In the Mood for Spring: Refreshing drinks to soothe your allergies and your soul

With all the changes in the weather this month there is no better time to focus on Holistic drinks than right now. Everywhere we go there is someone with a cough or the flu. My family has allergies like we have never had before!

We are all tired, stressed and desperate for warm sunny days. Spring fever is running rampant down the east coast! I decided to look up some home remedies to help us out until we can shake off the blustery, wet days and recover…that is, until next winter.

Now many of us do not have the luxury of an indoor herb garden or green house but luckily our local markets are on the ball! I was able to find everything I needed to put together some interesting but simple drinks and teas. I enlisted the help of my daughter, Hannah, who was home visiting for her spring break. She was getting over a cold and was suffering from a lack of sleep and an overload of caffeine! She was just as interested as I was to see if the recipes I picked were easy enough for our busy schedules. It has been our experience, in the past, that all-natural and home grown do not necessarily mean convenient! NOT true! We managed to find several drinks that even health food novices, like us, could put together with no problem!
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Green Detox Drink

This is a smoothie packed full of so many good things that you can’t help but feel like taking on the world after you drink it! It is used as a detox so you drink it first thing in the morning and be sure to follow it in an hour with a large glass of water. It is a great way to get those toxins flushed out of your body! It’s like Spring Cleaning for your liver! It tastes pretty good too! The apples are what make it tasty, so we recommend adding a splash of apple juice along with the water before blending.

Ingredients:
½ bunch spinach
1 handful watercress
½ lemon, peeled
1 celery stalk
2 apples
1inch slice of ginger
Directions:
Mix all ingredients with water and puree in a blender. Enjoy!

Water and lemon recipe

A simpler detox drink that can be on your kitchen counter and ready at all times is this Lemon water. I love infused waters! They are refreshing and taste great. If we have to drink so much water everyday it’s nice to change it up a bit and add some fruit or veggies to it. I have a large glass pitcher for this very reason that sits on my kitchen counter so the whole family can fill their glasses all day long. (If you prefer it cold, then get a smaller pitcher that will fit in the refrigerator. Or, like Hannah, premake a few water bottles with the ingredients for your onthego lifestyle.)

Ingredients:
2 lemons
½ cucumber
1012 mint leaves
3 quarts water
Directions:
Mix and chill overnight in a pitcher.

Herbal Tea: Ginger, Cinnamon, Clove Tea
This tea is best for the late winter and early spring days. However, it may be used throughout the year. It is useful to relieve what we like to call “The Carolina Crud” (phlegm and mucus from the lungs), tone the intestines, relieve gas, and stimulate the digestive system. The cloves also add a delicate aphrodisiac energy to this tea, so they say (Hannah and I did not notice). This is a refreshing tea and would be super easy to incorporate into our busy routines by premaking it and heating it up as needed.

Ingredients:
1/4 tsp ginger powder
4” piece cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
2 cups boiling water
1/4 tsp honey (optional)
Directions:
Warm a teapot by rinsing with hot tap water.
Place ginger, cinnamon, and cloves into the warmed pot, and cover with boiling water and steep for 5 minutes.
Strain and allow to cool.
Add honey and serve.
Serves 2

The Natural Energy Drink

If you are like Hannah and I, then you are thrilled that the sun is staying up longer and the days are stretching out. With longer days comes the need for more energy in the afternoon and early evening. Let’s face it, we can’t get away with going to bed early now that it’s still light outside! Here is a recipe for a natural tea that gives you that boost of energy to make it to the 11 o’clock news! It is a noncaffeine, refined sugar pick me up! I was thrilled, as a mom, to show Hannah that there are other options for those late night study sessions than copious amounts of caffeine! I don’t recommend drinking it later at night if you want to go to sleep at a reasonable hour as it might keep you up! This is an important note for those of us that aren’t 20 years old and still in college!

Ingredients:
hot water
1 1/2 2 tsp honey (to taste)
1 inch of fresh ginger root
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp turmeric
Directions:
Cut off two thin slices of ginger and place in your cup or mug.Use a garlic press to juice the remaining ginger into your mug. Add both spices and fill your mug with hot water and stir.

It is said that Ginger speeds up metabolism and increases circulation it also aids in the digestive process. Turmeric is a cousin of ginger so it also helps speed things up in the body, including energy levels. Cardamom has long been valued medicinally for its ability to increase circulation and improve energy. All of these magical herb qualities are new to us and we are so excited to learn more!

Natural Allergy Remedy:

Last but not least, Hannah and I read where you can mix raw apple cider vinegar, honey and warm water together and create an allergy relief drink. A lot of people sing the praises of drinking it daily. We thought we would give it a try. She has yearlong allergies and I seem to be at my worst in the spring and fall (side note: I never had allergies until I moved to Carolina 16 years ago). All I can say about this is that it must really work for those people otherwise I can’t believe that they would willingly drink that every day! We could not do it. It might be better if you add more honey.

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Raw Local Honey
8 oz. Warm Water
Directions:
Mix and drink.

I hope that you enjoy these recipes and aren’t afraid to try some new drinks! Hannah and I plan on continuing our Holistic education. We love the idea of allnatural products and dream of a day when we can walk out into our gardens and pick our herbs fresh from the plants! There is something so earthy and romantic about it.

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