Tea GrokWHATEVER IT IS, THE WHOLE TOWN HAS IT. THE COUGH, THE GUNK, THE GRUMP. IT GOES AWAY, THEN, WITH THE NEXT PLAY DATE, IT COMES BACK. HERE’S HOW WE GET IT TO GO WHEN IT DOES.

 
It’s our old family recipe from way back when – I come from generations & generations of healers on both sides. I didn’t get that gene, but somehow I managed to marry one. This tea is hard core. Spicy, super sweet, super lemony, filled with blood cleaners, liver de-toxers, cell wishers. Well, maybe not cell-swishers. But we use it for everything from the shakes to strep throat to the cramps. A couple of cousins use it for hangovers (ahem).

 
Local ingredients carry all kinds of crazy earth information to battle your local germs. Google it.
I don’t know all the details, but I did sit in front of a scientist explaining how potatoes & onions in particular can combat any local strain of cold or flu. The honey really needs to be local because the pollen holds such a diverse mix of microscopic godness. I mean goodness, which, is, godness, actually. So there you go. Godness from your neck of the woods, specially formulated to help you where you are. A little more potent and at the same time gentler on your system than a lab mix of synthetics based on plants formulated to help those in a rainforest thousands of miles away.

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SALABAT – PILIPINO MEDICINE TEA

 
1 large onion

3” sliced ginger
5 cloves – 1 head of sliced garlic
1 Tbsp red chili flakes
1 Tbsp peppercorns
1 lemon sliced into wedges
Local honey to taste

 
Put aside lemons & honey. Bring the rest to boil with 4-6 cups of water, then simmer until the onions are translucent. Add lemons & honey. Keep warm. For the kids I might add some soy milk & chai spice so the whole spicy thing isn’t so crazy, and it becomes a bit of a very, very spicy treat. Mmmmmm.

 
*Notes from Elrik Jundis, head of the Permaculture Association of the Philippines + my kuya (big brother)

 
Here the concoction uses more ginger – a 1-to-1 ratio with the onions. People here use it a lot during the rainy season for colds, flues, and sore throats.

 
It is usually drunk warm. Also, folks just grow to like the taste and drink it for enjoyment but with less of the heating elements like the red and black pepper.

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I’ve also done raw variations (still using raw honey), but do not take it on an empty stomach. The combination of pepper, onion, garlic, and ginger juice will hit the stomach like a hammer and drop you. I am speaking from experience. It’s painful, and it can be embarrassing explaining to your household why you fell to the ground and are now in a ball from something you juiced :).

 
That said, it has also immediately cleared any sinus issues I’ve ever had. This is hard core stuff. I’ve learned the hard way how to play with the dosage and ingredient mix. Use responsibly :).

 
I make two batches at once. One is tea. The other gets a chicken, carrots, celery & chopped greens, several splashes of patis fish sauce (nam pla) & a bowl of white rice.

 
words, recipes & photos: maya corinne
 

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