Sunday, July 18, 2010

Under the Weather

I've been feeling like I'm coming down with something these last few days, and I'm not happy about it. I've been on holiday from university for a few weeks now and it just so happens that the week I start back for the most intense stretch of my entire degree, my body decides to get sick. Not impressed body, not impressed.

At the slightest hint of a cold or flu, Paddy and I have a few things we like to do to try and knock back the bugs before they get started. Despite a number of interesting medical ailments, I try my best to avoid going to the doctor as I find they are much too quick to prescribe antibiotics. I much prefer to make my own home remedies.

Lemon Honey Ginger Drink
I used to make my lemon homey drinks by pouring hot water over lemon juice and honey and calling it a day. But, when an old work colleague enlightened me to the glory of juicing the lemon and ginger through the juicer, and then adding honey and hot water, my immune system was never the same again.
For this drink, I juice a whole lemon, with just the skin removed (leave as much of the pith as possible) and a good 2 or 3 cm of ginger through the juicer. To this liquid gold I add a generous helping of manuka honey, hot water, and stir to combine. This tart beauty will definitely make your taste buds tingle, but really does the trick for soothing sore throats and getting lots of vitamin C into your system. It's nice cold too if you are that way inclined. I drink as many of these a day as my bladder can handle.

Healing Broth
A cheesy name, but a definite winner. This recipe is adapted from James Wong's 'Grow Your Own Drugs' herbal medicine book and TV show.

We have been using it for a few years now and it never fails to make us feel better. It would also be easy to make vegetarian, by changing the stock to vegetable, and swapping out the chicken for some lentils or legumes. 

Healing Broth

2 litres homemade chicken stock
1 chicken breast, sliced
2 onions, thinly sliced
Mushrooms- as many as you like!
3cm fresh ginger, skin removed, thinly sliced
10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
2 Tbsp goji berries, soaked in hot water
1/2 packet dried soba noodles
Extra garlic and ginger to serve

Place stock, chicken, onions, mushroom, ginger, garlic and chilli in a large pot. Simmer on low for at least an hour. Add drained goji berries and noodle and continue to cook until noodles are al dente. To serve, finely chop 1cm ginger and 2 garlic cloves per bowl, and ladle hot soup over. Garnish with parsley and enjoy! Best served with homemade sourdough, of course.

This makes a huge amount, that feeds Paddy and I for at least two days; by which time, we are feeling better!

Other ideas:
I have been using Vicks to clear chest congestion since I was a child, but with my new awareness of the potential risks of petroleum-based products, I am keen to change to a more natural alternative. ecoMILF has a wonderful recipe for homemade vapour rub using almond oil and peppermint or eucalyptus oil. This sounds like just the ticket to me, so I am keen to give it a go.

With these plans in place, as well as lots of extra water and sleep, any colds we have are generally gone within a few days.


  1. Oh that book is on my 'to buy' list. I've borrowed it from the library heaps but just want to add it to my collection! I've just found your blog and its lovely! Great reading! Vic xx

  2. I too have borrowed that book and just love it...I have put it on my Christmas list!! Great recipes...will be trying some of these as we all seem to constantly have colds no matter what I do! I blame pregnancy. Don't know about my husband though.

  3. What a great sounding book. That drink is similar to one I make- I love them, lots of tarty lemon. Another idea is green ginger wine. At the first niggle of a sore throat drink some at night time- I know its old peoples drink but I swear by it...and love the taste :-)
    Hope you are feeling better soon.

  4. I have that book! Although I'm ashamed to say I have yet to utilise its awesomeness. I once tried having ginger in my lemon honey drink but I couldn't stomach it. Such a shame because it's sooooo good for you. I have some wild blackberry vinegar that's supposed to be quite good for fighting the colds - probably all the vitamin c. It tastes good anyway!

  5. It's a great book! And I just splashed out and bought his new one... very exciting!
    Mmmm green ginger wine is delish, I don't care if it's an old peoples' drink, I still love it!
    Blackberry vinegar sounds divine... I have to stop myself from drinking my raspberry vinegar when I am making dressings with it... opps