Honey and Lemon Tea

Honey and lemon tea, perfect for soothing a cold.

If you want, add a sliver or two of fresh ginger to the cup of honey and lemon tea. Note that honey should not be fed to young children under 18 months old.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 1.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup or more of hot water

Method

Put honey and lemon juice into a tea cup or mug. Add hot water and stir. Add more lemon juice, honey, or hot water to taste.

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Comments

  1. Bronwyn

    Always a winner. The other Gran’s remedy that really works & gets overlooked is steam. The old way. You probably know the drill! Bowl of steaming hot water on the table, lean over it with a large towel for a ‘tent’ to trap the steam. Breathe. Deeply! 10 mins 3 times a day. Well twice is probably more reasonable. And right before bed is really helpful. Moistens the sinuses, eases congestion, means you can breathe properly. When I have a cold, sometimes it’s the only time all day I can breathe properly. My father-in-law was a Doctor. It was one of his favourite prescriptions.

    Best thing ever AND it’s free. You can add a wee bit of Vapour rub or eucalyptus or tea tree oil or something but it’s the steam that does the trick. Have a warm & comforting sort of day & breathe much steam.

  2. Piet

    Very good recommendations so far, but I have to insist that grandma’s chicken soup has to be added. Having a cold this should never be missed. :)

    Get well soon!

  3. Quinn

    Lemon tea sometimes makes my throat scratchy, so then I switch to apple cider vinegar.

    I hope you feel better soon!

  4. Jim

    Plus a dash of whisky ( or other ) to taste . Hot Toddy in the UK .

  5. Deb S.

    We make this a lot during cold season, we just call it hot lemonade. :) Feel better!

  6. Lizzie

    This is saving me right now! I’ve had a cold for a few days and this tea is making me feel so much better. Hopefully you do soon!! Thanks!

  7. JoanneNicole

    As a quick concentrated fix, my mom used to just take a big spoon, scoop a little honey onto the end of it and then squeeze a lemon into the spoon. Works pretty well in a pinch.

    Of course, that was when we were little kids and before she became a crazy vegan and invented her “Anti-Plague Formula”…a potent combination of cayenne, horseradish, garlic, vinegar, and all kinds of other disgusting ingredients, which was then allowed to ferment for several weeks in preparation for cold and flu season. Basically, one spoonful of that would blow the cold right out of you (and possibly blind you for a few minutes). It was one of those cases where the cure was worse than the illness. Never again.

    Thanks for reminding me of honey-lemon tea though, I’ve been starting to feel a bit under the weather myself, and since I’m pregnant right now, I can’t take any medicine to get through my day. Rest and honey-lemon tea will have to get me through! Feel better!

    • Sarah

      Oh the vegan cure is too funny – but I am sure it works wonders. Elderberry can also be taken as a preventative and it works. I love the breath deep tea also. I also head staight to our natural pharmacy when the sickie show up at work and I take Virattack liquid herbal – works great too.

    • Sarah

      JoanneNicole – you can take elderberry. I was told by the on-call doctor we called in the middle of the night – to take any thing and every thing with Elderberry when I was pregnant with my daughter and my husband got the flu. I do not get the flu shot due to other health issues. They have proven it works better than the flu meds for getting rid of it and preventing it. It works for colds too. Feel better soon – nothing is worse then being sick while pregnant.

  8. esther

    It always seems to do the trick for me! It’s such a simple yet soothing cup of tea. :)

    I’ve seen Chinese bakeries sell this for about $1, which is silly.

  9. Sandy S.

    Your website is among the most comforting places to be online! A good cup of lemon tea and browsing your site is such a nice break from any day that has gotten a bit hecktic! Wishing you well pronto Elise!

  10. Louise

    Thanks for this! I seem to be getting a cold today too. Did hear on the weekend news that Omega 3 fish oil doesn’t actually help at all. The only way to get Omega 3 that does anything at all, is to eat fish, they’re saying now. Several years of study seem to prove that fish oil in caplet/capsule is useless.

