Cold-Busting Tea

If you are anything like me, you get an awful cold with most seasonal changes. Here in Holland seasonal changes are second nature; one day it’s hot and sunny and the next day it’s stormy and rainy. And that to the Dutch is completely normal.

When I moved here last year, I also discovered that over the counter cold medicines are barely existent. If you go to a doctor with a severe cold, they tell you to “rest.” And that response remains the same no matter how many visits you pay to your GP regarding your worsening cold. The understanding in Holland is to let the cold take its full course and rest it out instead of gulping pills and trying to work through a dripping nose and splitting headache.


While I initially battled with this understanding, slowly I began to accept it, and dare I say, like it. That’s when I started experimenting with tea on my “rest days” to reduce the cold symptoms instead of letting them escalate. This cold-busting tea isone of my favorites and features natural antibiotics like honey and immune boosting vitamins like the C. It also gets its medicinal properties from ingredients like ginger and turmeric which have been used for centuries due to their healing qualities.


Following is the short and simple recipe that yields about 500ml tea, so two servings.


  • Lemon (1/2)
  • Cloves (6)
  • Cinnamon stick (1)
  • Cardamom pods (4)
  • Turmeric powder (1/4 teaspoon)
  • Honey (1 tablespoon)
  • Ginger (1 three inch piece chopped)
  • Water (600ml)


  • Place all ingredients in a saucepan and wait for the water to begin simmering.
  • Let the tea simmer for about ten to fifteen minutes until all flavors have nicely combined.
  • Voila, sip away!


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