Even the healthiest people get sick sometimes.
In my experience, the less frequent the occurrence, the more reluctantly we admit to it.
Medicine? Nah, I’m fine. Stay home from work? What for? I’m not sick!
Being sick in the summer seems particularly devastating, as it catches us off our guard. Regardless of the season, nobody likes suffering (of course), and many over-the-counter medications only do so much to alleviate it. Sometimes, we need a little bit of magic, too.
For those times, I have (nearly) perfected this magic healing tea.
Ideal for head colds and fevers. Miraculous for chills and malaise. I haven’t tested it on nausea or stomach aches, but I am willing to bet it would work for those too. After all, it’s magic! An amalgamation of local herbal wisdom and the “hot ginger lemon honey” I drank almost every day in Kathmandu, this drink will set you right.
Ginger—½ inch chunk
Water—about 2 cups
Raw honey (yes, it really should be raw)—as much as you want
Lemon juice—half of a juicy lemon should suffice
Cayenne pepper—1 pinch, or two or three
Elderberry syrup (if you have it, or Echinacea, or any other immune booster you have on hand)
Jigger (splash) of rum or whiskey (optional)
Finely chop your ginger and add it to a pot of water, along with the juice of half a lemon. Don’t worry if some of the lemon pulp gets in there too. Bring water to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes.
While you are waiting for all of the ginger-y goodness to seep into your beverage, get a mug ready (two if you have company—magic tea may be enjoyed by the healthy, too), and throw in a couple spoonfuls of honey. Raw honey is incredibly healing, so go wild.
Throw in a pinch or two of cayenne, a splash of elderberry syrup (or a substitute), and a jigger of rum or whiskey. I have made this tea many, many times, with and without rum, and I can assure you its healing powers do not pivot on this addition, so feel free to leave it out.
The liquid should take on a nice, golden hue from the boiled ginger when it is ready.
If you still have some time to spare after assembling all of your ingredients, make sure you are wearing slippers, a sweater, and a scarf. Various elderly women have taught me that keeping your neck, your stomach and your feet warm is crucial to staying healthy.
Light a candle or fire, and prepare a cozy nook to settle into. By now your ginger-lemon water should be fully steeped. Go ahead and pour that mixture into your mug (or mugs) and stir.
Now, this is where you add the magic (I was 100 percent serious about that). This is a crucial step in the recipe. How do I add magic into tea, you ask?
There are many ways to answer that question, but the simplest method involves intention. Focus on sending love and healing—for yourself, or for the person you are making this tea for—from your heart to the spoon in your hand. Direct that intention into your mug of magic tea.
Drink while hot for maximum effect. Or, insist that the sickling you have made magic tea for drink it while it’s hot. Get comfortable, relax, and enjoy.
Rinse and repeat, and get out of bed already!
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Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Stacey D/Flickr