still the perfect season to enjoy a spiced cup of something hot. After sipping on this throughout the day, you should be back on your feet (hopefully getting some christmas shopping or twinkle light viewing done) in no time. You can also drink this brew just because you feel like it (cough cough, me), and it will boost your immune system, preventing your from getting sick in the first place.
Before getting into the recipe, here’s a few words about the ingredients and what makes them so special:
The warming properties of ginger will help to soothe away chills. Ginger is also famous for settling the stomach, so if you’re feeling nauseous you can steep some ginger alone in warm water, or nibble on a crystallized piece. This root is also shown to increase flow in the lymphatic system, which helps the white blood cells that fight infections and viruses circulate and do their job.
Your first reaction to putting garlic in tea might be “Whaaa? Ew!” But hear me out! Garlic contains calcium and potassium, and getting some extra vitamins is never a bad thing. It also contains sulfuric compounds that increase the effectiveness of your white blood cells’ ability to fight infections, viruses, and bacteria.
Another fall/winter staple spice that is a powerful immune booster. Cinnamon essential oil has been shown to slow the growth of microorganisms that can cause the common cold. It is also one of the highest ranking foods for antioxidants, which makes it powerful in fighting inflammation and disease.
As I’m sure you’re aware, lemons are one of the richest sources of vitamin C, which greatly improves the immune system.
Honey soothes a sore or scratchy throat, and is also high in immune-boosting antioxidants. Make sure you choose raw honey, or else it’s little better than a sugary syrup!
Echnicea is one of the best herbs for boosting the immune system. Since it is an herb, you should drink it gradually over time to build it up in your system. It also never hurts to check that it won’t interfere with any medication you may be taking.
Now, on to the recipe!
Spiced Cinnamon Ginger Tea
- 3 cups water
- 1 1/2 inches fresh ginger root
- 4-6 cloves fresh garlic
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1-2 tbsp raw honey
- 2 echnicea tea bags
- Set the water to boil in a lidded pot.
- Thinly slice the ginger and garlic cloves. The ginger does not need to be peeled.
- Once the water is at a rolling boil, add the ginger, garlic, cinnamon sticks, and tea bags.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Keep the pot covered to prevent too much water from evaporating.
- Place a strainer over a thermos or container large enough to contain all of the tea. Pour the liquid through the strainer into the container.
- Squeeze the lemon juice into the tea.
- Add the honey to the tea (to taste, but I usually add 2 tablespoons)
- Stir everything together until the honey dissolves.
And there you have it, a spicy, sweet delicious tea that will soothe away your cold, fortify your immune system, and make you feel warm and cozy head to toe. Enjoy!
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