Ginger Tea for a Sore Throat

I’ve debated calling this recipe “Schroeder’s Ginger Tea” because I’ll be playing Schroeder in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and it’s mostly singing. This typically wouldn’t be an issue, but my throat is still very sore and is still recovering from a long bout with bronchitis. With help of this ginger tea, though, I’ve finally given that dirty ol’ bronchitis the T.K.O. and am well on my way to a healthy, normal throat. I tried a lot of different remedies to help sooth my throat: lozenges, throat massages, a sea hag named Ursula (bad idea), etc., but nothing has come close to helping out more than drinking some warm ginger tea twice a day, and especially before singing. No more frogs, finally. (It’ll also help to keep yourself way hydrated by drinking maybe 2 liters of water each day. Your sore throat likes to stay hydrated.)

Sunday morning, I brewed a whole gallon of this tea because I want to be sure my voice is A-OK come performance day, and honestly, this has been doing wonders for me. I’m pretty sure Ginger Tea is a common recipe, and you can add lots of different spices and whatnot to it to change up the flavor, but I personally think ginger in the raw (with a little extra help from lemon and honey) is the best way to go for a sore throat.

You can probably find ginger root at your local grocery store. So, without further adieu, I present to you “Schroeder’s Ginger Tea” (que Beethoven’s 5th). As always, there’s a printable recipe at the bottom of this post.

**Update: Since posting this originally I’ve added an update (at the bottom). I think you’ll want to read it.

Schroeder’s Ginger Tea

Ginger-Tea-The-Cooking-Dish-Chris-Mower-022

Ingredients*

Method

1. This is the hard part, so get ready. Pour 4 cups of water into a pot and bring it to a boil… Okay, hard part is over. The picture shows 2 cups, but I don’t have a 4-cup liquid measurer, so I poured two of these in instead. And I figured this was one step up from posting a picture of a pot with water… BORING.

2.While the water is heating up, scrounge up some ginger root.

3. Cut a chunk of the ginger root off that’s about as large as your thumb. If you have a small thumb, then the piece you want is about 2″ long and 1″ wide. This piece doesn’t look like my thumb, more like my big toe, minus the hair. Oops, hope you didn’t lose your appetite there.

4. Peel the toe and then slice it into small pieces.

5. Add to boiling water, then reduce it down to a simmer. Once it’s simmering, cover the pot and let ‘er simmer for 15 minutes.

6. While that concoction is simmering, slice up a lemon.

7. After the 15 minutes is up, remove the tea from the heat. At this point, you can either strain it first, or add the lemon and then strain it. For this post, I chose to strain it first, just to be thorough. But in the future, I think I’ll first remove the ginger chunks with a slotted spoon, then squeeze in two lemon slices (~1/4 lemon), and then strain it to avoid having to strain it twice (although that’s never hurt anybody, I think). But I’m getting ahead of myself. Strain the tea.

I’m sure you’re wondering what in the heck I used to strain my tea with. Well, mid-way through cooking my tea, I realized I don’t have a fine-hole strainer. So I quickly poked some tiny holes in some tinfoil with a toothpick and wrapped it around my large-holed noodle strainer. Tacky, but it worked like a charm.

8. Now, squeeze the lemon. (What nice thumbnails you have, Chris!)

9. Add honey. I added 2 tablespoons, but add more or less to taste, just don’t over do it.

10. Stir until all the honey is dissolved… as can be seen in the picture…

11. Strain again if needed.

12. Pour it into your favorite mug, and drink it warm.

*Notes

For some people, the ginger flavor can be overpowering. If needed you can add a little more water or boil the ginger root for only 10 minutes to help tame it’s crazy ginger flavor; remember though, it’s supposed to taste like ginger, or it’s not gonna’ work. You can also multiply all these ingredients by 4 to make a whole gallon. This helps if you’re in it for the long run.

Download

Schroeder’s Ginger Tea” (PDF, 1 page, 115 kb)

Update (Jan. 21)

A few people have told me that this is not pleasant to drink. No, it’s not. I should have put that caveat at the beginning of this post, oops. :) The truth is, it’s not a pleasure tea, it’s a medicinal tea. I’ve tried different concentrations of ginger and found this concentration to be the most effective for me. It literally has saved my sore throat, I love it for that reason. But no, it’s not something you can just sip for enjoyment, unless you’re a ginger addict I guess.

Now that being said, I’m going to do some experimenting with this tea to see if I can still get the same effect when I add other ingredients such as mint, chamomile, star anise, cinnamon, chocolate, etc. etc. (just kidding about the chocolate).

If you have some further suggestions or if you’ve made some modifications to this recipe, please let me know in the comments below. Peace out! :)

Comments, Kudos, and Thoughts

    • Myrna intensely asserts...

      I am from the Philippines and we been drinking ginger tea since I can remember; it goes very well with sweet rice cakes.
      On top of this, we cut a piece from a young root, wash it and use it like pastilles for sore throat or coughing, it works….

  1. Nara energetically remarks...

    Wow, this will help me to get better, I enjoyed reading how you made Schroeders’s Ginger Tea, Ginger Tea for sore throat. I too came down with bronchitis and mine appeared 1 week ago and my throat is also soar,so will be trying out this Ginger tea.

  2. boistrously writes...

    Straining lemon juice through aluminum foil is a very bad idea. Generally, aluminum is inert, so it’s safe to use for cooking—you can wrap potatoes up in it, and roast them, and so on. But in the presence of an acid, like the citric acid in lemons, aluminum becomes water soluble. This means that the aluminum will be dissolved into your food and is digestible. Eating aluminum is is extremely unhealthy and has been linked to Alzheimer’s.

