Anyways, from this I started making a yummy tea whenever I feel a cold coming on. It is quick an easy! After the recipe I paraphrased McBride's writing to tell you about some of the good things these spices do for you. Take a look, you won't believe how easy it is to put good things in your body!
4 cups water
2 bags Chamomile tea
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of cloves
a pinch of nutmeg
(If needed, you can sprinkle in more herbs if you want it spicier)
orange slices with the peel
2 teaspoon honey
*You have to read the benefits of honey below, they are incredible*
If you are making one cup, sprinkle just a bit of the herbs in the bottom of your cup, put in one tea bag, and add boiling water. Put a slice of orange on top, let it steep for about 7 minutes. Right before you drink it, stir in a spoonful of honey. Mash up the orange a bit as you go to release some of the flavors.
If you are making more than one cup, cook everything except the honey in a small saucepan. Put in about a 1/2 a teaspoon of the cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon cloves. Add two chamomile tea bags, and squeeze the juice from the orange slices then add them to the pot with the peels. Simmer everything for about 7-10 minutes. This gives it a more rounded out flavor. Again, right before you drink it, add two spoonfuls of honey to each cup.
You always hear how chamomile tea is good to drink before you go to bed. There is a reason! Chamomile can relax and calm your nervous system. It also helps to relieve irritability and helps you to sleep. McBride shared that it is good for children too. You can put it in their bath before bedtime to help calm everybody down (throw a little lavender in there too if you have it).
Cinnamon actually warms your body and increases circulation. It also helps with the digestion of grains. I have been sprinkling cinnamon on my coffee in the morning to try and get a bit more into my diet. Cinnamon also relaxes muscles to relieves menstrual cramps. In addition it dissolves mucus and congestion which is where it comes in most handy during cold season!
Cloves help with colds and coughs. They open up the sinuses and have antibacterial properties. Cloves can also help with nausea and you can suck on it to help with a toothache! Who knew! On a mental note, the smell reminds me of pumpkin pie and makes me feel better before I even take a sip.
Nutmeg helps you to digest foods, especially dairy foods. McBride taught me that your body does not digest food as well in the winter because we are exposed to less light. Nutmeg enables your body to absorb nutrients better.
It can also be a helpful sleep aid. Mostly I like the flavor that it adds. The nutmeg works well with the cloves.
We all know that oranges are loaded with vitamin C, which boosts the immune system. But until I read The Herbal Kitchen I had no idea that the peels were so valuable. I always threw them in kitchen sink. There, they are very useful to make my disposal smell good!
Besides this, the orange peels help to ward off colds and flu. They help with the daily wellness and boost your immune system. Orange helps with coughs and provides vitamin C and Pectin. Pectin is good for your gut.
Since oranges are in season right now you are in luck! Instead of throwing away the peels, slice them up and leave them out to dry. Then you an use them in the summer months for cooking when the fresh ripe oranges are long since gone.
You constantly hear about how good honey is for you. I think my mother in law and I talk about this every time we see each other. I am a firm believer in all of these wives' tales. I thought before I went any further I should a do a little research. In facts, I found that they are all true!! Honey is amazing.
McBride taught me that honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties. It also aids in the absorption of nutrients. It is best to buy local raw honey if you can find it at a farmer's market or local grocer. Raw honey has healing enzymes in it.
I read a study that was done where they tested the effects of honey on people with colds. They gave 4 tablespoons of honey a day to a random portion of 60 people at the beginning of a cold. The doctors observing the patients were unaware of who had honey and who did not. The patients with honey recovered from their colds two days quicker that those without. I thought that was pretty awesome!
When my husband moved to Sacramento from Ohio, he had terrible allergies. It was to the point where he was taking daily medicine. So I went and bought him some local honey. I gave it to him everyday wherever I could. I bake it in bread, I put it in salad dressing, sweeten coffee with it, and I spread it on toast. He now has no allergies! Every spring I make sure to get a new jar of honey. Through those smart little bees we get access to the local allergens and build up an immunity. It's great!