My Seasonal Homebrew

Posted by Kitty Sharkey , Saturday, December 7, 2013 5:54 PM

Tea that is, aka Flu Brew

Yes indeed, 'tis the season.  And not just for jolly old revelers either.  Nope.  The cold and flu season is upon us.  I've been unfortunate enough to catch a terrible chest cold.  How?  I have no clue.  But it's here none the less.  Between the current cold snap in the SF Bay Area, my restricted mobility post surgery, and fear of catching pneumonia due to lack of activity it's time to bring out the big guns.  Out of the pantry, that is.

  • Garlic - This ancient remedy is an immune booster that helps fight off cold and flu.  It reportedly is effective as a decongestant.  It can inhibit coughs and provides relief to the respiratory tract.
  • Ginger - Another old standby, Ginger boosts your bodies immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties.  It can sooth coughs, a sore throat, and sinus congestion.
  • Green Tea - This ancient tonic is high in cold and flu fighting antioxidants.  It may even block viruses from multiplying in your system.
  • Lemon - Also high in antioxidants, lemon contains Vitamin C to boost your immune systems ability to fight off those nasty cold and flu bugs.
  • Honey - Nothing beats local honey when it comes to boosting your immune system and helping you feel better because it is antimicrobial and antibacterial.  A spoonful can really do wonders to relieve a sore throat.  And it's the perfect sweetener for your home brewed flu remedy.
Of course you can mix and match these ingredients and adjust measurements to your personal taste and/or symptoms.  But this is the recipe I've been using today to provide relief from my congested chest and sore throat.

Flu Brew
  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic
  • A 3" or 4" chunk of ginger (I peel mine for tea)
  • 3 heaping Tablespoons of loose green tea
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 or 3 heaping Tablespoons of local honey
Roughly chop the garlic and ginger.  Place in saucepan with water over medium high heat and bring to a boil.  Immediately turn off heat.  Add the loose green tea and honey.  Cut the lemon into halves or quarters and squeeze into the saucepan.  Toss the lemon rinds right in there too.  Let this seep for 3 - 5 minutes and then strain.  Add additional honey if desired.  Relax and enjoy.  Relief will soon follow.

Optional (but helpful) - Rather than combine everything in the saucepan, I place the green tea, honey, and lemon into my french press.  Once the garlic ginger water boils, I pour it right over the top.  A good stir will help melt the honey.  Once steeped to desired strength, it's simple to just push down the plunger and pour the flu brew directly into a large mug.  My mug pictured above holds 750 ml, so I can fit an entire batch into it.

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