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Soothe cold and flu symptoms with this tea

This spicy ginger tea will help you stay hydrated and ease your throat during flu season.

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Tea. Photo, iStockphoto.

Tea. Photo, iStockphoto.

It’s cold and flu season again. The best way to prevent getting sick is to wash your hands regularly, avoid sick people and get a flu shot. But if you develop a scratch in your throat or a full-on flu, try sipping on this hydrating and soothing homemade tea. Here’s what you’ll need:

1. Lemon
Lemon is full of vitamin C, which can help reduce the duration and severity of symptoms if you already have a cold.

2. Cinnamon
Add this antioxidant-rich spice for a warming flavour.

3. Ginger
Ginger’s been used for centuries to relieve a sore throat and loosen up congestion due to a cold. Best known for its ability to calm an upset stomach, ginger can also treat vomit and nausea. (Click here for a warming apple ginger soup recipe.)

4. Cloves
Cloves can make it easier to cough up and eliminate phlegm. These flower buds can be ground with a mortar and pestle for a sweet and peppery seasoning.

5. Turmeric
One of the most effective anti-inflammatories around, turmeric can help reduce inflammation and relieve gastrointestinal discomfort.

6. Cayenne
Great for warming the body, cayenne help with stomach problems and poor appetite. Many traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicines add cayenne to help circulatory problems.

7. Raw honey
Honey includes small amounts of vitamin C and folate, and can help soothe the back of throats, which often become irritated from coughing.

Ingredients
3 cups of water
Juice of half a lemon
1 cinnamon stick
3 slices (1/4 inch thick) of fresh ginger
¼ tsp cloves
½ tbsp. turmeric
1 pinch cayenne (start with this and add more to taste)
1 ½ tbsp raw honey (can add more or less to achieve desired sweetness)

Directions
1. Add all ingredients (except honey) to a pot and bring to a boil.

2. Once boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

3. Add honey and stir, adding more if necessary.

4. Pour tea through a strainer and drink while warm.

5. Rest.

Related:
What you need to know about the flu shot