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Ginger Lemon Cayenne Tea a Cold and Sore Throat Remedy

These three ingredients plus honey are a natural homemade sore throat and cold remedy.

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It is a cold winter day here and somewhere else. 

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Photo by iphonographer Stephanie Araiza.  This and other prints available from Arizing Spring, LLC at

Last week thank you January weather and germy doorknobs or some other disease sharing source I found myself with a throat tickle that turned into a full-on head cold.  Boo. 

At the time of the tickle I immediately went to my local natural pharmacy and picked up a new bottle of zinc. The mineral Zinc, although does not prevent illness, is proven to reduce the length and strength of the common cold.  The FDA or course will not confirm, deny or endorse this statement but that is fine with me – I'm not selling anything – I'm just suggesting you use it unless you like longer colds.

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My other illness ritual is to brew up a batch of Ginger Lemon Cayenne Tea otherwise known as The Concoction in my household.  It is a very simple, enjoyable, and functional concoction that will reduce the discomfort of your scratchy or sore throat, invigorate your capillaries, settle your stomach and aid in digestion. Miracle you say – well no – just  knowing and blending your herbal properties.

First let's make this tea.  To start you need a clean cheese grater and fresh ginger.

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Fill a saucepan 2/3 of the way full with water on your stove.  Grate approximately a 1/2 cup of ginger into the water and set the burner a little over medium heat. 

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Take a whole lemon and cut it into quaters.  Pull the lemon flesh from the rind cut again and throw into the water with the ginger.  Use your spoon to squish the lemon pieces so the juice flows out of the lemon and into the water.  You can use bottled lemon juice -however its freshness is compromised and thus it is less high in its natural nutritional qualities.

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Next find some honey – preferably local as you get the best effects from the product of your local bees.  This giant jar of honey is from Bellingham, Washinton roughly 60 miles north of Seattle.  Place two heaping Tbsp of honey into the now warm ginger lemon water.  Stir it in until it dissolves.

Last but not least sprinkle about 1/8 Tsp of cayenne pepper over the top and mix in.  Depending on how sore your throat is and how much of a heat tolerance you have you may want to add more.

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Let the mixture come to a boil and then turn the heat off.  Take a cup size strainer and pour the mixture directly into your mug through the strainer.  It is possible to drink the mixture ginger and lemon chunks and all as everything is edible and nutritious – it is just far less pleasant to chew on your tea than to drink it. 

This is my super cool Christmas Sweater mug I was gifted by my aunts Patty and Georgia. By far my favorite tea receptacle even though Christmas is so last month. 

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The tea is going to have a slight kick but you will get used it.  Keep sipping it and you will notice that your sore throat symptoms lessen.  My former Wedgwood Co-op dwellers Eden and Karla and I once tried to actually create a bottleable substance called Cayennex because of the miraculous properties of cayenne for the sore throat.  We never quite were able to create anything better than actually putting ground cayenne in your tea. It was a good dream though.

Other qualities of cayenne that I purport to others, especially in my other variation of Orange Cayenne Tea that I push at Burning Man as Playa Acclimation Juice, is its ability to open up your capillaries.  When you are sick with the flu the lemon cayenne tea helps with your fever as it balances out your temperature and hydrates you better with the warm water.  In the arid hot environment of the Black Rock Desert the hot water and cayenne actually work to cool and hydrate you.  It is quite amazing – but stay tuned for that recipe this September after I bring you back photos and or live footage from my Playa Acclimation Juice booth directly from the Burning Man Festival.

In the meantime don't let January or a cold get you down – drink lots of tea of and be warm. 


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