Cold Weather Brews That Are Good for Your Health

Be ready for the cold and flu season with elixirs that provide relief from congestion and colds.


Cold and Flu Elixir: For this recipe, you need equal parts fir and/or spruce needles, ginger, and lemon.

Directions: Fir and spruce needles contain aromatic essential oils that allow for freer breathing and for killing viruses. Gather about five branch tips about the size of your hand, and mince the needles with a pair of scissors. Ginger is warming, helps to alleviate the “elephant on the chest” feeling, and helps to remove mucous from the lungs and sinuses. Use two 2-inch chunks and shred with the peel. Lemon is high in Vitamin C, small amounts of B vitamins, and antioxidants. Thinly slice a lemon and cut into quarters. You’ll use both the peel and fruit. Fill a pint jar with all your botanicals and halfway with brandy, then top off with honey. Cover the jar, let it steep for two weeks, and strain. A quarter to a half teaspoon in a cup of warm water is all that’s needed to provide incredible relief. Your family and friends will be very happy when you provide them with herbal medicine that works well.


Fire Cider: Fire Cider is an all-time favorite remedy for immune boosting symptom relief.

Ingredients: One large chopped onion; 2 full heads of garlic, mashed; 2

fresh jalapenos, minced with seeds; 2 inches each of ginger and horseradish, minced; 1 lemon thinly sliced.

Directions: Place all ingredients in a quart jar, then fill jar to the top with organic unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. Cover with a plastic lid, or put parchment paper between the vinegar and lid to prevent rusting. Let your fire cider sit for about three weeks to a month, then strain. You can take this by the spoonful several times a day when you feel a virus coming on; gargle with it when your throat is sore; or use it as a salad dressing, sprinkled over cooked greens. Make a fabulous BBQ sauce with it by adding a tablespoon or two to a half cup of organic ketchup. It’s tasty on fries, chicken, or ribs! // (Suzanne Tabert)

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