    Moral of the story: keep aluminum away from foods that are high in acid like lemons and tomatoes.

  3. Common sense... stupendously fleshes out...

    And why should you strain the tea at the first place? Instead, you can omit the procedure and just wait till all
    the particles precipitate at the bottom of your cup and drink your tea without disturbing that bottom!
    After all, even if you swallow some of the particles nothing bad will happen to you…

    • spicily types...

      Hello Common Sense. You make a valid point. Keep in mind, however, that not everyone likes large sediment chunks at the bottom of their tea and especially not drinking them. It’s sort of like non-pulp vs. pulp orange juice. Straining will also keep the flavor as is.

  4. Sheryl proudly reveals...

    Ginger Tea is the best cure for whatever ails you. I drink it religiously from October through March to help my resistance. You can also add a green tea bag to each cup.

  5. Tiffany Firestine totally relates...

    Ok I am definitely going to try this tea, but I have a question. Is it ok to use ground ginger that you find in the spice aisle? Or does it have to be fresh ginger?

    • Chris brainily voices...

      Great question! You could probably use the ground ginger (I would make it on a cup-per-cup basis), though fresh ginger is definitely the bees knees when it comes to tea. It’s frequently less expensive than the ground ginger as well.

      • brainily voices...

        Great! So about a teaspoon per cup is good I would assume? I know you said 1/4 cup per 4 cups of water.. I just want to do this right !! I am prone to sore throats and bronchial issues. I would like to hsve a sore throat-free winter !

        • Chris handsomely mentions...

          I’ve actually never used ground ginger for tea; I’ve always used the fresh ginger root. However, I would start light on the ground ginger (1/4 teaspoon : 8 ounces water) and add more if the flavor isn’t satisfactory.

          In general teas steep at 175°F for 3 minutes, though some herbal teas can steep at over 200°F for 5-6 minutes. I’d start with the 175°F for 3 minutes. With fresh ginger, the longer you steep it, the more potent it becomes. I would think over-steeping the ground ginger would make it a wee bit bitter.

          You’ll also want to strain the ginger specks that are in there… do you have any sort of filter paper, or super-fine-mesh strainer (or tea ball)?

          Hopefully that helps. Let me know if you have any further questions.

  6. Harry Potter attractively reveals...

    Thank you for you recipe, it greatly helped me. Of course, it tasted rather ghastly, but it cured my throat spick and span. I will be using this tea quite regularly, cheerio!

  7. Drea proudly affirms...

    I’ve been doing this for years & actually love the way it tastes. I peel the ginger and then use a microplane to grate it into the water so that I don’t have to strain it out at the end. I refrigerate the ginger water and add the fresh lemon and raw local honey after heating it up just before drinking it. I don’t know how anyone could think it tastes bad…

    • proudly fleshes out...

      For me, the taste has definitely improved over time. I’m even finding myself using ginger more frequently as my taste buds acclimate to its flavor.

  8. spicily relates...

    I love the taste of ginger! But the flavor of this tea can be altered by simply adding a tea bag to the concoction! After you boil the ginger and strain it into your favorite mug, add a tea bag and let that flavor steep 2-4 minutes. Then continue with the rest of the steps, and everything still tastes delicious.

  9. Perdu brainily comments...

    1.) Boil FRESH GINGER.
    2.) Pour to a cup.
    3.) Add honey (pure honey) to taste.

    It’s not bad and worth a try when you really need it for your sore throat/cough!

  10. rapidly expatiates...

    Hahaha, i found ginger in my fridge and was looking for a quick recipe on how to make ginger tea. A google search had me going to your page and I’m glad I did. Not only is it informative with a little backdrop story to your recipe, its also humorous as well with illustrations. I’m gonna for sure, share this on my Facebook.

  11. eeewww totally writes...

    I am currently sick as a dog with dry and painfully sore throat. I just brewed up a batch of this. I made it extra strength with lots of fresh ginger and the rind (yellow part only) of a whole lemon. I boiled it for 20 minutes. I’m sipping it now ( no honey) and it is sooooo soothing to my painful throat.. THANK YOU CHRIS!

  12. Carlos luckily divulges...

    Hello,

    I read on some sites that you should not boil the ginger because it loses its medicinal properties. You should just boil water and pour into a container with the ginger and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
    I’ve tried both ways and it if is not boiled it has not much flavor.
    What is your opinion?

    • pleasantly claims...

      Hi Carlos,

      That’s a good question. Some proteins and organic compounds tend to denature at higher temperatures and are thus rendered ineffective. I’ve linked below to a research paper on the proteins in ginger and turmeric that give them their healthy antioxidant properties.

      In short, they used a concentrated form of ginger (powdered and oil-only) and boiled them at 120°C (248°F) for 1 hour and then let it come back down to room temperature. They then measured the levels of antioxidants in each and compared it to the levels before boiling them.

      As would be expected the levels decreased, but not completely. BHT remained at 73% while the pyrogallol remained at 51%. Keep in mind that this was boiled at a high temperature of 248°F (compared to water’s boiling point of 212°F) and was also boiled for 1 hour.

      Tea from fresh ingredients is generally not boiled at that high of a temperature or for that long of time, so you will have a greater amount left over.

      I hope that helps to answer your question.

      Here’s a link to the paper: http://www.researchgate.net/publication/234002731_CHANGE_IN_ANTIOXIDANT_ACTIVITY_OF_SPICES_TURMERIC_AND_GINGER_ON_HEAT_TREATMENT

  13. Diana boistrously expresses...

    I love ginger & have made this & also just ginger and honey. I’m one if those wierd one’s that drink it even when I don’t have a sore throat.

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