  11. Kelly

    This is something I have almost everyday. Not only it’s good for your immune system, it’s also great for your skin! :)

  12. Christine (Cook the Story)

    Ah, sorry about your cold. I hope having it now will mean that you are free and clear for the fun of the holiday season coming up. I also drink honey and lemon when I have a cold. I recently started adding ginger, as you mention. I find that if I let the ginger steep for a bit (like in a thermos with the hot water) it does this potent almost mentholating kind of thing that helps me breath. It is also vaguely reminiscent of alcohol fumes and tricks me into thinking that I’ve added a douse of brandy, which makes me sleepy – a good thing when sick for sure!

  13. juliana

    feel better!

  14. Steve-Anna

    I add honey and lemon every day to my morning cup of green tea. My sister, Anne, and her husband harvest their own honey every year and gift it to the family. The honey in the tea always feels “medicinal”, in a good way, and extra special because I know where it comes from.

    Feel better, Elise!! xox

  15. Pattie

    I’ve used lemon and honey for colds for a long time. Adding hot water and making tea sounds even better.

  16. Tina

    Hope you feel better soon!
    I love honey and lemon tea as a soothing drink even if I am not sick.
    When one has a cold, it can help just to do whatever cheers you: reading magazines you usually don’t, watching old movies, listening to music, looong bubble bath, or crashing on the couch under a comfy blanket.

  17. randi

    Reading this makes me feel warm and toasty.
    I’ve been looking for Elderberry syrup and it is nowhere to be found in Toronto lately. A whole foods just opened closeby so hopefully they will have it.

  18. Lydia

    When we were kids, my mother used to warm honey and lemon juice and mix together to serve us by the spoonful for coughs/colds. It was pretty potent straight, so these days I prefer it as a “tea” also. Add bourbon or brandy and you have a hot toddy and a nightcap! I do still use my mom’s concoction when I need to get my kids to take herbal tinctures that otherwise taste foul to them.

  19. meg

    Sorry to hear that you’re sick! Judging by my multiple sneezes this morning, I’m due for a cold soon. In any case, I’m long overdue for a hot toddy!

  20. Sara

    Our family is just getting over some nasty colds as well – this was remedy that I grew up with and it works wonders (although my husband claims that he just discovered it!). I love it and it reminds me of my mom, it’s very comforting.

  21. Sandy S.

    For Randi, I believe I have seen elderberry syrup in the Vermont Country Store catalog

  22. Serena Brunson

    My mother gave my siblings and I this remedy when we were young, sick children. It works! She learned this from her Grandmother. It has been in the family a long time. We now give it to our own children. I even make it for my mom when she is ill.

  23. Mary

    Maybe it’s an asian thing but it’s honey and ginger tea for me and my family. Just boil water with a slice of ginger in it, add the honey later (after you pour it in a mug). It’s supposed to be very good for you and medicinal.

    • Mary

      Just read it over again, you did mention ginger at the end of the recipe. Feel better soon!

  24. Cheryl S.

    I’m just getting over a cold – sorry to hear about yours!

    This is exactly how I’ve been treating my colds for over 40 years. My mother called it “hot lemonade”. Of course, now I sometimes put a slug of whiskey in it as well.

  25. carey

    I do the same thing! It works magic!

  26. Jen

    This post was such good timing, Elise! I am also suffering from a cold, but my warm cup of lemon tea is already helping me feel better tonight. thank you!

  27. Martha

    Sorry you are under the weather. What I’ve found to help prevent a cold is to use saline nose spray in the morning and before bed. Also gargle with listerine antiseptic mouthwash morning and night. Then at the very first sign of anything start taking zicam ultra. After doing all this since fall, I’ve been cold free. Also use germ-x when out in restaurants, etc. Hope you feel better soon!

  28. April

    Just like my dad’s recipe. Except for whiskey. You forgot the whiskey.

  29. Lisa

    This really takes me back to when I was a little girl and my mom would make this for us when we had the sniffles. She called it hot lemonade and it always made us feel better. Hope you get to feeling better soon!

  30. Dani

    Grilled cheese with lots of garlic is also great. Get well soon :)

  31. Kelly

    I hope you feel better soon. I love any tea when I don’t feel good. I will have to try this. I alway buy gypsy cold care at the store when I don’t feel well. I also love Chinese was won ton soup with spicy chilies. It seems to really clear out the sinuses.

