I was laid up for a couple of days this week with a terrible sore throat, chills and a whopping headache. Looks like Winter has announced itself with vigour and I’m hoping it’s not a sign of things to come.
From my experience as a pharmacist, I know that most winter lurgies are caused by viruses which don’t respond to treatment with antibiotics. The best thing to do is rest, eat plenty of chicken soup, and treat the symptoms with home remedies and over the counter medication (check with your friendly pharmacist first).
As soon as I even get a niggle in my throat I brew up a big mug of my signature Honey, Lemon & Ginger Sore Throat Tea. I always keep a big piece of ginger and lots of lemons in my fruit bowl at this time of year so I can be prepared.
I’ve been sipping this concoction for the last couple of days and it’s been very soothing for my raspy throat. The honey is the important component as it forms a soothing film over the inflamed throat giving you temporary relief. Interesting fact, sugar (or it’s variations) are really the only pharmaceutically effective ingredient in most supermarket sore throat lozenges. The ginger can help clear a stuffy head and the lemon has plenty of vitamin C, which may (but probably doesn’t) help fight off a cold.
This drink is so comforting, you don’t even have to be sick to enjoy a cup, but I’d recommend cutting back on the honey if you are just drinking it in place of regular tea. If you want to amp it up, add a half shot of whiskey to make a hot toddy style drink – purely medicinal of course. Best to keep the whiskey version for just before bedtime.
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- 2 cm fresh ginger root peeled and sliced
- 3 heaped tbsp of honey
- Brewed tea or boiling water
- 15ml whiskey (optional)
- Pour 1 cup boiling water or hot tea over the ginger and let it steep for 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the lemon juice and the honey in a large mug.
- Strain the ginger tea into the mug if desired - I like to leave the ginger chunks in.
- Stir to dissolve the honey.
- Add whiskey if desired, I'd recommend this only at bedtime.