I’ve been down with a viral fever. All of yesterday, I was pampered by MK, who took the day off to be with me, ma-in-law, who made sago kheer on demand, and Amma and bro, who called several times to check on me.

But today, MK is back in his office, and all I’m getting is a stray text message asking me to pop a vitamin or just go off to sleep. Mrs. B has been kind enough to make me soup to last the day, and there’s only The Unbearable Lightness of Scones by Alexander McCall Smith to keep me company. In such a situation, I rely on this comforting herb tea to ease the respiratory system and give me that warm, fuzzy feeling of being pampered.

Spiced herb tea for colds and such

Here’s how I make Indian Herb Tea:


  • ½ liter of water
  • 8-10 leaves of mint,
  • 8-10 leaves of holy basil
  • A blade of lemon grass
  • ½ inch piece of ginger
  • 5-6 peppercorns
  • 1 inch piece, cinnamon
  • Honey


  1. Place the water in a kettle or heavy-bottomed pot.
  2. Tip in the torn leaves, grated ginger, and bruised spices.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce to half.
  4. Strain and drink hot with honey.
  5. Preserve the spicy-herby leftovers for another, less strong shot.