When I have a cold, I like to drink as much tea as possible. Hot liquids soothe the throat and clear the sinuses. In addition to regular tea bags, I make my own “sickness tea” by putting ginger slices and lemon chunks in a tea ball and steeping it with some honey. Unfortunately carrying ginger root and whole lemons to work and classes all day isn’t exactly practical. This inspired me to make a concentrated base “syrup” that could be diluted to make tea. I modified the original recipe, but the general idea is still the same.
Bring 1.5 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to medium-high heat and add everything except the lemon juice. Cook for 10 minutes, then add the lemon juice. Don’t worry about seeds because the next step is to strain everything through a fine mesh. Use the back of a spoon to press out all the liquid.
And that’s it. Dilute with 4-6 parts water for every 1 part syrup.
In case you are curious about my choice of ingredients:
Garlic enhances general immunity and also specifically helps treat malaria, certain parasites, and bacteria. If you eat it regularly, it decreases the number of colds you’ll get, but unfortunately it does not treat any cold virus that I know of. Since it protects against secondary infection, taking it once you’re already sick could be beneficial.
Cinnamon helps with allergies, but mostly it adds a nice flavor.
Lemon also has high levels of Vitamin C. One cup of raw lemon juice has 187% of the recommended daily value. Vitamin C does not prevent the common cold, but it reduces the duration if you are already sick. If you are an athlete in training or are exposed to intensely cold weather, Vitamin C does help with prevention.