Last week my three year old turned into a complete lunatic. She was the kind of stark-raving mad where she screamed in my face over what color plate she got for breakfast. Then I heard a few sniffles, a cough, and a tiny voice saying, “Mommy, my throat hurts.” I hate cold season! Have you been there?
As parents we all know that moment when the tantrums turn terrible and the sniffles start. There is a cold on the horizon! A few years back I got tired of colds constantly kicking our butts and decided to find a way to kick back, but I needed something my kids would willingly take without any ugliness. I’d rather save the fights for necessary medicines and not comfort measures (I’m looking at you, pink eye meds)! A few weeks and waaaaayyyyyy too many hours on Pinterest later I had pieced together the plan for my Cold Kicker Tea.
This tea has three very basic ingredients and only a few easy steps. You’re going to appreciate that when the craziness of sick kids (and maybe even sick mom) hits your house, trust me! It is the perfect blend of all those sickness-fighting secrets that have been passed down through the ages! But how can that wisdom from generations past really compare to the wonders of modern medicine?
Full disclosure- I am not a medical professional and can neither diagnose nor treat anyone. This is simply my experience as a mom with something that has helped my family deal with colds and other bugs. As always, talk to your practitioner if you have any concerns.
The Controversial Cure
Modern medicine is an amazing thing and I have been grateful for it more times than I can count. That said, it’s not perfect and can’t always ‘prove’ what is obviously ‘known’ to others. That is definitely the case with our main ingredient (lemonade) and the benefit it offers. Anyone want to guess what the ‘controversial’ curative agent in lemonade is? Yep, you guessed it, Vitamin C! It’s the same reason your mom told you to drink some orange juice when you got sick. Warm orange juice sounds about as appealing as OJ after brushing your teeth, so instead we’re going to go with lemons over oranges. Lemon juice has almost the exact same amount of C as orange juice, but works much better in this ‘tea’ application.
There is some controversy about whether or not Vitamin C helps fight colds. Here is how I see it. First, it can’t hurt. Barring some special or rare medical circumstances, some extra Vitamin C isn’t going to do a bit of harm. Second, there is something to be said for traditional wisdom that has been passed down through the generations that has never been proven harmful. Traditional treatments can carry you through in many ways. Finally, there is now some research showing that high doses of Vitamin C can actually save the lives of people dying from sepsis (a potentially deadly infection). If it can save people who were on the brink of death due to infection it stands to reason that it could help fight other infections. That just feels like common sense to me! Just know, the powdered stuff won’t work here. You need quality lemonade with pulp.
Bees Are Our Friends
Bees are our friends, both in the global/environmental sense and on an individual level. Anyone who knows me personally is now really confused because they know that I have an almost phobic-level fear of bees. Seriously, if I see them I either run away like my hair is on fire or freeze like a Greek statue. That said, I can’t deny the health benefits of honey. Again, modern medicine is now catching up with what people have known since ancient times, honey is medicine. It has antimicrobial (germ fighting) properties and is a potent cough treatment. This makes it the PERFECT addition to your Cold Kicker Tea because it can help fight off the bug while also easing the symptoms of it! Now that research shows cough medicine isnt’ the safest choice for children honey makes a fabulous cough suppressant (and is exactly what our own pediatrician recommends).
**Safety note: NEVER give honey before age 1 due to the risk of botulism.**
Good For More Than Cookies
Come Christmas time (or really, any time of the year) I LOVE some good gingerbread cookies. They are the perfect ingredient to warm your heart and your mouth on a cold winter day. Now I’m starting to think whoever linked the Gingerbread Man cookie to Christmas was pretty smart. At the time of the year when we are most at risk of catching all manner of plague-like bugs we are encouraged to eat cookies that are chock full of ginger. As it turns out, ginger is antimicrobial, just like honey! As a bonus it also has chemical compounds that are anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and cough-suppressing. That means this one tiny ingredient can help fight off the germs, ease your sore throat, reduce the swelling in your nasal passages (which will reduce that ‘stuffy’ feeling), and knock down your cough! Talk about the wonders of God’s creation! FYI- this also means you shouldn’t scrimp and try to use the powdered stuff that you only pull out for holiday pies and cookies. Get fresh ginger.
Ever notice how your grandma always made you hot tea and soup when you were sick? Once again, Grandma was onto something that modern medicine is just now figuring out. Recent studies have shown that hot liquids can help with all manner of cold and flu symptoms including sore throats, congestion, dehydration, and cough. These studies even compared the hot liquids to the same things at room temperature and there was a significant difference. So, a glass of cold lemonade may feel good on a hot day, but it’s the hot stuff you need when you are down with a cold. Looks like we have another win for Grandma’s wisdom!
It’s amazing to me that modern medicine is just now ‘proving’ what countless generations in the past simply knew about making people feel better. I won’t hesitate to head off to the doctor and use all the marvels of modern medicine when we need them, but I choose to skip it for something as simple as a cold. So, next time your little one turns stark-raving mad with a cold brewing on the horizon, head to the kitchen and whip up this tea! Bonus tip: this recipe can EASILY be multiplied in case the whole family gets hit at once (which we always seem to around here).
- 1 cup lemonade
- 1 inch piece of fresh, peeled ginger
- 1/2 tablespoon of honey
- Slice ginger into a couple of small chunks.
- Combine ginger and lemonade in a pan over medium-high heat.
- Bring mixture up to a boil. If you are up for a stronger ginger kick, let this boil for 3 minutes. If you would prefer it a bit more mild, pull it from the heat as soon as it starts to boil.
- Stir honey into lemonade mix and pull chunks of ginger out with a spoon.
- Serve and feel better!