Fight the Flu Season Naturally

I like to think that all of the vitamins I take before bed will guard me from the flu season, and for the most part I tend to be right. That is, until my husband gets sick and passes her germ flu symptoms to me. Next thing I know I am sniffling, coughing and completely lethargic.

I recently discovered a new homemade tea brew that I would like to share with you. It’s not your regular sweet tea, mind you; actually, it’s more on the savory side. As a kid my mother used to brew onion tea with honey for our coughs. This is where I got the idea. Instead of onions, I decided to brew a combination of Turmeric, garlic, lemon and honey for my cold symptoms. Sounds gross, right? Well, surprisingly enough, it’s not too bad.

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Health Benefits:

Turmeric is known to many cultures as the “healing spice.” It is an anti-inflammatory and is often used for colds and as a cough suppressant, stomach aches, and for skin conditions for it’s anti-microbrial benefits.

Garlic is an immune booster and is packed with anti-oxidants.

Lemon is used for respiratory ailments and fevers.

Honey is a natural cough suppressant, and helps with any upper respiratory infections.

Here is the Recipe:

1 Tbsp Turmeric
The juice of half a lemon
2 Garlic cloves
Local Honey to add some sweetness
2 cups of hot water (liquid cups)

Here’s to your health and to helping your body fight off those germs!

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Hospitality Tea: My Exploration of Moroccan Mint Tea

I love tea. There is just something so magical about a hot cup of tea. The way the dry tea opens itself up to reveal its flavor and how the leaves dance together in the water as you pour the hot water into your cup. It reminds me of how only under intense pressure and heat will the seed pods of the Redwood tree open up.

For years different cultures have been using tea in ceremonies, as part of rituals, as a form of hospitality and as a sign of friendship. Even the way you pour tea is considered an art form.

I have recently taken up my own version of this art form when I learned how to brew kombucha and as I have been drinking hot water with the juice of half a lemon in the mornings before breakfast. As part of my quest I have been experimenting with different fresh herbs and trying different versions of the classic “Moroccan mint tea.”

Moroccan mint tea is traditionally brewed using gunpowder tea from China, fresh mint leaves, sugar and hot water. This tea is traditionally served to guests as a sign of friendship and hospitality. If there are two things I love it’s hosting people for dinner and drinking tea.  After trying several versions of this tea, I have come up with one that I love the most and that I have served at a few gatherings. This new take on the traditional “Moroccan mint tea” is more of my “ode” to it and one that can still be considered hospitable to serve before, during and after a shared meal.

Ingredients:

1-2 handfuls of fresh mint sprigs

1 fresh lemon (juiced)

1 fresh grapefruit (juiced)

1 tbsp of grated ginger (optional)

1 large pot of hot water

What you will need:

Large pot

Strainer

Container to hold tea (preferably glass)

Recipe:

*Bring a large pot of water to a boil, lower the heat and drop the mint leaves into the pot. Leave simmering for 5-8 minutes on low heat. Add juice of lemon and juice of grapefruit into pot. You can drop the grapefruit and lemon into the pot after it has been juiced for an added flavor. Add the ginger for a warming effect. Strain and bottle, add some ice for a cooler beverage and some thinly sliced lemon and sprigs of mint for garnish.

Health benefits:

Mint: Aids with digestion, nausea, headaches, coughing/respiratory ailments, asthma, depression, fatigue, weight loss, oral care.

Ginger: Immune booster, digestion, gastrointestinal health, anti-inflammatory.

Lemon: Indigestion, constipation, high blood pressure, respiratory ailments, weight loss, dental care, fever.

Grapefruit: Packed with vitamin C, ranked high in anti-oxidants, inhibits tumor formation, lowers cholesterol, prevent kidney stones, protects against colon cancer

I hope this inspires you to explore the enchanting world of tea. If you have any recipes you would like to share I would love to hear about them.

Happy sipping!