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Down the hatch!

My brother and his wife have been feeling fabulous recently as they’ve been knocking back shots every morning.

Not shots made with agave, salt and lime (licked off each others necks:-), but shots with honey, ginger and lemon. The additional sprinkle of cayenne pepper is giving them the same chest-warming sensation that tequila provides, but they both go to work feeling invigorated & revitalized, rather than larey and wobbly on their feet.

And why would they start their morning with a shot of lemon, ginger root, water, honey, cayenne pepper and oil of oregano rather than a cuppa you may ask?....

Amongst singers this drink is known as the ‘master cleanse’ due to its ability to clear the throat and its positive effects on bile flow and digestion.

Aside from these properties, the ingredients offer a multitude of benefits:-

Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C, which is able to increase white blood cell production to fight bacteria and viruses. Lemons are also able to raise levels of citrate in the body, which may prevent kidney stones (Note: Grapefruit juice has the opposite effect and should be avoided if you are prone to kidney stones)

Ginger root is known as the ‘universal remedy’ in Ayurvedic medicine. Its gingerol, shogaols and zingerone content makes it a fabulous natural anti-inflammatory & potent antimicrobial and antiviral.

Honey (in particular Manuka Honey UMF 15+) is a strong antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and mucus membrane soother, so is excellent for easing the pain of a sore throat.

NB: To obtain the potent properties of honey you need to use either raw honey or Manuka Honey UMF 15+ (or above), not the pasteurized, processed honey in a teddy bear plastic bottle.

Oil of oregano is a herb extract containing carvacrol and thymol that has been shown to prevent viral, fungal and bacterial replication. It is far superior to antibiotics, as it does not wipe out beneficial gut bacteria or damage the digestive system lining. The beauty of oil of oregano is that it is very effective for treating bronchitis and sinus infections.

And finally, adding that touch of Cayenne peppers is another great way to stop pathogens in their tracks. Cayenne (& chilli) peppers may help prevent peptic ulcers by killing bacteria (such as H.Pylori) and stimulating the lining of the stomach to secrete powerful protective juices (so stopping all nasty microbes entering via the mouth from reaching the digestive tract).

It’s the capsaicin in the cayenne pepper that will have your cheeks glowing and skipping to work, as it acts as a vasodilator of capillaries (enhancing circulation and raising body temperature, so ideal if you suffer from cold hands and feet). Capsaicin also depletes substance P, a chemical that transmits pain messages to the brain, so it makes a great alternative to NSAID’s for arthritic pain and muscle strains.

(Please note: Cayenne pepper is not recommended for anyone with an inflamed colon).

Mmmm, need any more reasons for swapping your morning cup of caffeine for this sassy shot in the winter months?….I think not:-)!

TOP TIP: If you haven’t got time to make your own drink, Gail’s coffee shop sells these shots ready bottled for swigging on your train ride to work.

Ingredients: (serves 2)

Juice of one lemon

2” ginger root – grated through a nutmeg grater

2 tsp raw or manuka honey

8 drops of Oil of oregano

Sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper


Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a glass. Add the very finely grated ginger and its juice, add the two tsp of honey and 8 drops of oil of oregano. Stir. Divide into two shot glasses. Add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Knock back the drink in one go (& then bang your chest with your fist and say “Aaaahh”)

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