Home remedy for a scratchy throat
This may be a placebo, but I think a steamy drink with the added heat of spices does help a scratchy throat. If nothing else it helps keep you hydrated in cold weather.
All quantities are approximate since I don’t really measure, and of course you can adjust to taste. Honey and whiskey are options. I don’t use honey because I’m fructose intolerant; I might add whiskey in the evening but not during the day unless I plan to go to bed. The reason for putting the spices in the tea bag is that if you just put them in with the other ingredients they don’t strain out and the tea ends up very sludgy.
1-2 tea bags (any kind–decaf, regular, green, but preferably with no added flavorings)
1 quart boiling water
5 or 6 whole black peppercorns
grated peel and juice of half a lemon
chopped fresh ginger, about the end of your thumb’s worth (I keep ginger on hand wrapped in foil in the freezer)
1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon, ground cloves, cardamom or other aromatic spices
generous dash of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
whiskey as desired (optional)
Put water on to boil. Place tea bag, peppercorns, ginger and grated lemon peel in a heat-proof quart pitcher. Carefully cut a tea bag open at the end opposite the string and prop it open. Add the spices and staple the bag closed. Put it in the pitcher with the other ingredients and pour the boiling water over it. Steep for about five minutes. Strain into another container. Add the lemon juice and honey. Pour into a cup, add whiskey if desired, and sip it as hot as you can stand it throughout the day. Refrigerate leftovers and reheat in the microwave when needed.