Natural sore throat elixir
• Juice of half an organic lemon
• 2 tablespoons of raw, local Georgia honey
• Optional add-ins: During cold-and-flu season, the addition of a pinch of cayenne pepper a dash of fresh, grated ginger to this mixture helps to boost the cold-fighting properties, but it can kick up the heat, so use those add-ins sparingly.
Squeeze the lemon half into a juice glass, being careful to remove any seeds. Add the honey and stir until it forms a consistent mixture. Drink it immediately, and repeat as necessary.
Spring is in the air — literally. With the budding trees, blooming flowers and growing grass, a significant dusting of pollen seems to have accumulated over Coastal Georgia.
Pollen and mold levels in the air have skyrocketed during the last several weeks, leaving seasonal allergy sufferers like myself with sore and scratchy throats; itchy, watery and crusty eyes; runny noses; the urge to sneeze constantly; and the unavoidable sinus headaches.
Although I enjoy spring, I loathe allergy season. I could do without having to buy boxes of tissues by the case, dealing with almost uncontrollable sneezing, loading up on over-the-counter medications and concerned looks from others when my red, watery eyes and sneezing outbursts lead people to believe I am sick with something contagious.
“No, really, I’m not sick — It’s just allergies,” I say, which is usually met with half-hearted smiles or looks of pity.
Although over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications do help to control symptoms, they definitely do not stop them altogether. They also can be quite expensive, especially if you need them for long stretches at a time, if not every day.
Since I was a little girl, I have known about the natural healing powers of raw, local honey. My grandmother would make some of her own natural medicines from recipes passed down through her family. She used them because they worked and because they were much cheaper than buying over-the-counter medicines. Raw local honey was a staple in all of her remedies.
I learned early on that because bees cross-pollinate plants, pollen does get into the bees’ honey. Ingesting local honey on a regular basis helps to build up immunity to the pollen that we’re sensitive to. Before and during allergy season, a heaping tablespoon of honey taken daily can help combat symptoms.
Any old honey won’t do the trick — it has to be raw, local honey. Local honey comes from bees that are pollinating plants in the area — the ones you come into contact with regularly. If you get random commercial honey, many times it isn’t even from this country, which means it won’t contain anything that will help you here. Commercial honey often is pasteurized, which means it is heated, and that kills off its good, allergy-fighting properties, whereas local honey is pure and unpasteurized.
I have a remedy that I’ve used for years during allergy and cold and flu seasons to ward off sore throats. It’s simple — mix raw honey and lemon juice.
The mixture makes sore throats feel instantly better and usually will completely get rid of a sore throat within 20 or 30 minutes. This recipe is a Godsend for my family and me every spring since sore throats always are the first sign that allergy season has arrived, and I tend to get them daily if not treated.
Not only does the honey have great allergy-fighting power, it also helps to ease a cough and is full of flavonoids and antioxidants, which help rid the body of toxins and free radicals. Lemon juice also packs a healthy punch. Raw lemon juice is a natural detoxifier and helps to cleanse the kidneys and digestive system. It also can strengthen the immune system and help to balance high blood sugar.