  32. Becca

    I’ve never tried this before, although I often put honey in regular tea when I’m sick. I will have to try it next time, thank you for the new recipe. :) Blessings for a quick and complete healing for you.

  33. Claudia Shechtman

    Feel better soon!
    My cold cure is garlic soup. I boil potatoes, carrots and celery root in half water, half chicken stock. Saute sliced onion and a whole head of peeled, roughly chopped garlic in olive oil. When potatoes/celery root/carrots are tender, turn down the heat, add sauteed veggies and salt, pepper, cayenne and whatever herb you like (Herbs de Provence are nice).
    Blend the whole thing in blender, food processor or with an immersion blender. Serve hot with some grated parmesan, chopped parsley or crumbled bacon on top. Freezes well, so you can have it on hand for the next cold.

  34. Carol

    You can also wash a couple of lemons and then cut them up in very thin, small slices (remove seeds), put them in a pint jar, add some grated fresh ginger, pour local, raw honey over it and stir. Add a tablespoon or more (depending on taste) to a cup of hot water. It is wonderful for a scratchy throat or cold. Honey is a natural preservative – so this concoction keeps very well in the fridge for a few weeks.

  35. Sun Jae

    Try adding thyme, fresh is better, like what is called here (in Belgium) citrus thyme, but dried one in a meshed tea infuser ball is fine as well, and thyme honey. Thyme being a natural antiseptic, it’ll help you get rid of those nasty microbs ;) Mint tea with eucalyptus honey is also nice as eucalyptus is also a natural remedy against cold.

  36. Teresa

    My mom always just called this hot lemonade. She prefers hers salted instead of sweet. (You’d just replace the honey with about 1/2 tsp of salt.)

    Hope you are feeling better soon.

  37. Celeste Quinn

    Look into the hot and sour soup recipe on this blog! Wonderful for colds. And when you are feeling in need anytime for something comforting and warm.

  38. dave farmer

    I use this, and also “Russian Tea” to which I add honey and lemon. There are probably variations of this, and I’m sure readers have the recipes for Russian tea, I always struggle to remember, but it contains instant tea, Tang, cinnamon. I do add a swhot of whiskey, homemade if I have it, commercial if not. It helps to relax, and helps to sweat a fever out. Hope you’ll feel beter soon. Also, does anyone have a fruitcake recipe, the wife would love one. Thanks

  39. Janet Vandenabeele

    Another good addition if you have the kind of cold where you feel chills is to add some thin slices of ginger root to your honey-lemon tea. Leave them in the cup, pound them a little with a spoon. Go easy at first until you get used to the spicy taste, if you aren’t already. Also soothes any stomach distress from the cold or if you’re like me, the cold medicines.

  40. Anita

    Can you please tell me the make and the pattern of the teacup and saucer? They are so pretty! Thanks!

    • Elise

      Hi Anita,
      It’s pretty, isn’t it? I found this one tea cup and saucer at a thrift shop. The markings say, “Tuscan China, Made in England, Rookwood” You can find some cups in a similar style at Replacements.com.

  41. Kate@Diethood

    The most beautiful cup of tea I have ever seen.

  42. Melanie

    I was just given a jar of Lemon-Flavoured Honey. It has been doing wonders for my cold, stirred into my echinacea tea!

  43. Hillary

    I do something similar when I’m sick, but I add alcohol. Helps relax a cough if you have one … just use your recipe, but put in a bag of decaf (at night) black tea, and add a shot of spiced rum. And frankly, it’s just good as a hot holiday cocktail, too!

  44. Alli

    I love honey lemon tea. My mom would make this for me when I was little girl. It’s so soothing.

  45. Wendy

    I love lemon honey tea and am glad there are so many others out there who enjoy it too. The only difference for me is that I start drinking this the minute I feel a cold coming on or even when someone in the house is sick and I feel fine. I swear it keeps the colds away (I have had a fraction of colds I used to get since I started this a couple of years ago). Give it a try next time as a preventative measure!

  46. Mike

    I hope you’re feeling better, but I am thinking that anything lasting longer than 3 days is the flu. You didn’t get your flu shot, did you? Elise, we NEED you! Get well soon!

