tea for cold prevention

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it’s been quite a week around here–first mama nature threw us a one-two punch of freezing rain followed by freakishly summery weather, and then everyone around me began succumbing to variations of fever, flu, and pneumonia.

(favorite conversation of the year, tangentially:

me: my head really hurts.  i think it’s all the temperature fluctuations.

friend: headaches are usually a symptom of repressed guilt.

me: i’m pretty sure it’s the temperature fluctuations.

friend: it’s repressed guilt.

me: it’s global warming.

friend: it’s repressed guilt about global warming. )

For a while I tossed down my elderberry tincture (thanks, Michelle Wilde!) and drank my kombucha and nettle/hawthorn/red clover infusion and I was fine. But after two days of tending sick offspring, my throat started to tickle. And then I woke up sounding like Brigitte Bardot.

When we lived in California, there was a lemon tree in the backyard that, due to wonderful positioning against a south-facing wall and the location of the compost pile on its dripline, produced ALL YEAR LONG.  And in those golden days, when I got that old tickly-throat-brigitte-bardot feeling, I would climb for a few lemons and brew up a pot of lemon-garlicraw honey tea.

But lemons don’t grow in this bioregion. So I’ve been experimenting, and here’s what I’ve come up with for an antibiotic/diaphoretic/antimicrobial/vitamin-c-boosting powerhouse of a stop-the-cold-now tea:

tea for cold prevention

  • Bring a quart of filtered water to the boil.
  • Meanwhile, crush up a head (not a clove, a HEAD) of organic garlic.
  • Put this in the bottom of a quart mason jar and add either 1/2 cup of dried, crushed rosehips or 1/2 cup of fresh, crushed/chopped pine needles (packed.) Use the tender new growth, and harvest with love!
  • If you feel the cold is still incipient or right on the surface, add a handful of crushed peppers or cayenne to help you sweat. (don’t do this if the cold is already ingrained, because it will just drive it deeper in.)
  • Pour the boiling water over your garlic and herbs and leave  to infuse about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in a tablespoon of local raw honey until dissolved, and sip throughout the day, repeating as often as needed.
  • If you live in California or Greece or anywhere else I’d rather be right now, omit the rosehips/pine needles and squeeze the fresh juice of two or three lemons into the garlic infusion when you add the honey.

So far, I haven’t succumbed, and when I replaced my son’s water with this he sweated his fever out in a day. Now if I could just stop repressing my guilt about global warming…


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February 28, 2013 · 2:05 am

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