The sound of a sick husband is reverberating throughout our house this week. August hasn’t yet gone and already the coughing and splurting has started. Poor Z has, what we would call ’round these parts, “a bad dose”. He has a sore throat and thumping head but, worst of all, a persistent cough that would put you in mind of a engine refusing to start. I went in search of remedies. Preferably ones of the natural kind that don’t involve pharmaceuticals. Anything with Vitamin C is a winner so the half a lemon that didn’t get used for last nights dinner was perfect. Only last week my bee-keeper (and bee-photographer) brother kindly left me jar of delicious raw honey from his Enfield hives. Honey fights bacteria and eases a sore throat. And finally, ginger. I always have a hefty lump of fresh root ginger in the fridge. As well as jazzing up my porridge every morning it happens to be an effective anti-inflammatory.
I sliced my lemon thinly into half moons. I grated a thumb sized section of root ginger and combined the two in a 125ml kilner jar, packing them in tightly. Next I filled up the jar with honey and closed the lid. The following morning the ingredients had settled so I topped up my jar with more honey and returned it to the fridge. The contents will be nice and liquidy so there’s no need to worry about it hardening up in the cold. In a day or so then I will be able to take a dollop and add boiling water to make a warming germ-busting drink to ward off winter bugs. Honey is a great preservative so it will easily last until springtime.
In the meanwhile I am making the patient a tea from freshly picked blackberry leaves – this relieves a sore throat and brings down inflammation. Otherwise known as the thuggish bramble, blackberry bushes are found growing in most hedgerows, easily recognised this time of year by ripening blackberries. With a spoon of honey added it’s a pleasant tasting drink so no complaints from the patient. Less coughing too, just the marginally more bearable sound of tea slurping.