    • Toni

      Mike – a common cold can linger for up to 3 weeks! As long as you don’t have a fever that persists for longer than a few days, and you don’t feel like a train hit you, it’s probably your run of the mill cold.

  47. Paz

    Feel better! Sending you good thoughts! xoxo

  48. Michelle Tam

    My mom used to make me honey and lemon tea whenever I would get the sniffles as a kid. That, and slather my chest with a thick layer of Vicks. Ick. Nowadays, I skip the vapor rub and go straight to the tea.

  49. Sara

    I hope you’re feeling better. I’m sick too, so I know its no fun. :( Another really easy soothing to make is chicken broth (it’s ok to use the can.box kind; you’re sick) with garlic, scallions, ginger, and a little bit of honey. Heat it all in a pot on the stove top (or even in a bowl in the microwave) Very soothing, it warms up the chest, and very healing.

  50. Coleen

    This is great – thanks for sharing. I have been fighting off a cold for weeks and have a feeling this just might do the trick to make sure it doesn’t hit me. Tea is always so comforting (especially when curled up on the couch under a cozy blanket, too!)
    Hope you feel better!

  51. Sue

    I ran across a honey and lemon tea a few years ago, but it also includes steeping a piece of fresh ginger root in the hot water before adding the honey and lemon. Has helped tremendously with colds, especially if I start drinking it at the first sign of one.

  52. Jan Morrison

    Chicken soup is good, but a tiny shot of tabasco sauce in the honey, fresh lemon, hot water combo helps, as well.

  53. sally

    Elise, hope you feel better soon! When I was a kid, a doctor gave my mom a recipe for homemade cough syrup..honey, lemon juice and a little bourbon! Like you said, honey to soothe, lemon juice to cut the crud, and well, the bourbon makes one relax a bit and not cough so much.

  54. Chit

    Hi Elise

    Try steeping some ginger in your honey lemon tea….so soothing …ginger depends on one’s taste for it!

    I mean just drop a piece of pounded ginger into the cup and cover for a short while.

  55. Dee Dixon

    My mother would snuggle us in bed with sick bunny (a soft, pink, stuffed toy we only got when we were sick) and spoon hot lemon drink into our mouths like a moma bird. She was a fantastic nurse and being sick never seemed so bad. Grab yourself something to cuddle Elise, you’ll feel better before you know it!

  56. Lindsay N.

    The PERFECT thing when you’re not feeling well. Honey and lemon tea always makes me feel so much better.

  57. Beth

    I drank quite a bit of this a few weeks ago when I wasn’t feeling well. I’ll echo many of the other commenters and say I added whiskey as well. The whiskey worked better for my cough than any cough syrup there is.

  58. Yosef - This American Bite

    I make a hot toddy, a version of this, any time anyone in our house is sick. The only variation, my tea includes a shot of whiskey.

  59. Rachael (Fuji Mama)

    I don’t know what I would do without this home remedy. I hope you’re feeling better soon! XO

  60. Anup

    Thanks for good idea

  61. Blue Arc en Ciel

    Loved your post.
    I have been a lemon water loyalist ever since I was goaded by my mother into trying it as a teenager. At that point I was willing to try anything to put an end to the innumerable zits that started popping up on my face. This elixir has held me in good stead for years now.
    A GOOD TIP is to add a dash of cinnamon powder, its anti microbial properties add a host of benefits to the already amazing drink.

  62. Anya

    thankyou very much, but i would say only 1 table spoon of honey, i found it too sweet, but my dog enjoyed the rest very much, i hope you get well soon :)

  63. Renee

    Yes! I also add a dash of turmeric for assisting with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, and antiviral activities. :) Be well, I love your site!

  64. EKnetzer

    Thank you for reminding me of this simple, yet powerful lemon-honey combo. My mother used to mix just those two and leave them in a dish on the counter, I would take spoonfuls throughout the day…almost made me wish I had a sore throat, it was so tasty! Just made your “tea” for my husband, and it seems to be doing him good…may employ others’ suggestions for additions as well ;) Thanks again, feel better.

  65. Aditi Kabir

    nice one. someone told me that lemon and honey works well, so i was having one table spoon full honey, lemon squeezed on it every morning before the breakfast. no warm water so far. will it do any good? i have chest full of cough. i will try your remedy from tomorrow.