I grew up in a good ol’ Southern household where sayings like “God made dirt so dirt don’t hurt.” and “Drink some water and lie down!” abounded. I also have a playful Nigerian dad who believes that slapping an injury will make it better (more like momentarily distract you from the pain) or that drinking scalding hot water will improve a cough. My parents both worked in medical fields and gave us plenty of conventional remedies growing up but it’s the unconventional methods that stuck with me, for some reason.
My friends and family members call me a hippie because of my preference for natural cures over pharmaceuticals. I’m not against taking prescription or over-the-counter meds but I do tend to try more Earth-friendly options before hitting up the drug store. You won’t find much more than aspirin and neosporin in my medicine cabinet most of time. The magic is in the kitchen pantry! I call this a “tea” but there aren’t any leaves or bags involved. It’s simply a warm, comforting drink with notable benefits for when I’m feeling under the weather. I recommend it to all of my friends and family when colds strike and it’s become something of a go-to in our circle. I whip up this tea at the first sign of a sniffle or throat tickle. Below are the simple steps to make it followed by the benefits of each ingredient. Obviously, I’m not a doctor or even a scientist so please don’t take this as medical advice but rather a trick worth trying.
What You’ll Need
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 half lemon
- Warm water
- Optional: garlic, ginger
4-Ingredient Feel-Better Tea Instructions
Squeeze juice of half lemon into mug then add juiced lemon as well.
Next add honey.
Then add cayenne pepper to mug.
Fill mug with warm water and finish by stirring to mix all ingredients.
Raw honey is an age-old folk remedy with many reported benefits ranging from wound care to antioxidant richness. I use it in this tea because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Raw honey naturally contains hydrogen peroxide and is known to kill unwanted bacteria. I also use it for it’s throat soothing properties. Additionally, raw honey contains phytonutrients, which help prevent inflammation. Cayenne pepper stimulates the mucus membranes of our nose and sinuses, which can lead to decreased congestion. Personally, I have found that it helps stimulate productive coughs. Lemon is obviously very rich in vitamin C and an immune boost doesn’t hurt when you aren’t feeling your best. Lemon juice also promotes hydration and reduces phlegm. Warm water is the vehicle that mixes and carries everything in this tea. There’s a reason people tell you to hydrate when sick: fluids help thin out mucus and prevent dehydration, which takes energy away from your body’s fight against a cold. I prefer warm or room temperature water to cold but it also helps dissolve and meld all the ingredients better. I sometimes also add in garlic for its antiviral, antimicrobial, expectorant, and decongestant properties and ginger as it is another throat soother.
I hope this 4-ingredient feel-better tea is a helpful addition to your cold-fighting routine. If you have any natural remedies you swear by, please drop them below. 🙂 Thanks for reading!