By Alaina Yvon-Moreau, Clinical Holistic Nutritionist

I often get asked what I would recommend when a cold comes around. When a virus takes over your body, it can feel like nothing is helping some days. I always recommend things like rest, nourishing soups and fluids. I love making this tea when I’m feeling under the weather. It’s full of super nourishing ingredients that are known for their effects at boosting the immune system and helping your body recover. You’re likely familiar with the vitamin C in citrus fruits and its effects on immune function; but did you know that foods and spices like ginger and cayenne pepper are beneficial for colds as well? These warming foods increase circulation in the body and promote healthy sweating. This overall process is an important part of detoxification and helps the body get rid of that nasty bug that’s making you feel less than perfect. I’ve broken down all of the ingredients for you below; you’ll see soon enough why this tea needs to be part of your arsenal when you’re sick. For best results, make this tea as soon as you feel a cold coming on!

Lemon juice: 

  • loaded with vitamin C. This important antioxidant can help reduce the duration and severity of a cold.


  • has antiviral and antibacterial benefits which can help control infection by bacteria and viruses. 

Ginger root:

  • a warming herb that helps increase sweating and circulation in the body. Some researchers have even found that sweat contains a germ-fighting compound which helps ward off infections.  


  • in its raw (unpasteurized) form, contains beneficial enzymes and minerals that help support the immune system and nourish the body.

Cayenne pepper:

  • increases circulation in the body and helps break up congestion. A little bit goes a long way! Add as much as you can handle to this tea and all kinds of other dishes.


  • 8-12 oz. boiling water
  • juice squeezed from ½ lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger root
  • 1-2 tsp raw honey
  • pinch cayenne pepper

make it:

  • bring water to a boil, set aside and allow to cool slightly
  • using a sharp knife, pierce the garlic clove a few times. Do the same with the ginger. Add both to a tea steeper placed in a mug, along with a pinch of cayenne pepper. Pour boiling water over top and let steep for 5 minutes.
  • remove the steeper, squeeze in lemon juice and add the honey. Stir well to combine and enjoy!

Note: it’s important to let the boiled water cool slightly before pouring over your ingredients, otherwise the heat will destroy a lot of the beneficial properties.

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