Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cough Syrup & Soothing Tea

Right now 3 out of 4 in our family have been down fighting a cough and cold.

I remember when my daughter was younger and I would dose her up with a toddler's cough syrup just like when I was a kid. The bright orange stuff. Yes, it would temporarily help with the symptoms (it would knock her right out) but it wouldn't make the cold disappear.

Jump to the year 2011 and now that I know better, I am trying to find ways to soothe our family naturally when they are feverish, coughing and runny all over. Honey, lemon and ginger are great natural healers that have been used for hundreds of years. Honey has natural anti-bacterial properties and ginger is known to help with healing respiratory issues. Lemon is full of vitamin C and is also natural antiseptic. All good things when you are sick but also good preventative measures.

This really isn't a recipe but it is a way to keep some handy goodness in the fridge for when you need it right away. This little concoction is known to help both the wee ones and the big ones in the family. I like how it can be used by the teaspoon and they can feel like mommy is doing something to help them immediately. I also like how it is readily available to mix a couple tablespoons full into a cup or mug of warm water to make a soothing drink. The idea is that it is handy to have ready and waiting.

Cough Syrup & Lemon Tea Concentrate
Take this by the spoonful as a cough syrup or add to some warm water for tea. If your family is adverse to ginger, just use the honey and lemon mixture to start and add just a little ginger at a time. This keeps in the fridge for at least 2 weeks.

1/2 cup unpasteurized organic honey, warmed if soilidified
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (approximately 4 large lemons)
2" piece of ginger, peeled and grated with microplane grater
*optional: fresh herbs such as sage, thyme, and lemon balm

I make this two ways. If it is for me, I add the raw honey, lemon juice and grated ginger in a jar and shake it up. I love the little pieces of ginger in it. My kids aren't so fond of ginger pieces so for them, I grate it and pour a tbsp of boiling water over the grated ginger and then strain it back into the lemon and honey mixture.

If you want to add some healing herbs, add a few sprigs of each to a small saucepan and add a few tbsp of water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let steep and then add to the lemon/honey/ginger mixture.