There are many internet posts about a tea from lemon, honey, and ginger to fight colds and flues. Most recipes start with fresh ginger (root) which is sliced, boiled and steeped to make tea. The tea is strained and added to lemon juice and honey. My morning drink has developed over many years. One winter I was very sick with the latest version of the flu. I had bronchitis and could barely talk. Two friends arrived in the evening with a fresh lemon, a jar of honey and a bottle of booze. They made a hot whiskey tonic. It was so soothing on my inflamed throat, my coughing decreased, and I went to sleep easily. For the next several days I made myself a lemon honey tonic without the booze.
I have had severe allergies for years and usually wake up with a bad taste in my mouth. I began to have the drink every morning. The hot lemon and honey drink cleansed my mouth and perked me up. I tried leaving out the honey to save calories (I was very foolish!) but it was not as effective. I returned to lemon and honey. Forget the calories – honey is a wonderful, natural aid in supporting your immune system. It soothes the throat, fights infections, and suppresses coughs. It has been used in traditional medicine since the ancient Egyptians, and is loaded with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Honey was used to treat wounds up to the discovery of penicillin. It helps skin and scalp conditions. For those of us with allergies, locally gathered raw honey is an absolute must in fighting hay fever. Warning: Do NOT Feed HONEY to infants under 1 year old.
I love lemons – love the flavor it adds to food, the taste in a drink, and the wonderful clean smell. I feel perkier and happier when I smell lemons. With all the flavor, vitamin C, and anti-oxidants, I use lemon daily. The health benefits of lemon include its use as a treatment of throat infections, indigestion, constipation, dental problems, and fever, internal bleeding, rheumatism, burns, obesity, respiratory disorders, cholera and high blood pressure, while it also benefits hair and skin care, Lemon contains antioxidants called bioflavonoids. Researchers think these bioflavonoids are responsible for the health benefits of lemon.
A couple of years ago I was reading about the amazing benefits of raw ginger. Historically, it has been used for nausea and upset stomachs. It is a safe and natural aid in fighting morning sickness and motion sickness. Research has indicated that it also has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. According to The George Mateljan Foundation, “Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These substances are believed to explain why so many people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly. In two clinical studies involving patients who responded to conventional drugs and those who didn’t, physicians found that 75% of arthritis patients and 100% of patients with muscular discomfort experienced relief of pain and/or swelling.” It supports the immune system, and I decided to try adding it to my morning drink. (When I can get local, chemical-free ginger, I do slice and add it to hot water and let it steep. But when that is not available, I use fresh ginger paste from Gourmet Garden. I find the tube in the refrigerated fresh food section of my local supermarket, Publix.) I add crushed ginger to the hot water with lemon juice and honey. Now my drink has a spicy flavor and I love it.
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