Cold Remedy: Garlic, Honey, and Lemon Tea

This old fashioned home remedy is soothing and gives a gentle immune boost through vitamin C from fresh lemons, garlic, and honey. It’s perfect during recover from a cold, cough, or sore throat.

There have been a lot of colds and flus going around lately, but I’ve found this simple drink to be helpful when fighting something off.Β I have caught a few within the last month. BUT, with two of them I drank this tea, rested and drank a lot of water, and the next day was pretty much back to normal. Not bad results for such a simple routine.

However, on Friday, I thought I was catching a cold, but didn’t bother doing anything. By that night, I had a very sore throat. My husband offered to make me this tea, but I told him not to bother since it was so late. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning, with a running nose, ringing ears, throbbing sinuses, a painful throat, and an achy body. I was very sick. It was a lesson to me to always start immune boosting techniques right away!

I was truthfully so sick I thought I was going to be quite sick for a long while (or even have to go to the doctor). But using this tea, some other supplements, and hydro and heat therapy for my face and ears, I was actually back on my feet again the next day! I am still not all the way better yet (that’s what I get for delaying treatment), but I am still amazed at how quickly I have improved.

While it’s effectiveness does depend on your immune system, how bad of a bug you are fighting and whether you rest, among other things, this tea has certainly worked well for me.Β Β And it’s no wonder- garlic, honey, lemon juice, and coconut oil are all powerful immune boosters. I drink two batches of this a day when fighting off a cold.

Disclaimer: I share this as a soothing home remedy. Please consult your health care provider when sick or adding in supplements, making dietary changes, etc.

Garlic, Honey, and Lemon Tea

Update: Some readers found this amount of garlic harsh on their tummy. If you have really large garlic cloves, or are more sensitive to the garlic, cut back to 6 cloves or less.

8-12 cloves of crushed and peeled garlic, simmered in two cups of water for 10 minutes.
Strain. Add into the strained water
The juice from one fresh lemon
and honey to taste.

For even more immune boosting power, add 1-3 tablespoons of coconut oil at the end, and let it dissolve into the tea, before drinking.

Sip slowly throughout the day, or drink a half cup every hour

Super simple 1 cup version: Sometimes when you are really ill, you need a very simple version to make for yourself. Here is what I will do. Pour 1 cup of hot water over 3 crushed and peeled garlic cloves. Steep for five minutes. Stir in a teaspoon or so of honey, and add half the juice from one lemon.

This post is part of Keeper of the Home’s Natural Home Remedies Carnival

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. Rebecca says

    This sounds like a great recipe–thanks! I have made something similar with lemon, honey, and ginger. The honey is especially helpful if you have a cough.

    You should check out our blog carnival over on the Green Baby Guide: Thrifty Green Thursday. This tip would be perfect for it!

  2. Homesteader in Training says

    We have a similar tea that we make. We call in garlic tea and it has apple cider vinegar in it as well. It does help I tell ya!
    Blessings to you!

  3. Crafty P says

    wow, sounds terrific, but how does it taste. Just prepare me for the taste so that I know what to expect. will i smell garlicky?


    • Courtney says

      I am sipping on this now and it tastes awesome! I’m not a huge garlic fan. It smells really garlicy and I put three teaspoons of raw honey in to taste. The garlic is more of an aftertaste when sipped. It smells worse that it tastes, so give it a try!

  4. lizzykristine @ Uplifted Eyes says

    Up til recently I had a lot of trouble with frequent colds and flu — at least twice a month. (It was part of overall health problems). Last time I tried oregano oil and it really seemed to help. I will so be trying that again!

    Does your tea taste strongly of garlic? I’d be interested in trying it, but I don’t think my husband will be hugely enthused about me smelling like garlic. πŸ™‚ Oregano oil kisses were bad enough!

    Glad you’ve found something that works so well for you!

