Therapeutic Drink to Ward Off Colds

This therapeutic drink to wards off colds is an healing herbal tonic of ginger, lemon, fenugreek, and anise with magic Moroccan powers. Best cold remedy we know of for coughs or a sore throat. Also helps with the flu.

A tumbler filled with amber liquid and a teapot in the foreground

This therapeutic drink to ward off colds is certainly not like Robitussin. It’s better. Cookbook author Paula Wolfert became familiar with the magic of this traditional Moroccan cold remedy from her friend Barbara Temsamani, who keeps the recipe taped to her refrigerator door as it’s so darn efficient in warding off whatever ails you. Our Rx? Take it 3 times a day for 1 to 2 days at the first sign of a cough, sore throat, or flu. Originally published Jan 11, 2012.Renee Schettler Rossi

What Other Healing Ingredients Can I Include In A Cold Remedy?

Herbs and spices play critical roles not just in Moroccan and other traditional cuisines but also in these ancient cultures’ medicinal tool kits, usually in the form of soothing herbal infusions, such as this tonic that calms the system and helps ward off colds and flu. We suspect part of the healing happens from the lovely and calmative aromas and flavors of the ingredients, for example, with anise seeds imparting “a strong, warm, licorice flavor,” in the words of Paula Wolfert, and fenugreek being best described as “a little like burnt sugar or maple syrup.” As for the other part of the healing, each herb or spice plays a different role depending on its particular properties. As for other ingredients that you could turn into an infusion and reap the benefits, here’s Wolfert’s Moroccan cheat sheet:

  • Absinth is the “winter tea of choice” for warmth and as an antispasmodic and digestive.
  • Lemon verbena calms the nerves, helps digestion, and gives comfort from the pain of menstruation.
  • Orange flower water mixed with milk and sugar helps children get to sleep.
  • Marjoram is an excellent remedy for a cold or stomachache.

Therapeutic Drink to Ward Off Colds

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 5 M
  • 15 M
  • Serves 1
5/5 - 2 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the The Food of Morocco cookbook

Want it? Click it.



Bring the water to a boil. Add the ginger, lemon, fenugreek, and anise seeds, cover, and boil for 10 minutes.

Strain the tea into a mug and stir in honey to taste, if desired. Inhale the aroma and sip the tea while it’s hot.

Print RecipeBuy the The Food of Morocco cookbook

Want it? Click it.

    *Dried Ginger Note

    • Not to be confused with ground ginger, dried ginger is an actual chunk of ginger that has been dehydrated and turns a little gnarly. Simply break off about 1/4 inch for this recipe, or slightly more or less, depending on personal preference.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about this recipe, however, I’m glad I made it. There were no colds in the house at the time, and hopefully after drinking this, there won’t be any for a long time to come.

    he first sip is very interesting. My husband wasn’t sure about it, but he came to like it better after the first sip. I usually just make a hot drink with fresh ginger, fresh lemon, and some honey when I feel a cold or sore throat coming on, but I will definitely try this one when that time comes. I liked it with a touch of honey, but my husband preferred it straight, which is unusual for him. He usually likes hot drinks a bit on the sweet side. Very nice fragrance as well.

    While I can’t say if this therapeutic drink wards off colds, I'm sure it will be comforting on a cold night or to soothe a scratchy throat. At the first sign of a cold, I make a similar hot drink and sip it all day long, and my colds are usually over in a day or two. The lemon and ginger are familiar flavors, but the fenugreek and aniseed add a nice, spicy note to the drink. I add just enough honey to sweeten, but not too much.

    #leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

    Back to Therapeutic Drink to Ward Off Colds on Leite's Culinaria