Last week I was feeling really run down with a cold. Feeling sick is never fun but it feels especially awful for a mom (at least it does for me). When I’m sick, I really just want to revert to being a child and have someone take care of me. However, as an adult and especially as a parent, the harsh reality is that life for the most part must go on. There are jobs to do, lunches to pack and seemingly constant sibling bickering and quarrels to manage. And so sick or not, last week I had to pick myself up out of bed and sniffle through the day. I made breakfasts, packed lunches and counted down the minutes until I could drop my kids off at school and return to bed (albeit with my computer in an attempt to get the minimum amount of work done).I had a hard “poor me” kind of week and although there were few redeeming things about it, one of the small things that got me through was the hot honey lemon water that my dear husband had ready for me each morning. This was his small way of saying sorry that you’re sick, I wish I could help out more but I really need to leave for work now. And although I irrationally loathed him at the time for walking out the door, I loved my cozy mug of soothing goodness so much that I managed to move on.
Since cold and flu season is officially upon us, I wanted to share this simple yet very effective remedy. Chances are you’re already quite familiar with it, either from your grandparents or parents recommending it through the years or because you’ve actually tried it and loved it as much as I do. The soothing remedies of hot water with honey and lemon are real, not just an old wives’ tale. According to the Mayo Clinic, this remedy may help reduce the soreness and irritation of a sore throat, and be an effective remedy for cough. Last week, my throat felt more soothed with each sip, and unlike medicine, water with honey and lemon is something you can drink all day long and you absolutely should to stay hydrated. The other awesome benefit for me was the soothing aromatherapy that came with it. To help clear my congestion, I cupped my hands around the top of the steaming mug and inhaled the goodness.
Not to snub lemon but honey really is an amazing ingredient. It has antioxidant and antimicrobial effects and sweetness that stimulates salivation which releases mucus in the airways and naturally relieves coughing. But don’t settle for just any honey — opt for local, raw honey whenever possible. Most of the honey sold in stores has been heated and pasteurized, which destroys many of the enzymes and beneficial compounds that make raw honey so nutritious. Raw honey is left in its natural state and therefore contains pollen, enzymes, antioxidants and many other beneficial compounds. And, you have probably heard some of the research around the benefits of “local” honey — there is evidence that honey obtained as close as possible to where you live, may help build an immunity to some seasonal allergies. I always try to buy my raw honey at my local farmer’s market, direct from the source.
Boil a cup of water, then stir in 2 tbsp. of honey. Squeeze a small amount of fresh lemon juice in the mixture to taste. Add more lemon juice, honey, or hot water to taste. Drink and let the mixture soothe your throat, cut mucus and suppress your cough.
I’m on such a water with honey and lemon kick that I’ve continued to drink it in the morning even though I’m feeling great again. Lucky for me, there are many other reasons that this mixture is good for your health and next week I’ll write about my favorites.