Sunday, February 22, 2015

Perfect cold remedy tea (with essential oils)

When you're sick you'd do just about anything for a little relief, wouldn't you?  I know the feeling.  It's been especially hard since I've been married because I've spent a total of four out of the last five years either pregnant or nursing and extra cautious about what kind of foods or medicines I could ingest. When Paul and I would happen upon an illness at the same time, I would angrily sip water while he downed Nyquil to find instant relief.  During this drug-free period like to affectionately call the dark ages, I turned to some more alternative methods of healing that wouldn't make me worry about the child using me for nutrition.  Recently, I've been experimenting with essential oils as a way to not only help myself, but my kids who are also too small for conventional cold/flu medicine.

A couple weeks ago, my husband woke up for the second day in a row with a head-full of snot and fire in his throat.  He looked so terribly pale that I thought I'd better fetch him a little something for his symptoms.  So I concocted up a remedy I've used before.  Lemon and honey tea, but with my own secret ingredient. Essential oils.  I whipped up a large, steamy batch, poured him a cup, and left it beside his bed.  Five minutes later, Paul meandered down the stairs, staring at his empty mug with a look of bewilderment.  "What was in that?"  He asked.  "That gave me instant relief!"  He was referring to his throat.  I smiled and handed him a glass jar with the remaining concoction and told him to sip it throughout the day.  Then, with a dramatic air kiss, he was gone, off to save the world, one commission audit at a time.

When Paul returned home that night, I was filling the house with the stinky scent of baked fish, but unperturbed by the smell, Paul walked through the door with a smile on his face.  I looked at him suspiciously and asked how he was feeling.  Aside from some residual deepening of his voice, all of his other symptoms had cleared up.  I was as surprised as he was.  Since when did a cold go away after two days?  I feel lucky if it's gone within a week!  Paul handed me the empty glass bottle as he mumbled breathlessly, "Amazing stuff."

Last night my little 20-month-old, Sam, coughed his way to morning and cried himself to lunch time. Sick babies are the worst. I considered making him some of this tea several times but was unsure if he'd like the flavor.  Oils are strong, and it tastes a bit spicy.  After an especially long session of crying in my arms, I decided I had nothing to lose.  If he didn't like it, Paul and I could drink it as a preventative measure.  So, as Sam sat at my feet and cried, I shook up a batch and poured just a tiny amount into a cup.  Inserting a straw, I bent down and offered it to the teary toddler.  He sipped cautiously and looked up at me with wide eyes. "Spicy?"  He asked.  I smiled at him and nodded.

"Spicy," I reaffirmed, "but yummy, huh?"

He sipped some more.  "Spicy." He repeated after every sip until the glass was empty.  He grabbed his straw sippy cup and begged for more.  I filled the bottle 3/4 full and diluted the solution with a little extra water, just to take off a bit of the spicy edge.  He took it over to the table where he drank in silence until there was a mere dribble left.  He asked for more, so I gave him another refill.  Now full, he only took occasional sips.  I offered to put it in the fridge, and he pushed me away shouting a string of no's.  Perked up by the instant relief he felt in his throat and with sippy in hand, he toddled off to wreak havoc on the world once more.

Now, you're probably wondering what is in this witchcraft.  Calm yourself; I'm going to tell you.

Four ingredients: Water, lemon juice, raw honey, and Dragon's Breath.  Dragon's Breath?!  Yup, it really is witchcraft.  I call it my "RemeTea" because I'm oh-so-witty like that.  I even made a label so Paul's coworkers could admire my handy work.  Vain much?

To make RemeTea I begin with an empty, clean, glass, quart jar or bottle.  I add 1/2 cup of lemon juice and 1/2 cup of honey to the bottom of the jar.  Tip:  If you spray your measuring cup with a little non-stick cooking spray before measuring the honey, it slides right out, leaving very little behind.  You're welcome.

Next, I add ten drops of Dragon's Breath.  I find the best place to obtain Dragon's Breath is deep in the Mount Timpanogos caves where the bearded dragon, Farock, resides.  He doesn't like humans.  He'll eat you the moment he gets a whiff of any smell connected to your stinky hide.  Thankfully, he lost his eyesight in an unfortunate accident involving a billy goat and an unusually heavy rainstorm, so if you mask your smell he won't attack.  I usually saturate myself in a mixture of guano and fish guts. This enables me to get close enough to his sleeping frame and collect the condensation from his breath which I boil down and concentrate-- you know what?  They actually sell it at Good Earth Natural Foods and Real Foods.  So if you want to save yourself a little trouble you can pick it up there.

In all honesty, if you are into DoTerra, this is similar to OnGuard.  You could just add ten drops of OnGuard and call it a day.  BUT. (Don't come after me, DoTerra people.  I have a family who needs me!)  I actually prefer the Dragon's Breath formula.  It contains similar ingredients like clove, cinnamon, and eucalyptus, but is also has oregano oil, which I have found really speeds up the recovery time for pretty much everything, and peppermint which helps with congestion and headaches (among other things).  I've been using OnGuard for a couple years now but never really found it that effective for someone who was already ill, but the Dragon's Breath, while not as sweet smelling, has given us some pretty fantastic results at keeping my kids from getting sick, shortening the duration of illness, and mellowing the symptoms.  (And it's a third of the price.  I mean really.  The last bottle I got was on sale for twelve bucks.  Take that, multi-level marketing monster!)  If you want to know more about the company that makes Dragon's Breath, you can go here. (No, this post is not sponsored.)

Anyway, after adding the honey, lemon, and oils to the bottle, I nuke three cups of water in the microwave.  I don't want it too hot because I don't want burnt hands as I'm shaking it up, so I get the tap as hot as it can be and then microwave for two minutes.  It's the perfect temperature for dissolving the honey and soothing a throat, but not so hot that it feels like molten lava.

Then, I pour the hot water into the bottle till it is half full and shake it, shake it, shake it like a Polaroid picture.  When the honey is completely dissolved, I top it off with the rest the water and give it another little shake.  That's it.  Easy peezy lemon squeezy.  We are loving this at our house; I hope you love it at yours!

Kayla's RemeTea


  • 3 cups hot water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 5-10 drops Dragon's Breath or OnGaurd essential oils

In a quart glass jar, shake or stir lemon juice, honey, essential oils, and half of the hot water.  When honey is completely dissolved, add the rest of the water and give the solution another gentle shake. Pour into your favorite sassy mug and enjoy. Can be stored in the fridge and reheated a mug-full at a time.

**To make a single portion, add two tablespoons of lemon juice, two tablespoons of honey, 1-2 drops of the essential oils to one mug of hot water.  Stir and enjoy.

Sam-tested, Kayla-approved!