It’s that time of year again, extra jumpers and hot water bottle, vests and wooly tights. The colder weather often comes with its fair share of coughs and colds. My daughters know that it is the good food on their plates that will keep them strong and help them stave off any nasty bugs they encounter at school. I strongly believe that proper food is the best preventative and remedy, so the line between food and medicine is very blurred in our household. So far so good, we are a pretty healthy bunch, but the common cold transcends all that and can sometimes attack no matter how much fresh fruit and veg, whole grains and greens we are eating. It’s times like this we need a power solution.
I was sitting laying in bed the other evening, listening to my eldest daughter coughing in her sleep. I don’t tend to stock any cough syrup in the house so I got up and went about making something to sooth her throat so she could get some quality rest. I often make a hot honey and lemon and ginger drink for myself or my children when we’re run down and snotty, so I began in the obvious place, honey, lemon, ginger and some spices too… but to make it thick and syrupy, what could I add to help it coat her throat? Of course! Coconut oil, the organic virgin kind with the coconutty flavour. It reportedly contains anti bacterial, anti viral and anti fungal properties and so should perform the dual functions of soothing a sore throat and helping to fight the infection. This mixture worked like a miracle and allowed my daughter to immediately get a restful sleep without any more coughing. Maybe it was all down to the cough syrup, maybe it was a little down to the special care and night-time attention, I don’t know, and it doesn’t really matter. This cough syrup works.
2 tbsp of lemon juice
2 tbsp of honey (manuka, raw, local… whatever you have)
2 tbsp of coconut oil
A small stick of cinnamon (broken so it fits in the jar you will store the syrup in)
3 good slices of ginger
Put all the ingredients in a small milk pan and heat over a low heat until the oil melts and the spices and ginger infuse a little, there is no need to let it boil. Pour the mixture into a small sterilised jar and stir well before spooning into the mouth of a poorly person*
When left to cool in the jar you will notice that the oil will separate and form a seal on top of the syrup which will stop air getting to the other ingredients and help it remain fresh for longer. I keep this in the fridge and warm the jar in a bowl of hot water to melt the oil for when it’s needed. So far this has kept for a couple of weeks with no problems. This batch is only small, and serves the whole family during a bought of coughs and sneezes so does not need to be kept long. If another germ hits the family in a few weeks or months time then simply whip up a new batch.
For best results serve with love, care and attention.
* 2 teaspoons seems to be enough to sooth a cough, but there’s really no danger of overdosing on anything.