  5. Kimi Harris says

    Everyone who asked, πŸ™‚

    This tea definitely has an garlic taste, but not half as strong as raw garlic. I don’t find it to leave a garlic odor on my breath for long, or anything like that.In fact, Italian food is more likely to make me “stink” like garlic! It tastes like lemon honey tea, with garlic overtones. πŸ™‚

    Of course, when you have a bad cold, it’s hard to taste anything…

  6. Anonymous says

    Question: I drank some of this (half of it) down earlier today (I am battling an ear infection and general drippiness). Feel healthier but queasy. Raw garlic had a similar effect… although much milder. Is this normal? Thoughts?

  7. Kimi Harris says

    I know the feeling because I have gotten that from raw garlic before (though the tea seems to go down fine). You can do two things, garlic can be hard on the stomach, so if you are experiencing problems, using the coconut oil in the tea can help it be more soothing to the stomach. If you already tried that, you may just need to cut back on how much garlic you use.

    Some people will seep a single crushed garlic in a cup of hot water, just you would do a cup of tea (again, about ten minutes). This may be much easier on the stomach as well.

    Or, you just might not do well with garlic. You can try ginger tea, like another commenter suggested.

    I hope you feel better soon!

  8. Anonymous says

    Thanks! I’m feeling better today. πŸ™‚ EI seems to be mostly gone. I did try it with the coconut oil, don’t think that helped atall… I will go back to eating the raw garlic as bruschetta, that wasn’t too bad on my stomach.

    And, were I really sick, the four hours of nausea would have been a fair trade for not being sick anymore.
    -AnonymousAmy (LOL at the signing choices)

  9. Rebeckah says

    The tea sounds helpful! BUT those ‘nourishing’ CANDY BARS underneath this post, Yum-O! Can I just stay home from work and make things all day!

  10. MrsPacNW says

    amazingly helpful…I found this post the other day when I was on the first full day of a head cold. I used a whole head of garlic from my garden.(small head) maybe 8 cloves, whole small lemon and lots of raw raspberry honey! LOL then floated some coconut oil. Went to bed without taking any OTC stuff, slept well, and reused the garlic the next morning for one more batch. I have never had a head cold only last about a day. I do have some residual phlemies, but it’s okay, it’s moving and coming out!!!
    I appreciate your blog. I too am looking for a “better” way to nourish my family!
    ~Oh and to those that are concerned about smelling garlicky…it’s just an “essence” of garlic..smells like garlic, but didn’t taste like garlic once everything else was in there.

  11. sarena says

    Linked this “recipe” to my blog post today!! Hope it helps me. And I think I will eat the strained garlic too!

  12. Lauren says

    I brewed some white tea with the water and it turned out great and helped to balance the garlic flavor! Layering immune-boosters can only help, right?

  13. Maria Nikolova says

    And one other recipe which helped me to survive after getting a flu.
    Crushed 2-3 cloves garlic very well like you do mash potatoes and add drop of oil. Mix it very well and then put a drop into your nose. It is very painful but this is the first time you do this. The effect is immediate. If you have a cold and beginning of sore throat it will disappear. I tried it and I survived.

  14. ROY WILLMOND says


  15. Serena says

    Made this stuff today. Trying to get over a dragging cold. Tastes fine, though it leaves garlicky tones on the tongue. It did ease my sore throat. Drinking in conjunction with a one day juice cleanse. Hoping to give my body this restful day to heal.

  16. Valerie says

    I’m trying this with a little cayenne pepper. Much tastier than raw garlic–I actually thought it was pretty good! I don’t know if it worked yet, but I guess I’ll find out tomorrow.

  17. tanmeister says

    Found this cold remedy whilst suffering with germs and decided to try it. I woke at 4am with a burning stomach and had sickness & diarrhoea. So my advice to you is if you’re a delicate flower or have a sensitive tum leave this remedy out!

  18. says

    Absolute crap I tryed this and through up everywhere and I wasn’t even ill it’s vile first of all it needs sugar to die down the lemon then it needs cloves to die down the garlick it tastes and smells much nicer then


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